Worried about getting bulky? Don’t be! It takes a TON of concentrated effort to bulk up (just ask a bodybuilder). Strength training and building muscle is important for so many reasons. One of those reasons is that building muscle increases your metabolism, and that means you burn more calories. Here are some other benefits of building muscle:
- Reduced risk of injury
- Improved balance
- Boosted self-esteem and confidence
- More energy
- Weight control/maintenance
- Increased strength
- More stamina and endurance
- Better sleep and mental health
The Importance Of Building Lean Muscle Mass As You Age
Sarcopenia is the name given to the natural process of muscle loss through ageing and happens to everyone from the moment they turn 30.
HOWEVER, you can do something about it.
Building lean muscle mass is the key to reversing this process.
FACT: People with sarcopenia are twice as likely to obtain a fracture when they fall.
SOLUTION! Nature may be looking to relieve you of as much as 5% of your muscle mass per year; but, with the right diet and exercise you can build lean muscle mass; or simply retain the amount you have.
It doesn’t matter how old you are, it’s not too late to start building muscle.
Reasons For Building Lean Muscle Mass
Building lean muscle mass means improving the amount of muscle in your body and keeping body-fat levels down.
The other parts of your body that make up your weight, such as organs and bones, are unlikely to fluctuate.
Building lean muscle mass is usually achieved through exercise, as pushing your muscles to their limits encourages small tears. As these heal, your body builds up stronger and healthier.
Reason # 1 – Long Term Health Benefits
As you age you will become more aware of your mortality. Unfortunately, aging is generally associated with less mobility and an increased likelihood of contracting a variety of chronic illnesses, such as coronary issues, diabetes and even cancer.
Building lean muscle mass will improve your circulation; a higher blood flow to all your organs will help them to remain healthy.
In addition, more muscle will help to undertake daily activities with confidence as your muscles are essential for every movement you make.
Muscles are also a critical part of your fight against diabetes. Your muscles store glycogen to have a readily available energy source when needed.
Glycogen comes from carbohydrates you consume.
Building lean muscle mass means your body can store more glycogen; preventing it from being turned into fat and helping to control the level of glucose, the natural form of glycogen, in your blood stream.
Excess glucose in your blood has been linked with increased insulin resistance and the onset of diabetes.
Reason # 2 – Strong Bones
Building lean muscle mass has been shown to improve the strength of your bones. Although your exercise is targeting your muscles you may be surprised at how it can affect your bones.
In fact, the material which makes up your bones is constantly being renewed. In general, the density of your bones will decrease with age; a lower BMD will equate to a higher chance of breaking a bone in a fall.
Research shows that the bones adapt to the pressures being placed onto your body.
The more resistance you place on your muscles, while building lean muscle mass, the stronger your bones will become.
Put simply, your bone and muscle will react to the demands you place on them.
Building lean muscle mass will improve your bone density, reduce the chances of osteoporosis and leave you less likely to be injured if you fall.
Reason # 3 – Decreased Fat
Muscles burn energy. In fact, they will burn 2 – 3 times as many calories as the same amount of fat.
The more muscle you have the more calories you will be able to burn and the less there will be in your body to convert to fat.
If you consume less calories than you need to burn daily then your body will actually convert your fat cells into energy and burn them instead.
Consequently, building lean muscle mass doesn’t just stop you adding fat, it will naturally help to decrease your body fat percentage.
Of course, you need to eat healthily to ensure your body has the nutrients it needs without excessive calories.
Reason # 4 – Increased Energy Levels
As soon as your muscle mass starts to increase and your fat levels drop you will notice you have more energy. Your body is ready and willing to undertake activities that you would not have contemplated just a few weeks before.
This is simply a result of your energy being used differently and your body being accustomed to moving.
It is possible to run around with your grandchildren as you used to do with your own children; you can still be the best grandparent on the block!
Reason # 5 – Confidence
A huge benefit of building lean muscle mass is that your body shape will change.
You will suddenly feel better and look better. It doesn’t matter if you are in your 50’ or even 60’s; you can look better than men in their 20’s.
This is becoming an increasingly common occurrence, seek to be the best that they can be.
The additional benefit of looking and feeling better is that your confidence will improve. You will suddenly feel capable of talking to anyone or doing anything; because you know your body as well as your mind is willing.
It doesn’t matter if you are looking for love again, a good time, or to undertake the challenge you never thought possible before.
By building your lean muscle mass you could even attempt to climb Everest; even at 60!