Confinement due to the COVID-19 Pandemic can cause an increase in sedentary lifestyle in older adults and, this lack of mobility, translates into less muscle mass, necessary to control blood glucose, produce movement, maintain postures, protect the joints and avoid falls.
Precisely, a person who, due to his own health condition, spends a long time in bed loses 1% of his bone mass per week. Hence the importance of stimulating mobility, through various exercises that can be performed at home, is using weights and garters.
According to Geovanny Garita, director of the Physiotherapy career at the University Of Medical Sciences (UCIMED), today more than ever it is necessary to promote mobility, mainly in older adults.
“After age 40 and as part of a natural aging process, the body begins to lose muscle mass and it is important to regain it, to prevent our muscles from atrophying and losing blood supply, stability, strength and speed,” said the expert.
Another of the great benefits of maintaining or increasing muscle mass and perhaps one of the most important is the possibility of preventing diabetes and this occurs thanks to the insulin receptor membranes, which are found in the muscles.
“By increasing our muscle mass, we increase GLUT 4 receptors, which receive insulin and introduce sugar into the muscle, preventing it from accumulating in the blood and serving as a source of energy for the body. It has been shown that the best way to generate this effect are interval exercises (with changes in intensity)”, Garita explained.
Not an obstacle
Confinement should not be an obstacle to exercise and at the discretion of the race director, there are many exercises that can be performed at home, even for bedridden patients. “Recovering muscle mass, after spending many days without mobilizing, implies a progressive work, through resistance exercises that allow us to subject our muscle fibers to certain loads, while we work our cardiovascular part and ensure better functionality,” emphasized the expert.
Increase in muscle mass in people who suffered from COVID-19
Even for those Covid-19 patients, who were hospitalized, it is key to undergo a process to increase the muscle mass they lost due to lack of mobility. For this, Garita indicated that all exercises must be supervised by an expert and this physical work must be complemented with a healthy diet, which includes proteins.
“It is necessary to take into account that another reason why we lose muscle mass is when a cast should be used. In this case, the person loses between 20% and 30% of their muscle mass, so undergoing a recovery process is essential”, he added. According to the expert, muscles are necessary to maintain muscle temperature and reduce body fat levels.