Muscles and Your Health

When it comes to working out people do it for all sorts of reasons, but most fall into two categories: to look good or improve their health. Those that want to look good concentrate their efforts on muscle growth, and understandably so because a lean looking body is attractive to the opposite sex. Afterall, muscles can be a talking point as this amusing Arnold Schwarzenegger quote suggests: “I just use my muscles as a conversation piece, like someone walking a cheetah down 42nd Street.”

However, what most people working out for health don’t know is that increasing muscle mass should be just as much a priority for them as it is for the guys trying to look good. That’s because bigger muscles have a variety of health related benefits. As Web MD explains, including strength training into your fitness program is essential.

Increase Your Lifespan

People nowadays are looking for all sorts of ways to defy the laws of nature by making themselves look younger, and are even willing to do anything they can to live longer. What if were as simple as increasing your muscle mass? This Tufts University study shows that by increasing your muscle mass you’ll actually live longer.

In fact it was deemed that muscle mass is a more important biomarker than cholesterol or blood pressure with relation to the lifespan. Now for those health conscious workout fanatics out there…. Are you listening ? If living longer due to bigger muscles is not getting your attention then nothing will.

Posture Improvements

Good posture is a very important aspect of having good health. As Spark People explains, poor posture leads to back and neck pain, reduction in range of motion, more injury prone and a hunched back. Looking after your posture will improve the quality of your life in the later years.

Australian Health Reviews suggests that increase in muscle mass can do wonders for your posture, and therefore your back. It goes without saying that to get the biggest improvements in posture you need to increase your upper body muscle mass – more specifically your back muscles. Muscle & Fitness suggests that the best workouts for your back are: pull-ups/chin-ups, deadlifts, seated rows, back extensions and external rotations. All of these exercises work other muscle groups in addition to your back. In fact it’s rare to find an exercise that works your back only, so don’t worry about having to target your back muscles specifically.

Turbo Charged Fat Loss

Losing weight for a lot of people is the number one roadblock to achieving better health. Obesity is actually a well-known epidemic in the western world. Increased muscles mass can aid with the fat loss process in two ways as suggests.

Firstly, the speed of the metabolism is in part related to how big your muscle mass is. More muscles means your body needs to use more energy to provide nutrients for the muscles and so more fat is burnt.

Secondly, with increases in muscle mass come increases in the number of insulin sites. Consequently, your body is able to get rid of fat in a more efficient manner. Therefore you won’t have to work as hard as you once did to burn off fat, and that’s certainly something most people could benefit from.

Bigger Muscles Doesn’t Necessarily Mean Healthier

As you have read there are clear health benefits to be had from bigger muscles.  However the manner in which you receive those gains is very important. Some guys depend on artificial means of proteins such as supplements which is not going to do your health any good. Others dehydrate their skin in order to have a tighter look, and that’s done by consuming an excessive amount of caffeine. A ripped guy with the most incredible muscles you have seen might look great but on the inside he could be suffering from low hormones, dehydration and high inflammation as Fox News reports.

Here are 3 things you must do to gain muscles without compromising on certain aspects of your health:

  1. Rest: it’s important for your body to get adequate rest because that’s when your muscles receive the nutrients for repair and growth. Denying your muscles rest and nutrients will impede their growth and have a detrimental effect on your health.
  2. Eat toxin-free natural food: anything that you eat needs to be as natural as possible. So the way to go is organic red meats such as beef, organic fruit and veg, and fish. Avoid getting your nutrients and protein from supplements or shakes – that won’t cut it.
  3. Include intense cardio: A lot of people have figured out that you don’t need much cardio to get big muscles. However, there is a problem with that approach because to get the maximum health benefits from working out you need both cardio and strength training. Just make sure you perform each on separate days so both can have equal amounts of attention as suggests.

Muscle Growth Takes Time

A lot of people try to rush the process of building up their muscles, but that’s not going to happen any time soon. By nature’s own design muscle growth is not a rapid process as this Built Lean article explains. It says that muscle hypertrophy is a slow process for most people.

Therefore don’t get frustrated if you don’t see the results you want in a short period of time. One of the worst things you can do for your health is to make attempts at changing your body too quickly. Remember your body is used to the way it is. Therefore, when changes are made all parts of the body are affected. Giving your body an opportunity to get progressively used to the changes is certainly the way to go.

Now that you understand the importance of building up muscle to become healthier add strength training to your workouts – it’s a no-brainer.



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