Is couch surfing your summer activity of choice? You may be losing strength and muscle faster than you?ll be able to regain it.?
It?s the season of poolside pi?a coladas, lazy days, and vacations from the gym ? which, as any swimsuit-wearing gal or chest-baring guy can attest, adds up to less-than-desirable results. How fast, exactly, will your muscle tone and strength deteriorate? That?s what researchers from the University of Copenhagen set out to determine in a new study, published in the Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine.
To assess the effects of being totally sedentary ? as an athlete might be after an injury, for example ? the scientists used knee braces to immobilize one leg of 17 young men (average age of 23) and 15 older men (average age of 68) for two weeks straight. The study participants were instructed to use crutches and to avoid doing any weight-bearing activity with the out-of-commission leg. Before the study, after the immobilization, and after a six-week retraining period, the scientists tested the men?s body composition and strength in each leg.
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