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By Terry Delamater
RPh, Diabetes Educator, contributing writer 

Resistance training for age-related muscle loss

 

July 22, 2023

Terry Delamater, RPh, Diabetes Educator.

Beginning in our 30s, our bodies start a natural process of consistent muscle loss. For those who are physically inactive, the loss will amount to about 3-5% every decade after the age of 30. Muscle loss is a concern not only because it limits the types of activities we can engage in, but also because an imbalanced ratio of too little muscle and too much fat is a precursor to a variety of illnesses and diseases including obesity, osteoporosis, diabetes, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, heart disease, stroke, arthritis, low back pain and even cancer.

The problem of age-related muscle loss (called sarcopenia) has a solution: Strength Training. We know that, over time, consistent resistance training rebuilds muscle, recharges metabolism, reduces resting blood pressure, supports cardiovascular health, increases bone density, improves cognitive functioning and combats disease.

Traditional resistance training machines rely on stacks of weights and a system of wires and pulleys to create resistance. In contrast pneumatic resistance machines use an air compressor to create a controlled amount of resistance that can be easily adjusted by the user.

Pneumatic resistance limits inertia, meaning the user won't swing backward or forward while moving through an exercise. This allows the user to move smoothly through an exercise, without joint strain or jerky movements that can cause pain or injury.

The motion in a pneumatic machine is the closest we can get to true isotonic exercise. Isotonic exercise is when a muscle is contracting against a constant load- a task that's impossible to do with willpower and muscle control alone. Pneumatic machines control the movement and the resistance of the user, making isotonic exercise possible.

Moving a stack of weights might appear to accomplish the same thing, but inertia, acceleration and friction can cause the amount of force on the body to change throughout the movement. On many machines, if you push the weight quickly through the first half of the move, momentum will cause the weights to become much lighter during the second half of the motion. With pneumatic equipment, the resistance stays the same-no matter how quickly you move through an exercise.

Not only does the advantage of limiting inertia reduce injury and strain, it makes every movement more effective because the user is never able to build up momentum and lift the dead weight.

Terry Delamater is the owner of Sculpt365 and a retired Pharmacist with a focus on Diabetes prevention.

Call Sculpt365 at (661) 823-8205 to schedule an appointment for a pneumatic resistance demonstration at the Tehachapi location, 20936 Sage Lane.

 
 

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