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  • Writer's picturemarcus bessin

There's more to Muscle: Unlocking Longevity and Total Health

Let's talk about something that's probably on your mind (or should be) – building muscle. Whether you’re a gym rat or someone who hasn’t seen a dumbbell in years, the importance of muscle mass goes way beyond looking good in a tank top. Building and maintaining muscle is crucial for your longevity, overall health, brain function, disease prevention, and so much more. Let’s break it down.

Ideal Body Composition: Look Good, Feel Good

Alright let's get the obvious out the way - building muscle helps you achieve and maintain an ideal body composition. When you have more muscle and less fat, you look leaner and more toned. But it’s not just about aesthetics. A healthy body composition is associated with lower risks of metabolic diseases and better overall health. And let’s be real, feeling strong and looking fit can boost your confidence and make you feel amazing.

Longevity: Muscles = More Years

First things first: muscles can help you live longer. Studies have shown that muscle mass is a strong predictor of life expectancy. As we age, we naturally lose muscle. In some cases this manifests into a disease called sarcopenia, which impacts your ability to simple tasks of daily living like getting out of a chair or climbing stairs. By strength training and building muscle, you counteract this process, maintaining strength and mobility. This means fewer falls, injuries, and a better quality of life as you age. Who doesn’t want to enjoy their golden years moving around easily and doing the things they love?

Whole Body Health: The Foundation of Fitness

Muscles are the unsung heroes of your body. They support your bones, protect your joints, and even help with balance. More muscle means better stability and coordination. Plus, strong muscles can help alleviate and prevent chronic pain, especially back pain. When your muscles are strong, they take the load off your bones and joints, reducing wear and tear.

Brain Health: Sharpening Your Mind

Guess what? Building muscle isn’t just good for your body; it’s great for your brain too. Exercise, particularly resistance training, has been shown to improve cognitive function and slow down the progression of diseases like Alzheimer’s. Working out increases blood flow to the brain, promoting the growth of new neurons and enhancing brain function. So, the next time you’re pushing for trhe last few reps, know that you’re also boosting your brainpower.

Disease Prevention: Your Body’s Shield

Muscles do more than make you strong; they help keep you healthy. Regular strength training can lower your risk of developing chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers. Muscle tissue is metabolically active, meaning it burns more calories at rest compared to fat. This helps maintain a healthy weight, reducing the risk of obesity-related diseases. Plus, muscle mass improves insulin sensitivity, which is key in preventing diabetes.

Organ Health and Bodily Functions: The Inside Job

Your muscles support the health of your organs and bodily functions in ways you might not expect. For example, strong core muscles can improve digestion by aiding in the movement of food through your digestive tract. Muscles also play a role in maintaining healthy blood pressure levels and supporting respiratory function. When your muscles are strong, your entire body functions more efficiently.

Getting Started: It’s Easier Than You Think

You don’t need to become a bodybuilder to reap these benefits. Even a couple of strength training sessions a week can make a huge difference. Start with simple exercises like squats, push-ups, and planks. As you get stronger, you can gradually increase the weights and complexity of your workouts.

Building muscle is about so much more than just aesthetics. It’s a cornerstone of a long, healthy, and vibrant life. From enhancing your brain function and protecting against disease to improving your overall body composition and organ health, the benefits are huge and plentiful. So, pick up those weights, and start lifting your way to a healthier future. Your body – and mind – will thank you!

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