About Muscle Atrophy & How to Avoid it With Exercise

What exactly is muscle atrophy? By definition it is the wasting or deterioration of muscle tissue. It occurs when muscles are not used for a long period of time. People with sedentary jobs and or lifestyles are often victims of this. It also affects people who are paralyzed, or have a medical condition that does not allow them to utilize their muscles. Paraplegics experience severe muscle atrophy in the legs as the muscles in them are never used.

How Long Does Muscle Atropy Take To Occur?

Now maybe you’re wondering: “How long does it take muscle atrophy to occur?" Well that depends on what is causing the lack of movement in the muscles. If it is due to a debilitatating disease such as MS or muscular dystrophy, the atrophy can occur very quickly, with in days or weeks. Deterioration of muscles can also occur very rapidly if atmospheric conditions are right. For example astronauts experience muscle mass loss after being in space for only a few days.

Muscle Atropy

If the mass loss is due to a sedentary lifestyle, (meaning that the couch is your best friend) it will occur more slowly. It will take months or perhaps years of disuse before muscle atrophy will occur.

The good news is that as long as muscle atrophy is not due to a neurological disorder, (such as paralysis or MS) it can be reversed. Muscle tissue can be repaired through vigorous exercise and improved nutrition. Another good thing is that although it can take months or years for atrophy to occur, it can be reversed in as little as a few weeks depending on how intense the workouts are and how nutritionally sound the diet is. If your workout is a very intensive workout, the atrophy is diminished. In addition, as long as you are eating properly, you can slow down that process very easily.