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In the exercise community it seems that most people have the goal of losing fat and if they are losing fat they are succeeding. However, in the terms of muscle if they are losing, their muscles are undergoing atrophy and in turn they are not succeeding.  Atrophy is simply defined as the wasting away and losing of muscle in the body.  There are two separate ways for the body to undergo atrophy. One way is because of a neurogenic disease and the other is because of disuse (UMMC).  

People with sedentary jobs and senior citizens with decreased activity can lose muscle tone and develop significant atrophy.  For individuals in the disuse category they can gain muscle (hypertrophy) by beginning a weight lifting program and stop extra onset of atrophy.  

As common sense would say an individual with muscle atrophy finds it more difficult to carry on daily activities because of their decreased amount of muscle than a stronger individual.  

Atrophy can occur after only a few days of disuse.  It is best to always keep resistance training in an individuals exercise program to prevent muscle atrophy.  So those with sedentary jobs and those who are decreasing their activity make sure to add in a resistance training program to prevent your muscles from wasting away.  

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