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Guest posted a topic in Health & Medicine's TopicsWorking out the muscles on one side of our bodies can keep the muscles on the other side fit, even if we do not move them at all. By Gretchen Reynolds May 16, 2018 If you sprain an ankle or break a wrist this summer and cannot use one of your limbs, the muscles there will weaken and shrink — unless you exercise those same muscles in your other limb. According to a fascinating new study, working out the muscles on one side of our bodies can keep the muscles on the other side strong and fit, even if we do not move them at all. The finding has implications for injury recovery and also underscores how capable and confounding our bodies can be. Many of us — or a family member — will at some point break a bone, tear a ligament or experience a neurological problem such as a stroke that makes it impossible to move an arm or leg normally. When that limb is immobilized, its muscles will atrophy, losing size and strength, a process that begins within days or even hours of an injury. There have been hints, though, that exercising one limb can affect the other. In past studies, when someone pedals a bike with one leg or lifts weights with one arm, muscles in the other limb often contract, a development known as mirroring. But in most of those experiments, the unused limb was not completely immobilized with a cast and scientists did not focus on specific muscles, making it difficult to know whether exercising certain muscles in one limb affects all muscles in the other or only some. Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/16/well/move/exercise-sports-injury-arm-leg-broken-strain-sprain.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fhealth&action=click&contentCollection=health&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=2&pgtype=sectionfront