The six hundred different muscles in our body are very effective at getting us through our day. They’re essential for movement, digestion, hearing, talking, and countless other activities. However, their benefits don’t stop at helping us move around. They also help our metabolism in a variety of ways. It can even help us lose weight and maintain a healthy body. While it may seem counterintuitive to build muscle to counteract weight, there’s quite a bit of biology and nutritional science behind this notion. Here’s why lean muscles are so great for our health.
Lean muscle mass increases your metabolism
Building lean muscle mass is very effective at increasing your metabolism. Muscle is a very demanding type of tissue that drains sugar and protein at a constant rate. You don’t even have to be physically active at any given moment for it to consume these resources. This is why muscles heavily contribute to a person’s basal metabolic rate.
This is the number of calories you burn while completely at rest. The muscles keeping their tone and strength available are using resources and thus draining calories. Contrary to lean muscle, fat cells don’t use a lot of energy while at rest. Their presence doesn’t affect your metabolic rate.
Just by having lean muscle mass, you’re constantly burning calories. The more muscle you have, the more calories are burned. This decreases the likelihood of fat accumulation for lean individuals.
Muscles can protect from diabetes
Diabetes is one of the more infamous and harmful consequences of obesity. Type 2 diabetes slowly develops in obese individuals. Since their blood sugar slowly exhausts the ability of the pancreas to secrete insulin. At the same time, tissue receptors get accustomed to a higher amount of glucose available. Thus reducing their expression. This insulin resistance causes a further increase in blood sugar. Diabetes only leads to further problems and illnesses. That is why it should be avoided at all costs.
Where do muscles factor into this? Well, muscles are avid spenders of glucose. This is why they lay a crucial role in blood glucose regulation. The more your muscles require glucose, the more effective it will make insulin. This is because insulin is the mediator that gets the sugar inside the muscles. When lean muscle mass is active, sugars are transferred to the tissue and decrease blood-sugar levels.
Muscles effectively prevent insulin resistance, albeit only to a certain degree. Still, it’s a very effective way to stop the onset of diabetes and insulin resistance. It’s been shown that muscle mass is directly proportional to a decrease in insulin resistance. For every ten percent of lean muscle mass that you add to a body, there’s an eleven percent decrease in insulin resistance. This helps explain why you’ll see very few lean or muscular individuals with diabetes.
The musculature is directly connected to bone health
Lean muscle mass is entirely made up of skeletal muscles. These muscles are connected to the skeletal system of the body, both in a literal and figurative sense. When they are activated, they simply contract and pull the bone towards the other side of the muscle.
Muscles can only pull so much as the bone allows it. If the bone tissue isn’t strong enough to support a movement, it would break before allowing the movement. Bone and muscle strength are deeply connected.
Muscle mass is one of the most consistent predictors of bone health among different age demographics. One of the reasons for this is because contracting muscles will also strengthen the bones that are being pulled. This force helps stimulate the bone remodeling process. This helps keep bones healthy and strong. It keeps the body balanced and guarantees healthier bones.
Lean leg muscles keep you balanced
Several elements can help us keep our balance. These include our cerebellum, spine, and musculature. Some muscles are more important for balance than others. Lower leg muscles are a great example. They dictate our ability to walk upright with stability.
Lower leg muscles are crucial in maintaining balance. People with weak balance are often found to be lacking mass in their lower leg region. While it might not seem like an important detail, it’s a potential hazard.
Having all of these things on the lower end of the spectrum can be dangerous. With lower bone density, fractures become a common occurrence during falls. Lower bone density often insinuates lower muscle mass. It means that the lower legs are often lacking in mass as well. Combine these two factors and you have a recipe for disaster. Repeatedly falling due to improper balance combined with lower bone density will lead to more fractures. And these fractures could be more severe. A hip fracture could even potentially be fatal if it leads to damage in a larger blood vessel.
This is why working the lower body is important for balance and safety. With a higher mass of muscle in the legs, both falls and fractures are less likely.
Muscles retain mobility
As people get older, their mobility often suffers. There are various illnesses that can occur and affect the joints. That will lead to difficulty when moving. This is not an uncommon situation, and it can inhibit peoples’ willingness to build and maintain muscle mass.
However, this is a bad approach to the situation. The opposite should be true. Once there are signs of loss of mobility, exercise needs to increase. While other factors affect bones and joints, individuals are still able to build and remodel their bone structure. This helps keep these joints and bones healthy, despite frequent changes. With more muscle mass, this mobility is preserved for longer. And that allows you to attain even more muscle mass.
Lean muscles are a reservoir of protein
Protein is one of the three essential macronutrients that make up our daily diets. It plays a crucial role in everything from muscle formation to antibody production. There’s no aspect of our metabolism that doesn’t include protein, which is why they are so essential to our diets. When you look at muscle fibers, they are mostly protein.
The reason bodybuilders consume so much protein before workouts is because they want to replenish them. While you’re working out, your body craves protein to build new muscle fibers and expand on existing ones. Since you’re probably not eating during your workout, it’s going to use the protein that’s already in the body. In the muscle, body contains protein reserves. It’s like you’re borrowing muscle fibers from other muscles to build new ones. This isn’t great if you want to keep every muscle strong, which is why you have to introduce more protein during and after a workout.
When bodybuilders take pre workout supplements, they’re guaranteeing that their body has enough protein and amino acids to prevent other muscles from being broken down.
More muscle mass would allow your body to make use of readily-available protein and amino acids to help heal injuries and repair damage. The muscles might suffer for the time being, but they can be remodelled. The body’s priority is to help you heal, and these muscle deposits can help achieve this goal.
Muscle mass keeps your appetite healthy
One of the worst parts of losing weight is combatting hunger. It’s a struggle that millions of individuals have faced while going along their weight-loss journey. It’s constantly there and it makes the process a lot harder to bear. Knowing that you can’t have a lot of food only makes the idea of eating more attractive, adding to the struggle.
A great benefit of developing muscle mass is that you want to be eating a fair amount of food. To be fair, this food would be rich in protein and very low in carbohydrates. However, while building mass, you’re going to be craving this food either way, as your body needs it to heal and recuperate damaged fibers.
Not only would this justify eating more food, but it would also drive you towards food that is healthier and less harmful for your health and weight. While unnecessarily caloric food is still off the table, you’ll find it easier to keep your appetite sated with healthy alternatives. They’ll feel good, and they’ll help your muscles grow to a healthy size and strength.
Adults normally only need to consume 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of weight per day. When you’re in the process of building lean muscles, you require a larger influx of protein. This number shoots up to around fifty percent for those that consistently work out. Introducing more protein allows you to eat more food which will keep you sated for longer. It’s an effective way to combat constant hunger while also not having to starve for a long time.
Investing in exercise improves mental health
Losing weight is a great way to improve your self-image and mental well-being. This is especially true for those that are particularly self-conscious about their appearance. If you’re able to shake the weight off, you’re likely going to feel better about yourself than before. However, it’s a difficult process that might not feel as good while it’s still ongoing.
Some of the most effective weight-loss exercises include cardio workouts. They can be fun and get your heart pumping, but they’re also tiresome at points. Incorporating strength exercises into your regime would make it a lot more fun.
Building muscles via strength exercises can cause the secretion of endorphins, which are some of our body’s feel-good hormones. They’re also natural painkillers that help stifle any physical pains we might have. This is why physical exercise is therapeutic in many ways. Namely, the flow of endorphins and improved physical appearance do wonders for one’s mental health. The weight-loss aspect is important, but building lean muscle mass helps shape the body. Being lean has always been a measure of work and dedication while being at a normal weight is simply a baseline to reach.
That isn’t to say that you can’t combine both. In fact, you’re very likely to lose undesirable weight while building muscles. It’s a natural part of the workout process. Lean muscle is the only thing left when you lose excess weight. It provides all the aforementioned benefits, while also improving one’s mental health and well-being.
With all things considered, there’s hardly a thing that lean muscles don’t provide benefit for. It might seem like muscles are amazingly effective at balancing our health, but this is only a shallow way to look at it. Building lean muscle requires that you make regular changes to your everyday habits, and as a consequence of this, you will see results in different spheres of your physical and mental health. It’s a big change that brings big benefits, which is why so many people are looking to increase their lean muscle mass.