One of the many side effects of living in our modern world is that we spend a lot of time sitting. You might work at a desk all day, or even drive to work and sit during your commute. The upshot? You don’t exercise as much, and your muscles weaken gradually over the course of time. Your body adapts to its new way of doing things by producing less energy than it needs to maintain muscle strength and function, leading to general muscle weakness and fatigue.
The result is that you start to lose your physical capacity, even if you’re not necessarily overweight. You move slower and tire out more quickly than before, as well as having a harder time building up your endurance and stamina. What’s more, the reduced muscle mass can cause premature aging with all its attendant risks.
Still, don’t lose heart! There are simple solutions to reversing the effects of inactivity and weak muscles, starting with these 6 steps.
But first, let’s define what muscle weakness is and explain why muscle weakness and fatigue happen.
What is Muscle Weakness?
Muscle is made up of long chains of protein molecules that are attached to bundles called “fibers.” The act of muscle contraction uses energy from your body’s metabolism to move the fibers according to a command provided by nerve cells in the brain.
The result is that you can lift a weight with your muscles, like with free weights at the gym when you work out or down an incline on a stair-climbing machine.
When you lift heavy things, your muscles can get really strong, but if you don’t use them often enough and don’t do some resistance training exercises, then they eventually become weak and lose their ability to contract properly, leading to muscle weakness and/or fatigue.
Why Do Muscle Weakness and Fatigue Happen?
Why does it happen? Here are some of the most common reasons:
- An inactive lifestyle: If you don’t exercise, your muscles will eventually lose the ability to contract properly because they aren’t used enough anymore.
- The way your muscle fibers work: When they become weak and tired, they lose their ability to react optimally in a dynamic way that’s needed when exercising.
- Getting old: Muscle weakness and fatigue can also happen if you get older, but the good news is that the effects of a sedentary lifestyle are cumulative, so even if you’re middle-aged, you can still exercise to reverse the process.
What To Do About Muscle Weakness and Fatigue?
Whichever reason is at play, the best solution is the same: You need to exercise.
The most important thing you can do to cure muscle weakness and fatigue, whether it’s from inactivity or aging, is to start doing some resistance training exercises that target your muscles but don’t put too much stress on them.
Let’s take an in-depth look at what to do about muscle weakness and fatigue.
1) Strength Training
Working out with weights is one of the most efficient ways to build up muscle strength and stamina again – even for those of us who haven’t done much in the way of physical activity for years. This is because strength training helps to increase your number of muscle fibers, which will then cause the adjacent muscles to become stronger as well.
Strength training also helps us burn more calories during our daily activities. That’s because the harder we work, the more oxygen we need for our muscle cells to function properly. This means that we have to breathe harder to maintain the same speed and endurance in activities such as running or biking – which means that we burn more calories than normal (and thus lose weight!).
2) Increase Your Daily Activity Level
When you’re recovering from an injury or illness, you may naturally cut down on your physical activity level, as much of your energy is dedicated towards recovery. While this makes sense at first, it’s important to get back to more of your regular activity as soon as you can.
This is particularly relevant if you’ve lost muscle strength or endurance due to long-term ailments or physical inactivity. Any time we lose one of our body’s abilities, it will be harder to use that particular part of our body in the future – so the more often we train our muscles during recovery, the stronger they’ll become, and the easier they’ll be able to assist us with daily activities.
3) Rest and Recover
The last thing you want to do when recovering from an injury or illness is to be overly active, as this can lead to overuse injuries. So how much rest should you give yourself? It really depends on the injury and the kind of activity that’s being done.
If it’s an acute injury or illness, then you can give yourself a day or two off from any physical activities in order to rest your body and recover completely.
Of course, this can vary depending on the injury and its severity. If you’re just out of an acute illness or injury and are still experiencing some fatigue or weakness in your muscles, then it’s also a good idea to find a more conservative way of approaching things.
For instance, you should give your body a rest from regular exercise to avoid overuse injuries. No matter what kind of activity you do regularly, it pays to take time off in order to give yourself the optimal amount of rest and recovery between sessions.
4) Do Yoga
Yoga is a great way to bring muscle weakness and fatigue under control. The practice of yoga encourages a balanced, healthy relationship between your mind and body.
Yoga is made up of many different types of practices that help you on your journey towards greater physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.
One of the primary effects of yoga on muscle weakness and fatigue is that it helps you to relax your body so that your muscles can respond naturally to exercise or daily activity. This happens in with:
The breathing exercises in yoga teach you how to properly absorb oxygen into your muscles so that they have more energy for exercise and activities.
5) Improve Your Diet
Many people are surprised when they learn that muscle weakness and fatigue can be caused by a poor diet. Obviously, your diet plays a big role in your overall physical health, but it also has a huge impact on how well your muscles function, and as such, how strong they’ll be.
The best way to improve muscle weakness and fatigue from a poor diet is to eat more protein. Protein is what keeps your muscles strong, so eating more of it will help you to build up those muscle fibers that you’ve lost over the years.
It’s also important to make sure that the protein you eat doesn’t come from sources that are likely to contain too much fat or sugar (as this can lead to blood sugar spikes that don’t release energy effectively).
6) Get Physical Therapy
If you’ve been injured or sick for a long period of time, then it’s a good idea to consult a physical therapist. The best way to treat injuries after an illness is to get physical therapy so that you can work on your weaknesses and regain your muscle strength.
Getting physical therapy is definitely one of the best ways to combat muscle weakness and fatigue caused by inactivity or injury.
Physical therapists are skilled at working with people who have physical limitations and are looking to correct those shortcomings. They use manual therapy combined with exercises (that target the specific area where the problem usually lies) as well as electrical stimulation in order to help reduce symptoms of muscle weakness and fatigue.
Muscle weakness and fatigue can occur for many different reasons, including reduced exercise output or decreased physical activity.
However, thanks to the above-mentioned ways, you can easily combat muscle weakness and fatigue from any cause in a very effective way.
You should consult a doctor if your symptoms are continuing to persist longer than a few weeks or have started affecting your day-to-day activities.
If you’ve been physically inactive for long periods of time or have suffered from a chronic illness such as an injury or illness, then it’s essential that you work towards recovery as soon as possible and make sure that you’re exercising regularly so that your muscles are fully rehabilitated.
Also, one of the most common pain happens because of running, check the article below to learn what to do about it:
5 Eye-Opening Ways To Treat Shin Pain While Running
Thank you for reading.
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