Get Stronger for a Longer, Healthier Life
Much has been written about the health benefits of cardiovascular exercise.
But what about strength training? It turns out that maintaining muscle mass is just as important for longevity and long-term health.
Once recent study found that life expectancy is increased by up to 17% by doing just 30-60 minutes of strength training per week.
Here are a few of the benefits that increased muscle mass can provide:
Easier Weight Management
Muscle burns more calories than fat, even when you’re asleep. In other words, building lean muscle mass increases your metabolic rate, making it easier to maintain a healthy weight.
Improved Brain Health
Like cardiovascular exercise, strength training improves mood by releasing mood-enhancing hormones like endorphins. And studies show that something as simple as increased grip strength can correlate to a reduced incidence of depression.
And then there are the long-term benefits that strength training provides. Studies show that overall cognitive health is improved by regular resistance exercise.
Regular resistance training has been linked to a reduced risk for several common forms of cancer, including colon cancer; breast cancer (in women); prostate cancer (in men); and kidney cancer.
Studies also show that survival rates from breast cancer are higher among women with more muscle mass. The same goes for men undergoing surgery for prostate cancer.
In general, weightlifting has been shown to reduce a person’s overall risk of dying from cancer by 13%.
Reduced Risk for Metabolic Syndrome
Increasing lean muscle mass reduces the risk for developing metabolic syndrome, a constellation of conditions that includes high blood pressure, excess abdominal fat, high blood sugar, and high LDL cholesterol. Left untreated, metabolic syndrome can lead to cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
In one study, people with lower muscle mass had a 63% greater risk for developing diabetes. On the flip side, having more muscle mass has been linked to increased insulin sensitivity and lower diabetes risk.
Increasing muscle mass also helps to reduce inflammation throughout the body, which can help to reduce the various risks associated with metabolic syndrome, including cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
What Can You Do?
Fortunately, achieving the health benefits associated with increased muscle mass is straightforward.
A few simple changes to your lifestyle may be all that stands between you and a stronger, healthier body:
- Add lean protein to your diet
- Do regular resistance exercise
- Make sure your hormones are balanced
Most nutrition experts recommend that somewhere between 10 and 35% of a person’s daily caloric intake be from protein. But specific needs vary from person to person. If you need help figuring out how much protein is optimal for you, consult with a nutritionist.
Incorporate strength training into your exercise routine at least a few days out of each week. This can mean anything from lifting weights at the gym to using your own body weight for resistance. Make sure you alternate the muscles you train so no muscle group is overlooked.
If you aren’t sure what to do or where to begin, consult with a personal trainer. If strength training is new to you, this can go a long way toward preventing injuries as you get started.
With age, men and women produce less testosterone, an essential hormone for muscle repair and growth.
Growth hormone, another key muscle-building hormone, also declines with age.
The good news is that hormones like testosterone and growth hormone can be restored to healthy levels through properly monitored bioidentical hormone therapy.
Want to get stronger, live longer, and enjoy improved health? Renew Youth can help with lifestyle advice and bioidentical hormone therapy. To find out more, call us today at 800-859-7511 or use our convenient contact form to sign up for your free 30-minute consultation.