Muscle Saves Lives
We know exercise is good for us but less is known about how getting strong is another key to a longer, healthier and more functional life. A new review of 140 research studies shows that muscle mass is one of the greatest predictors of health and longevity. Researchers go as far as recommending that muscle mass be considered a vital sign just like blood pressure, pulse and body weight. It has shown to be important in health factors such as cholesterol, triglycerides and glucose levels.
Why is muscle so important? Muscle correlates with strength and this has been shown to be a predictor of longevity. One study found that those with the greatest lower body strength had the lowest risk of mortality.
- Protects you during disease. One study of women with breast cancer showed that those with more muscle had a nearly 60 percent better chance of survival
- Has an anti-inflammatory effect, counteracting harmful inflammatory factors associated with obesity, heart disease and diabetes
- Protects the brain, improving cognition and preventing brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s
- Muscle mass improves survival and quality of life for those with lung and bone diseases
To maximize your muscle, if you have never done any resistance training, find a credentialed professional to help set a plan up for you. Resistance programs should include all major muscle groups, and train you at the correct intensity through various repetition ranges, frequency and volume. This is very individualized, depending on your body and fitness.
Bottom line? Muscle improves everyone’s quality of life. Not only will you be able to move better, but muscle improves self-confidence and allows you to be healthier and feel better about your body.