There was a time when cardio was all the rage. It was the centre of the fitness industry for decades, but oh how times have changed! Today, muscle is coveted. And fairly recently, for the first time, women strive for the athletic, muscular look of an athlete over being thin. And you know what? I think this is awesome! Not just because it shows how we are evolving but because there are tremendous benefits to carrying more muscle mass (and less body fat).
You see…life has changed A LOT in the last century. Day to day life once involved physical labor, which is great for building and maintaining muscle. But because the world doesn’t work that way anymore, it’s very easy for humans to be low on muscle mass and high in body fat. It doesn’t look good when you’re young and it’s detrimental to your health, vitality, and mobility when you’re older.
As I see it, here are the top 5 benefits of building and maintaining muscle mass:
1. Increased metabolic efficiency – when you hold more muscle, your body needs higher amounts of energy to survive. Muscle is 3-5x more metabolically active at rest, which means muscle tissue burns significantly more calories at rest than fat.
2. Improved insulin sensitivity – this means more control over blood sugar levels and lower instances of diabetes. You’ll also have better blood glucose control. So, less dietary glucose (sugar) will store as body fat and you’ll have more energy overall.
3. Fight sarcopenia – this is age-related muscle loss. This actually starts around the age of 30, but you can reverse and prevent it with resistance training. So, if you want to get around the when you’re older, not shrink in height, and be strong rather than frail, work to build muscle and keep it! Use it or lose it!
4. Avoid disease – we all know that excess body fat causes a variety of serious health conditions. One of the best ways to keep fat off is by building muscle. And in doing so, you can avoid potentially deadly conditions like stroke, heart attack, diabetes, and many others. Are you doing all you can to avoid lifestyle-related disease?
5. Gives you confidence – when you have more muscle you have less body fat, and it should be no surprise that it’s a huge confidence booster! This confidence will spread across all areas of your life, as a better version of YOU emerges. You’ll inspire those around you as you become more positive, fearless, and proud of the body you’ve created.
So you might be wondering…what’s the best way to build and keep muscle? First thing is first – you MUST be purposefully engaging those muscles! Here at To the Core Pilates, we are experts at designing safe and effective programs that will have you growing your muscle mass to result in all the benefits above and more! Other important factors include proper nutrition that supports building muscle, sleep, hydration, stress management, and mobility work.
If you or someone you know has been putting off the exercise or maybe even fearing building muscles (ahem, ladies!), I hope you see how essential it is. Not just for now but for your future as well. So much of what we face when we’re older can be prevented by the choices we make now. So, if you’re currently training in one of our programs consistently…BRAVO! You’re giving yourself a gift every time you walk through our doors, so don’t forget that! Who can you forward this email to/share this post with who NEEDS to hear this message? Our future and current health and happiness depend on it.
If you’re not actively working on building or maintaining muscle, I ask you, for the sake of your future self, to come in and have a chat with one of our expert instructors. It will change every aspect of your life from how you feel when you look in the mirror to potentially how long you live and with what quality of life. Don’t put it off. You deserve your best. Call 780-808-4144 or click here and we can be in touch.