I’m sure you’ve all heard the expression “use it, or lose
it.” That is true of many things in
life including muscles. When muscles
are not used the atrophy. They grow
soft and eventually are broken down by the body.
What can you do to prevent that from happening?
It’s really quite easy. Use
Using it doesn’t have to mean hours at the gym, 4 days a
week, every week. It doesn’t mean
lying on your floor doing crunches and pushups for hours.
Strength training at home can be as simple as a quick routine with
resistance bands for 20 minutes, 2 days a week.
Walking and stretching activate the muscles without a lot of work.
Get yourself some resistance bands and I will give you some
exercises that will let you strength train with them.
Do 20 reps of these exercises in a slow and controlled manner to maintain
muscle you already have. You can do
leg abductions with your band and a chair.
You can also do leg adductions and hamstring curls with the same
equipment. Another strength training
exercise that can be done is a squat.
That takes care of the muscle groups in your legs.
A lateral raise, a chest press, upper back fly, and lat pulldown should
take care of the chest and shoulders.
Follow these with a triceps extension, biceps curls for the arms and back
extensions and a reverse crunch for a full body strength training session, all
done with no equipment but resistance bands.
These are great exercises to have in your repertoire
for those days you can’t make the gym.
The bands are easy to pack so they can go with you on business trips or family
vacations. The amount of time it will
take to lose muscle mass will vary depending on how long you’ve been strength
training. If you started recently you may
notice loss within two weeks. If you have
been training for years it may be a few months before you really notice the
loss. However, strength training can be
done quickly and easily, so why skip it?
Remember, exercise increases your endorphins which elevate your mood.
Go ahead and feel good.