By: Deirnesa Jefferson
The importance of physical activity and exercise is fairly common knowledge, but what you may not know is that it only takes two weeks of inactivity for young people to lose one third of their muscle strength, putting them on the same level as people who are 40-50 years their senior.
The Center for Healthy Aging and the Department of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Copenhagen conducted the research that shows how just a couple weeks of inactivity can affect muscle mass and muscle strength. Reasons for inactivity may be an injury, being sick and on bed rest or just taking a vacation that doesn’t include a lot of physical activity. Regardless of the reason for the inactivity the damaging results are the same. “It’s interesting that inactivity causes such rapid loss of muscle mass, in fact it’ll take you three times the amount of time you were inactive to regain the muscle mass that you’ve lost. ” Martin Gram researcher at the Center for Healthy Aging and the Department of Biomedical Sciences, explains.
Engaging in muscle strengthening activities is one of the way you can avoid losing valuable muscle strength and muscle mass. Muscle strengthening activities involve having muscles work or hold against a force or some weight. Activities like push-ups, sit-ups, lunges, squats, lifting weights, and working with resistance bands do this—and so do a good game of tug-of-war, gymnastics, swinging on the monkey bars, and climbing a tree!