Building Muscle Is For Everyone!

It takes resistance to build muscle. Cardio exercises alone won’t build muscle. If you think that strength training and building muscle are only for athletes and body builders, think again!

Here are just some of the very direct benefits of building muscle for the average person. Doing some form of strength training just 2 times a week can move you in the right direction to improve your health and even look and feel much younger. Look at this list of what building muscle does in your body and you may decide to get started today!

…Skeletal muscle is metabolically active. Build it and it will burn more calories throughout the day. Work it hard and it will require more energy during the recovery process. It is not rocket science; it just takes strength training with effort.

Building and strengthening skeletal muscle fortifies the bones, ligaments, and tendons. This will minimize the risk of injury that can occur in sport competition, training, getting out of your car, or playing with your kids…

…Skeletal muscle helps you live longer. A study from Tufts University found the more muscle you have the better your chances of a longer life. More than either blood pressure or cholesterol, muscle was determined to be the top biomarker for longevity.

More skeletal muscle means more insulin receptor sites. More insulin receptors means it’s easier for your body to minimize fat and stay lean.

Skeletal muscle can improve your posture. Having the strength to hold good posture can help other things, as well – it can help with chronic pain due to sciatica and other back ailments.

Skeletal muscle makes everyday activities easier. Becoming stronger and building muscle gives you a fighting chance each day when you must lift, bend, and stretch. Also, you’re better able to fight fatigue with more stamina.

Combat sarcopenia by strength training. Sarcopenia is the age-related loss of muscle tissue. The harsh reality is we lose muscle mass as we age, up to 50% between the ages of 20 and 90. Additionally, menopausal women between the ages 40 and 50 will lose 1% of their muscle mass each year, and replace the lost muscle with fat. Not a desirable option. – via Breaking Muscle

Two Big Health Factors Improved By Muscle

You can see that building muscle effects many of your body systems and impacts your experience of living in tangible ways. Here’s a deeper look at two of the most important ways that muscle improves your health, every time!

Muscle Helps Control Blood Sugar

Strength training and sufficient sleep and dietary protein increases the size of type II muscle fibers. These fibers store carbohydrate, or sugar. More type II muscle fiber density translates to more storage space for carbohydrates.

“More than one third of the population has prediabetes, yet only one in ten of those who have it, know they have it.[v] If that’s not bad enough, the growth of full-blown diabetes is expected to rise 64% from 2010 to 2025.[vi]”

This isn’t a concern only for those who are overweight. Seemingly healthy or thin individuals often develop blood sugar problems from poor nutrition, sedentary lifestyles and a lack of resistance training as well. We even see it in those who are avid runners, but who disregard the importance of resistance training or eat excessive levels of carbohydrates.

Elevated blood sugar increases the presence of advanced glycation end-products (AGEs), which are associated with cancer.[vii] There’s also indication elevated blood sugar levels can lead to other degenerative diseases like dementia or Alzheimer’s, and, of course, heart disease.

Insulin resistance develops when the body’s blood sugar levels stay elevated for a prolonged period of time. The only two places sugar is stored is in the liver and muscle. The liver has a small capacity. Muscle has a limited capacity as well, but you can build more muscle, creating more storage space for blood sugar. Insulin resistance and diabetes can increase the rate of muscle loss, more than being sedentary alone.

Part of the reason people experience a rise in blood sugar as they age is from the loss of muscle. It doesn’t have to be that way. Or it at least doesn’t have to be that extreme.

Big muscles = big carbohydrate storage tanks.

Building Muscle Usually Builds Bone Too

Bone density is often a topic discussed more with women than men. Five times as many women as men end up with osteoporosis. According to the CDC, 2% of men and 10% of women have osteoporosis of the hip in the United States.[viii]

Calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D and K supplementation have been shown to help maintain bone density, but supplementation alone is not enough to maintain bone density. The body must consistently be stimulated with outside resistance to maximize bone density. Like muscles, when bones don’t encounter heavy resistance, their density decreases.

Another bone or joint-related issue with aging is arthritis. Because of the pain often associated with arthritis, many people refrain from activity and resistance training. However, increasing lean body mass can actually help to improve some forms of arthritis.[ix]

Strong muscles almost always translate to strong bones.
– via Life Time Training

Is strength training a part of your get in shape program? Will you consider adding strength training to help you build more muscle?

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