Each muscle is composed of thousands of fibres which react positively to being exercised. The more we use them, the more toned and stronger they become.
The phrase ‘Use it or lose it’ applies to muscles however so if we don’t use our muscles they very quickly atrophy, meaning they become weak and sag. In fact muscle fibres start to atrophy within just 72 hours of inactivity!
At any one time some of our muscle fibres are permanently switched on while others are permanently switched off but we can increase the number of permanently switched on fibres if we use our muscles often enough. Using our muscles every day makes a lot of sense therefore and when we do so we ‘switch on’ some of the fibres. How many we switch on is of course dependant on how hard we work them.
The benefit of increasing the number of switched on fibres in a muscle is two fold. The more switched on fibres that we have means that the muscle is toned. It looks good and holds us in, in all the right places.
The second benefit is that switched on fibres are burning calories 24/7 so the more toned our muscles are, our metabolism is working in overdrive, even while we sleep.
Of course the opposite applies if we allow our muscles to atrophy as this slows down our metabolic rate and contributes to weight gain.
One final point to bear in mind about allowing muscles to atrophy is that they shrink. A non exerciser will lose 10 percent each year of the muscle they had on the body when they were twenty years of age. So by the time they are seventy they will have lost half the muscle they once had!
So muscle atrophy has nothing going for it. By using our muscles on a regular basis we can avoid muscle loss, burn more calories, maintain muscle strength and keep our body looking toned and lean. That’s why a half hour session at Gymophobics two or three times each week is so important.