We All Lose Muscle Tone

Article excerpt

Q. I am an 80-year-old female and have never heard of a loss of muscle tone. Can you fill me in?

A. Muscle tone is what allows us to keep and maintain our bodies in certain positions. When you choose to make a particular movement, the brain sends a message to the specific muscle group involved to modify the resistance by, for example, shortening biceps muscles on the front of an arm while lengthening the triceps muscles on the back of the arm. In order to complete smooth, coordinated movement, all muscles being used must be balanced evenly. Everyone has muscles, but some people do specific exercises to improve their muscle tone.

Tone can be defined as the minute muscular contraction that exists in all skeletal muscles during relaxation. It is normal for people to lose about 1 percent of their lean muscle mass per year after the age of 40. Losing excess body fat, modifying the diet, and incorporating exercise into each day's activities can improve sagging skin.

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