We often find that the fitness industry is full of conflicting messages and outlandish statements of “This is really the best way to……” We’re constantly being told contradictory pieces of advice on what to eat, how to work out, and what to do each day to stay healthy. The difficulty of determining what is true and what is false lies in how research is presented and/or interrupted. It is our goal here at HPTI to use sound scientific principles that are built off a sound foundation of literature and confirmed concepts. The exciting thing about research is that it is ever evolving, new research is overturning long-held beliefs about the “best” ways to work out, stay healthy, and eat. Don’t worry though, our team here at HPTI will bring you all the updates that you need to stay on top of your program. So, let’s dig into a few hot topics we have been asked about.
The Older You Are, The Harder It Is to Build Muscle
While it is true that as you age, it becomes difficult to build muscle, it is possible. Sedentary adults can lose 30 to 40 percent of the total number of fibers in their muscles by the time they are 85. But recent research has shown that men and women in their 60’s and 70’s can regain developed muscle like that of the average 40-year-old. The process of preserving muscle tissue or growing muscle tissue as you age starts with understanding why muscle atrophies as we age. Two things generally affect muscle as we age: some muscle tissue dies due to a sedentary lifestyle, and secondly, some muscle fibers just atrophy or shrink. The process of saving or growing muscle tissue as you age is centered around increasing the size of the atrophied muscle fibers. The key to doing this is to have regular and progressive exercise.
Muscle Weighs More Than Fat
We love hearing this one. A pound of fat equals a pound of muscle when you look at pure weight, it is as simple as that. What is not equal is the amount of space that each “pound’ occupies. Often time we find that a pound of fat looks like a ball of cotton candy, just full of tons of air, which makes it take up more space than muscle. On the other side, muscle looks compact, dense, and lean. It does not take up as much space as a pound of fat does. Therefore, when you first start working out you notice that clothes are a little baggy now, but that scale has not budged one bit. In fact, lean muscle is said to take up about 20% less space than a pound of fat.
Pregnant Women Should Not Work Out
Complications and specific circumstances aside, exercise for a pregnant woman can be one of the most beneficial parts of care that a woman can do. Doctors recommend that a woman should get a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate exercise 7 days a week. This has been shown to decrease the risk of gestational diabetes, prenatal depression, and lower the risk of their baby having high blood pressure. This small dosage of exercise can lead to the baby having a healthier heart. And for you mothers, you can expect to have reduced backaches and bloating, more energy, better mood, and, of course, increased muscle tone and strength. Let’s be honest here, pregnancy, labor, and delivery are athletic events, and anything you can do to make it easier and a less complicated is well worth it.