When we talk about building muscle, the chances are you’ll picture muscle-bound jocks pumping iron in front of wall-sized mirrors. It’s easy to train ourselves to believe that we don’t need to build muscle mass and that it’s only for people who fit a certain stereotype, but the act of increasing our strength and endurance is not something reserved solely for gym buffs. It’s important to realise that building muscle is beneficial to everyone, no matter the gender, body type, or lifestyle. Considering this, I have put together some of the best reasons for the average person to gain muscle mass to help convince you to start on this fitness journey.
#1 Counteract natural muscle loss
First of all, as we get older, we naturally experience muscle loss or sarcopenia due to changes in our body’s natural growth signals. This causes our bodies to slow down on using proteins for muscle gain, and without sufficient muscle to begin with, can leave us feeling frail and weak. Building up healthy muscles before old age can help us to prolong our physicality and keep us active and healthier. This muscle loss can also be exacerbated by poor diet and reduced appetite. Try to maintain a healthy relationship with food and aim to eat your recommended daily calories and a balanced healthful plant-based diet.
#2 Manage blood glucose levels
It’s now known that there is a strong relationship between building muscle mass and type 2 diabetes, in that it actually reduces your risk of developing this disease. As well as having an increased chance of resisting diabetes, exercise has been proven to assist in the improvement of the health of those with diabetes as it helps glucose delivery to our muscle cells. This is due to the fact that our muscles will send signals for glucose replenishment after exertion, where they’ve depleted their energy reserved. If diabetes runs in your family, it would be incredibly beneficial for you to consider gaining muscle mass as a preventative measure.
#3 Strengthen bones and reduce arthritis risk
Studies have shown that building muscle can actually help to decrease bone loss and in some cases, rebuild bone. The strenuousness of strength training in which stress is enacted on our bones can activate bone-forming cells, improving their density and strength. Building lean muscle helps to reduce our chances of fracturing our bones and provides us with general strength and stability all around. This can also help with reducing symptoms from illnesses such as osteoporosis too. Visit Ingredient Optimized for more information on lean muscle and discover even more benefits to building muscle mass, as well as some handy tips for doing so.
#4 Boost metabolism
As we increase our muscle mass, this, in turn, improves our metabolism, assisting our ability to burn off calories, which is especially good due to having an increased caloric intake. If you’re solely working on cardio to burn off fat, it’s highly recommended to add some form of weight training to your regime. Our metabolic rate, especially our resting one is a constant source of concern for those looking to lose weight and cut down their body fat. It’s commonly assumed that weight training is going to slow that weight loss as you’ll be adding weight in muscle, however, first of all, that’s a healthy weight to have, and second, an increased metabolism from strength training will help you reduce your body fat in the long run.
#5 Confidence boost
Gaining muscle doesn’t only come with physical health benefits. It also has a positive impact on our mental health too. As mentioned earlier, a common reason for people to be gaining muscle is to look good. There’s a common phrase that you may have heard and that is “if you look good, you feel good,” and this holds true with building muscle. Mental health illnesses like depression and anxiety can be helped when we feel good about ourselves, and not only does looking good help, but knowing that we’re doing something healthy with our bodies does too. As well as being physically healthy, our brains release powerful chemicals called endorphins which cause us to feel good and help us to remain motivated and energized.
#6 Stronger core and balance
Building all-round strength in our bodies will benefit many aspects of your physique, and one of these will be your balance. With weaker muscles, bones, and joints, we can often feel off-balance and unsteady. In fact, a lot of this poor balance will be a result of having a weaker core. Your core is literally the muscles that make up your torso and abdomen, including your pelvic floor, obliques, abs, your diaphragm and your hips. Improving these core muscles is so important in our lives, and to do this you should be doing exercises such as planks, press-ups, sit-ups and crunches which are perfect for improving stability and boosting balance. When working out, try not to forget about these essential exercises as you’ll find that a weak core will bring with it many disadvantages to you in numerous aspects of your life.