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Muscles, oh muscles, how do thy fibers grow?

By reps and sets and cardio.

They grow when I FEEL them grow.

Age, disease and lack of use can cause muscle fibers to deteriorate. The older we get the faster we fall. After age 75 muscle proteins fade faster than they are produced. This causes muscles to appear smaller and become weaker. The result is thinning thighs, arms, core and glutes, (1) - the large muscle groups that we need to keep us up and out and all about. When someone suffers from certain diseases their bodies become limited at an accelerated rate. It can take as little as one week of bed rest to set someone back one month of strength and function. We’ve all heard of that nasty word ‘inactivity.’ Those hours of working or studying at your computer or watching YouTube videos can wreak havoc on your body’s ability to make new muscles. Whatever are you to do?

A well-rounded program including strength, flexibility and cardiovascular exercise is imperative to keep your function and form. Four days a week for 45 minutes each day is the key to unlock your best health. Repetitive movement to very tired muscles (exhaustion) is a good way to increase muscle fiber synthesis, or muscle growth. This means we CAN actually stave off the aging process! (2) Be cautious to begin with body weight for the safest transition to stronger muscles. Stretch each large muscle group, thighs, arms, core and glutes, for at least 45 seconds to maintain the ability to put your own pants on. Cardiovascular exercise, even in place by bending your arms, tapping your feet, marching your legs, will increase size and strength of the most important muscle of all - your heart.

Looking for a fountain of youth? Play, move, walk, march, run, punch, kick, wiggle, twitch, dance, twist, and set the timer. Every minute spent moving will be a minute of health gained.

Be well.

1. Dickinson, J. M., Volpi, E., & Rasmussen, B. B. (2013). Exercise and nutrition to target protein synthesis impairments in aging skeletal muscle. Exercise and sport sciences reviews, 41(4), 216–223.

2. Tipton KD, Wolfe RR. Exercise, protein metabolism, and muscle growth. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2001 Mar;11(1):109-32. doi: 10.1123/ijsnem.11.1.109. PMID: 11255140.


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