The Benefits of Building Muscle Mass
Written by Linda Doyle, Personal Trainer.
Throughout my career as a personal fitness trainer, I have heard women say numerous times “I want to lose weight, but I do not want to build muscle”. Honestly, this statement always baffles me. What I hear them saying is they want to lose weight by losing muscle, making themselves smaller and unhealthier. This does not sound like an appealing fitness plan to me. Let me explain a few interesting points about weight loss and building muscles.
The Latest Research
- Every ten years, healthy adults lose muscle mass, which is replaced with fat.
- Losing muscle mass accelerates the aging process. It also underlies a host of conditions we tend to associate with “getting old”.
- Building muscle provides many health benefits and may actually slow down the aging process.
- Your muscles have an effect on your hormones, metabolism and immune system.
- Age-related muscle decline also makes us prone to preventable illnesses like osteoporosis and diabetes.
The Muscular Systems
The muscular system’s main purpose is “movement”, both voluntary and involuntary. We have three muscle groups in our body: skeletal, cardiac and visceral. Skeletal muscles are used for our voluntary movements, allowing us to move, walk, bend and lift… all physical actions. Cardiac muscles are the heart muscles. The heart takes hormones and signals from the brain to pump blood throughout the body. The cardiac muscles are involuntary movements, which creates a natural pacemaker for our hearts. Lastly, visceral muscles are thought to be the weakest muscles of the three groups. They are responsible for our organs’ ability to function in our digestive tract, stomach, intestine and blood vessels. This muscle group is also controlled by the brain and is involuntary.
The End Results
With all this information, we can see that muscles do play a mainstream role in our well-being and could quite possibly be our fountain of youth! Muscles keep us moving, breathing and nutritionally healthy.
It is impossible to regain all the strength you may have once had, but it is possible to keep the strength we now have and to slow down or even stop the process of losing more muscle mass.
Building the Right Amount of Muscle
There is no set amount of muscle that a person needs, but it is important to preserve as much muscle as possible. So, what does this mean for someone who has never stepped foot in a gym? Does that mean you need to spend hours lifting weights to try and tap into that fountain of youth?
No, not at all. Working with an experienced trainer who knows how to outline a proper fitness program only requires 2-3 30 minute sessions per week. Make sure your workout is customized to your personal fitness level to prevent injury and work towards preserving and adding muscle to your body. This is the beauty of the Program I teach at Golden Ocala –FIRE & ICE!
There are numerous benefits in adding weight training into your routine! Weight training not only changes the shape of your body, but you will also see an increase in your energy level and range of motion. You will be able to do all the things you enjoy and more!
Think about it – 1.5 hours a week can better your health and well-being. And, who knows, you may even enjoy FIRE & ICE!
Begin the Journey to Your Fountain of Youth!
To learn more about the benefits of building muscle mass or to learn more about Fire & Ice, contact me, Linda Doyle, at the Golden Ocala Fitness Center.Information in this blog is educational in nature. It is offered with the understanding that the author is not engaged in rendering medical advice or dietary prescription. Always consult your health care professional.
Hughes, VA, et al. Longitudinal Muscle Strength Changes in Adults: Influence of Muscle Mass, Physical Activity, and Health.
Rutten, EP, et al. Skeletal Muscle Glutamate Metabolism in Health and Disease: State of the Art.