According to a recent article in The British publication The Economic Times, a group of researchers at McMaster University have a win-win proposal for myotonic dystrophy (MD) patients. Eleven people were included in the McMaster study. The study found that thirty-five minutes of cycling three times each week for twelve weeks can increase a person’s muscle mass by 1.6 kg with a two percent reduction in body fat.
About Myotonic Dystrophy (MD)
Considering the severity of MD, the team’s findings are especially welcomed. MD is a genetic disorder that causes muscle weakness. Patients have myotonia (severe muscle contractions), skeletal muscle atrophy, and difficulty in relaxing their muscles.
Muscle atrophy is the actual shrinking of muscles often caused by inactivity. Other symptoms include:
- Problems with balance
- Reduced lung capacity
- Slurred speech
- Abnormal heartbeat
- Hazy vision (cataracts)
The final result of the McMaster study was that cycling caused a thirty-two percent increase in overall fitness in MD participants.
Time to Revise a Hypothesis
Most importantly, the McMaster team reported that some doctors advise their MD patients not to exercise fearing that their condition can get worse. The McMaster study shows that this advice is incorrect.