Gym’s are out of the question for many of us whilst we try to protect the most vulnerable to the spread of Coronavirus. This may have left some of you feeling anxious as to how to maintain the muscles mass you have built up. Therefore we’d thought we’d provide some recommendations based on Scientific research to help you.
Home workouts appear to be popping up everywhere and are certainly great but to preserve muscle pick exercises which are weight-bearing. A study examined the effect of 3 different scenarios on weight loss and muscle mass. Some of the group were asked to just follow a lower calorie diet, others followed a low calorie diet with the addition of aerobic exercise (walking 35-45 min, 3-5 times a week) whilst the rest were asked to follow a low calorie diet with the addition of resistance type exercises such as brisk walking and resistance type exercises (i.e. squats, press-ups, sit ups etc.). Both the low calorie diet and low calorie plus aerobic exercise group experienced a decline in muscle mass whilst those who performed the resistance type exercises preserved muscle mass during the study (Cava et al, 2016).
If you have weights knocking around that’s better still but the use of body weight is still effective. Go back to the old fashioned push ups, sit-ups, burpees, if you have a bench (or you could even use your sofa) you can get your tricep dips in. And if you’re still missing the feeling of having a weight in your hands I’m sure you’ll having some heavy objects in your house? Tins of beans, bag of compost in the shed, bottles of water, I’m not sure what else but if any of you have any other creative suggestions then please comment & share. Another option would be to invest into a home suspension kit. I would highly recommend checking out FK Pro who provide top quality home body-weight suspension kits. Plus when all of this eventually blows over it’s a handy bit of kit to chuck into your travel bag when going on holiday :).
Heres’s a few fitness home workout suggestions:
Lucy Meklenburgh – Results with Lucy
Louise Thompson – Live like Louise
Nutrition is also fundamental to maintain muscle during periods of time off. In particular studies have researched the effects of muscle loss to athletes during injury and/or the off season. As you can imagine when athletes are injured it can be difficult to preserve muscle due to reduced activity or complete inactivity. Studies have therefore found that increasing protein during periods of muscular disuse can help to preserve muscle significantly. In particular Whey protein has been considered as the ‘gold standard’ protein supplement. This is because Whey protein contains all of the essential amino acids, such as leucine, which helps to stimulate muscle protein synthesis (Galvan et al., 2016). As we’ve mentioned before you can add a scoop of Buddha Fruit’s Whey protein Powder to lots of everyday foods such as porridge, smoothies, yoghurt, baked goods, mix with your cereal before pouring over your bowl of cereal etc. which is real simple way to boost your protein intake.
Fish oil supplementation, namely the fatty acids – Omega-3, found within these supplements have also been shown to help reduce the incidence of muscle loss during periods of disuse or reduced activity. Although the evidence is still unsure as to the optimal dosage it is apparent in the research that it can be beneficial (Magne et al, 2013). Ever-growing evidence is also beginning to suggest that a Vitamin D supplement can also help reduce the likelihood of severe muscle loss. Vitamin D is typically absorbed via natural sunlight but during the Winter months it can be difficult to acquire so a supplement can be recommended (Owens et al., 2018). Personally every winter I purchase my Vitman D3 tablets from health span elite as they are certified by Trusted by Sport , I’m by no means an athlete but Trusted by Sport basically checks that each and every batch isn’t contaminated with any other ingredients.
Hopefully some our our recommendations you will find useful during this uncertain time and if anyone has any other recommendations please comment and share your ideas below, thank you.
Cava. E., Yeat. N.C., Mittendorfer. B., (2016) Preserving Healthy Muscle during Weight Loss, REVIEW FROM ASN EB 2016 SYMPOSIUM
Galvan E., Arentson-Lanz. E., Lamon. S., Paddon-Jones. D., (2016) Protecting Skeletal Muscle with Protein and Amino Acid during periods of Disuse, Nutrients. 2016 Jul; 8(7): 404
Magne. H., Remond.D., Savary-Auzeloux., Dardevet. D., (2013) Nutritional Strategies to counteract muscle atrophy caused by disue and to improve recovery, Nutrition Research Reviews 26(02):1-17
Owens. D.J., Allison. R., Close. G., (2018) Vitamin D and the Athlete: Current Perspectives and New Challenges, Sports Medicine 48(Suppl 1): 3–16.