February 21st, 2023
Muscle is widely considered the longevity organ—and there are more than a few reasons for this! It’s not all about looking fit and strong. So, let’s dig into this a bit more. Why should building muscle be your number one goal when working out?
5 Benefits of Having More Muscle
In modern society, many of us have much less muscle than our ancestors did. Undeniably, technology has enabled us to become more sedentary and has allowed machines to do countless jobs that humans once did.
However, the human body hasn’t exactly evolved along with the technological revolution and still benefit from adequate muscle mass. Here’s why:
1. Muscle acts like armour for your bones and joints
Having sufficient muscle mass helps increase bone density. This is because it pulls on the ligaments and tendons of the body, which stimulates and yields a higher bone density.
Muscle can also reduce and absorb shock in the body, which lowers your risk of bone injuries or fractures.
2. Muscle lowers your perceived exertion
Adequate strength makes physical tasks and activities (such as rearranging your furniture or simply unloading groceries from your car) easier, lowering what we call your perceived level of exertion goes way down. This can drastically improve your quality of life and help you have energy for other activities or hobbies you enjoy.
3. Muscle enhances immune system function
Muscle is the number one storage spot for glutamine, an amino acid that has an invaluable role in immune function. This means that the more muscle you have, the more glutamate your body can store, and the stronger your immune system will be.
Muscle also makes you more resilient when you do get sick since you have that extra muscle storage and fuel!
4. Muscle upregulates your metabolism
Metabolism drops at 60 years of age (not earlier as previously thought!) Muscle mass can help slow, or even prevent, this decline because it raises your resting metabolic rate, meaning you burn more calories at rest.
More muscle also means you have less adipose tissue, decreased health risks, improved quality of life, and enhanced longevity.
5. Muscle improves your body shape
Muscle creates a “toned” appearance, lifts up the glutes and pecs, and even improves posture.
How To Build More Muscle
Building muscle doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are a few simple tips to get you started:
- Aim to perform strength training 2- 4 times per week.
- Focus on simple compound movements (which are movements that use more than one muscle group) such as squats, lunges, deadlifts, push-ups, and pull-ups.
- Don’t skip the core work; a strong core is critical and will prevent back pain.
- Eat more protein! It forms the building blocks of our muscles and most people don’t eat enough of it.
- Prioritizing sleep. Muscles repair and rebuild while we sleep, so it’s critical that you get enough of it if you want to build muscle.
If you’d like some help on the journey, we’ve got you. We work with many older adults looking to begin strength training for the first time (as well as many seasoned pros!). Our in-home personal trainers or virtual personal trainers (whatever feels most comfortable for you!) can create a plan that makes sense for you, hold you accountable, offer support, and ensure you perform all of your exercises safely and effectively.
Looking for an at-home personal trainer in Toronto? Have you been searching for a “personal trainer near me”? Look no further! Our team at Nielsen Fitness is here for you. Contact us today to get started!