Social distancing has made going to the gym regularly tricky and a risk in itself. This is why at-home workouts are becoming the new normal for many fitness enthusiasts. Not only is it more convenient, but people can exercise in their own privacy and save a buck while doing so. The future of fitness is changing. Muscle stimulators like the LOOKEE® Arm Workout EMS Exerciser show that no matter where you are, who you are, or how old you are, you can build muscle and achieve your body goals.
What Does It Take To Build Muscle?
Muscle is built through the process of muscle hypertrophy. In other words, this process occurs when a muscle in the body is continually required to endure higher and higher levels of stress and resistance. During a work-out, the muscle being trained will experience a certain amount of stress which triggers the process of hypertrophy. Once the muscle fibers are damaged, the body will fuse them together in an effort to repair them. As this is done repetitively, it leads to an increase in the mass and size of the muscle.
Muscle growth is dependent on a number of factors. An individual's genetics and hormones can affect how rapidly they gain muscle mass. However, regardless of body type, age, or gender, effective muscle growth is dependent on three factors:
- Consistency - Muscles need to be trained consistently in order to develop over time.
- Stress - Muscles need to experience a challenging amount of stress/ resistance to initiate the process of muscle hypertrophy.
- Long-term - Results are not instantaneous. Muscle growth is achieved through consistent training with sufficient stress over a long period of time.
Muscle Development & Diet
While regular exercise plays an essential role in building muscle, a proper diet cannot be overlooked. As the saying goes, a dream physique is 20% exercise and 80% diet. Hence, the million-dollar question arises; is nutrition more important than exercise when it comes to muscle development? The human body cannot form muscle tissue by itself, and this is where eating right and portion control comes into play. Supplying the body with an adequate amount of protein and overall calories will lead to an increase in muscle mass. Studies have shown that trying to build muscle while eating too little and getting an insufficient supply of protein can lead to the loss of muscle tissue.
When it comes to eating right to assist with muscle development, here are the two main factors that need to be considered:
- The body needs to be supplied with the correct amount of calories each day.
- An adequate supply of protein is necessary to rebuild muscle tissue after it has been broken down.
Eat too many calories without enough protein, and this will result in weight gain as opposed to muscle growth. Eat too much protein and not enough calories, and the body will not be supplied with adequate energy to exercise properly, thus inhibiting muscle development.
3 Myths Around Aging & Exercise
- Myth 1: Your bones will shrink and snap as you get older.
- Truth: Not if you look after them.
- Inactivity can cause a number of health threats. Osteoporosis (the thinning of bone tissue) is one of them. By remaining active and keeping the muscles engaged, osteoporosis can be prevented.
- Myth 2: You lose the energy to exercise as you age.
- Truth: The more active you are, the more stamina and endurance you have.
- Being active in old age also means decreasing the symptoms of health conditions that cause restlessness and fatigue.
- Myth 3: It gets more dangerous to exercise as we age.
- Truth: No exercise is dangerous if it is done correctly. Being inactive is more dangerous than being overactive.
- As mentioned previously, strenuous exercise that pushes seniors past their limits can result in injury. But when age-appropriate exercises are done consistently and gradually, they outweigh the risks and actually bring many health benefits.
Muscle Development & Aging
As individuals get older, exercise and physical well-being seems to get put on the back burner. Most adults feel so overwhelmed by their daily work and family responsibilities that maintaining their health is no longer a priority. While exercise may feel unnecessary, its ability to help deal with age-old ailments has been severely underestimated.
Studies have proven that regular exercise can prevent health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure, but what benefits does regular muscle training have to offer? Older adults often experience low energy and increased fragility. They encounter difficulties when required to perform strenuous tasks such as walking long distances or carrying heavy objects. While this is partly due to aging, the main resulting factor is a loss in muscle mass.
Strength training is the best solution to combating weakness and preserving energy levels when done consistently. It doesn't stop there. Strength training assists with alleviating symptoms of diseases and chronic conditions such as arthritis, osteoarthritis, back pain, and osteoporosis.
Building Muscle In Old Age
Older adults can build muscle without exerting too much stress on their bodies. The LOOKEE® Arm Workout EMS Exerciser engages all four arm muscle groups without having to spend hours at the gym. By sending low-frequency electric impulses to activate & relax muscles, the EMS Exerciser mimics the human body's natural muscle contraction signals, resulting in an effective workout. Furthermore, the device massages and relaxes muscles following a workout by stimulating blood circulation and preventing the build-up of lactic acid.
It is important to consider that performing harsh exercises can lead to unnecessary strain and possible injury. Older adults should try to follow age-appropriate exercise plans if they can. They should only be as active as their physical limitations allow them to, bearing in mind that improving their strength is a gradual process.
Simple exercises such as wall push-ups, assisted sit-ups, and knee planks are great for engaging different muscle groups while still keeping them protected. Many seniors find that performing exercises such as yoga and aquarobics not only helps keep their muscles active, but assists in improving their overall mood and energy levels.
Electrical Muscle Stimulators To Rejuvenate Muscle Health
Muscle stimulators are FDA-approved devices used to firm, tone, and strengthen muscle. They are often used by seniors and older adults who want to maintain muscle health without engaging in strenuous and potentially harmful physical exercises such as weightlifting. However, that isn't to say that muscle stimulators are not as effective. Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS) machines are used by athletes to forcefully contract muscles and specific muscle groups through electrical impulses, helping them achieve better results in a shorter amount of time.
Conventional muscle contraction through exercise is caused by the brain sending signals via the body's peripheral nervous system. These signals are transported to nerves that are directly over a specific muscle group, and it results in muscle activation. EMS devices help individuals achieve the same result with half as much work.
Through the use of gel pads or handheld devices, they send timed electrical impulses to contract muscles the same way the brain would. EMS assists in achieving the same goal as working out in the gym – muscle activation. The main point is that if a muscle is activated consistently and put under a sufficient amount of stress during a training period, the end result is an effective workout that leads to improved strength.
Using Electrical Muscle Stimulation To Stay Fit
There are a number of EMS devices that target different muscle groups. The LOOKEE® Arm Workout EMS Exerciser, for instance, works on all four muscle groups in the arm, including the hands. By switching the device on and following the exercises for just 15 minutes a day, older adults will begin strengthening their triceps, biceps, shoulders, and forearm muscles.
A study published by the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health focused on the impact of EMS in treating patients suffering from the early onset of Parkinson's disease. Parkinson's is a debilitating disease that affects an individual's motor skills and sense of coordination due to the death of brain cells responsible for muscle movement.
The study investigated how effective EMS devices would be when used as training tools to help maintain physical independence and self-sufficiency. The findings showed that EMS was successful in acting as a catalyst for strength improvements through neuromuscular adaptations, intermuscular coordination, and increased muscle mass. More so, the device assisted in controlling physiological factors that were responsible for the progression of the disease. It was concluded that EMS increased the physical strength and endurance of patients affected by Parkinson's.
With many seniors unable to access gyms or join clubs to stay active due to social distancing and safety risks, EMS muscle stimulators are the next best thing. Seniors who are already active can use the device as a muscle builder that allows them to get the most out of their workout.
6 Reasons Why EMS Training is Better than Gym Workouts
- Building Muscle Has Never Been This Convenient
- EMS devices are more often than not portable and require very little effort to use. By using the device for a few minutes daily, seniors can reap the same benefits they would when attending a gym without paying for an expensive membership.
- No Safety Risks or Side Effects.
- Lifting heavy weights can lead to potential injuries and unnecessary joint strain, especially in older adults. EMS devices stimulate muscle growth safely through the use of electrical impulses. EMS devices that have been FDA approved are guaranteed to have no adverse effects or health risks when used.
- Activate Entire Muscle Groups
- Many fitness enthusiasts place emphasis on maintaining the correct form when working out. This is because when done incorrectly, certain exercises do not activate the targeted muscle group. EMS devices can activate up to 92% of a muscle's potential with each contraction, compared to conventional workouts, which only activate 30%.
- More Effective Than Weight Training
- Research has shown that consistent use of EMS muscle stimulators achieves quicker results than traditional weight training. This is due to deeper muscle activation without the need for long recovery periods. EMS works more effectively for older adults as they are looking to maintain muscle strength as opposed to younger adults who are more active and are looking to improve muscle mass.
- It Can Be Used To Facilitate Recovery
- Not only can EMS devices ensure that a muscle is activated, but they can also assist in healing aches and pains during recovery periods. Many come with settings that allow for muscle relaxation, ensuring that the muscle is healed before it is activated again.
EMS & Muscle Recovery
Recovery periods are just as crucial for muscle development as the actual exercises are. This is because during recovery, the body replenishes its energy stores, and the targeted muscle group is given sufficient time to adapt to the stress that it has just undergone, i.e., allow the damaged muscle tissues to repair themselves. If a muscle is not given sufficient rest, it is not given a chance to adapt and recover, which can inhibit its growth. There is also the added risk of injuring the muscle by constantly putting it under stress without allowing it to heal correctly.
EMS training sessions require significantly shorter recovery periods than traditional strength training exercises. An added bonus is that many devices soothe aches and pains by stimulating blood circulation and reducing the buildup of lactic acid. The FDA has also approved the use of electrical muscle stimulators to treat medical conditions such as muscle injuries. These devices are becoming more and more popular in postoperative care, muscle rehabilitation, and relaxation, ensuring that they are fully functional and strong enough to get through any daily challenges.
Muscle tissue changes with aging:
Electrical Muscle Stimulation Increased Strength, Endurance:
A Single Session of Whole-Body Electromyostimulation Increases Muscle Strength, Endurance and proNGF in Early Parkinson Patients:
How to Get Fit Using Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS) https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-to-get-fit-using-electrical-muscle-stimulation-ems/
5 Reasons EMS training is better than gym:
8 Signs and Symptoms of Protein Deficiency:
What You Should Know About Building Muscle Mass and Tone:
How to build muscle with exercise:
4 Keys to Strength Building and Muscle Mass:
Eat to Gain Muscle-The Role Food Plays in Strength Training:
Growing Stronger - Strength Training for Older Adults: