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  • Writer's pictureFunctional Lifestyles

The Importance of Building Muscle (outside of a hot body)

Man build muscle. Man look good. Woman build muscle. Woman look good. Right?? Errrrr, wrong! Of course, building muscle helps you look good. But the benefits of building muscle for your health and longevity far outweigh your aesthetic gains. I mean, we’re all for you looking like hot stuff but let’s look at why your health is dependent on your muscles. What is muscle? Muscle is a band or bundle of fibrous tissue in the body that has the ability to contract, producing movement in or maintaining the position of parts of the body. How do you build it? Long gone are the days where we traversed the earth looking for food and building our homes along the way (although I have a time or two played with the idea of quitting the modern life and moving to a jungle. But then I think about how I’d have to hunt down my protein supplements and depending on the source of protein I may become the actual supplement) Outside of caveman/caveman lifestyle, the best way to build muscle is through resistance training (in other words, training at Functional Lifestyles). Ok, we’ve covered the what and how. It’s time to cover the most important question we always ask, “THE WHY!” The Top Most Important Reasons to Build Muscle 1. Metabolism. More muscular tissue on the body burns more calories than fat tissue. Actually, fat tissue is highly inactive and does extremely little for your resting metabolic rate (RMR). Remember, if you work out for 1 hour a day, you’ve got 23 more hours in the day where you're not intentionally trying to burn more calories. This is the reason why people say weight-training contributes to weight loss more than cardio (we’re not agreeing, we’re just saying we know why they say it . Each form of exercise has its own benefits). 2. Circulation. Did you wake up this morning thinking, “I wonder how to improve my blood circulation?” Of course, you did. We did too . Your muscles need oxygenated blood to lift, pull, push and perform normal ADL (activities of daily living). Better blood flow throughout your body (circulation) comes from building muscles.

3. Tendon thickness and joint improvement. Yea, sounds weird but to reduce your risk of injury you need to have strong tendons and joints. Tendons tend to be more rigid and stiff and building muscle makes them thicker which helps reduce your risk of injury. The same concept can be applied to joints. Joints allow your body to move in many different ways from simple to complicated movements. Building strong muscles increases the functional capacity of your joints so you can move more effectively.

4. Bone density. People are always looking for the fountain of youth in a bottle. And while building muscle mass won’t help with those wrinkles (or as I like to call them, “the bookmarks of life”), it will help increase bone density which helps with many age related bone deficiencies and diseases. 1.5 million people suffer a fracture related to bone disease every year. These risks increase as we get older and is more noted in women. By stressing your bones through weight training you can increase bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis! 5. Strength and Coordination. Here’s a joke for you: What do lifting groceries, carrying your baby, running a marathon and making love all have in common? Give Up? The answer is: strength and coordination. Ok, so it wasn’t a joke but it’s true! You need muscle strength to complete pretty much every physical thing you do in life. If you don’t believe me, try doing everything I listed in the question without using strength or coordination (not all at the same time though ).

And if none of this matters to you, well – muscles make you look good.

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