As we age we have muscle loss, a process called sarcopenia. If we have a chronic illness or disease such as cardiac disease, COPD, or cancer, this muscle loss is accelerated, a process called cachexia. Although, we cannot slow down our chronological age, we can certainly slow down our physiological age and improve our muscle mass through strength training. Listed below are a few benefits of having more muscle mass:
- Muscle helps combat/manage/recover from chronic illness such as cancer and cardiac disease
- Muscle is a main storage centre of proteins and amino acids (building blocks) in our body. When we are ill, the amount our body needs these protein increases significantly. The greater muscle mass, the larger supply of protein available to our body and the greater ability we have to fight off diseases and infections. Not only does it aid with immune system function, the higher muscle mass that we have before any of this occurs, the quicker the recovery due to having a higher functional capacity.
- Muscle is critical in the prevention and management of Type II Diabetes
- A great blog was posted by our colleagues at One Up Fitness on how muscle helps regulate blood sugar ( https://oneupfitness.ca/exercise-body-fat-sugar/) in diabetes prevention and management.
- Muscle helps prevent and manage osteoporosis
- Bone breakdown and growth is an ongoing balancing act. When osteoporosis occurs, the scale starts to lean more toward breaking down. For bone to grow, we need to put force through it. The main way of achieving this is by the muscle pulling on the bone. his pulling action creates significant force and helps signal to our body that we need to create more bone.
Every system in our body plays an important role in our health. When coming up with a healthy living plan that works for you, please do not skip over resistance training. The benefits will completely outweigh the time/energy you put in, I promise you that.
Thanks for reading!
P.S. You can build muscle in 1-2 workouts/week in 30 minutes or less.