Muscle: What’s the big deal? It’s not just for show…

“There’s more to life than training, but training is what puts more in your life.” – Brooks Kubik

I am convinced that instinctively we are drawn to strength. We are drawn to spiritual strength and intellectual strength. Certainly we love those people with moral strength. We also love physical strength. Thin is fine, but strong and lean is very appealing! No body wants a wimpy super hero, right?

Besides looking good

  • muscle protects from injury
  • muscle provides bodily shape
  • muscle improves immunity
  • muscle improves sleep
  • muscle increases metabolism
  • muscle prevents diabetes
  • muscle protects bones from osteoporosis
  • muscle helps control hormones
  • muscle helps control weight
  • muscle equals strength (if built correctly)

Dieting? One of every four pounds you lose is probably muscle unless you have a good muscle building program. Studies show that this is what happens to people who cut calories as well as people who cut  calories while only doing cardio exercise (walking, running, cycling, hiking, etc.)

Not dieting? You still may be losing muscle. Adults lose 1/4 – 1/2 pound of muscle a year unless you have a focused muscle building program.

Tips on how to build muscle:

  • Make sure your form is correct
  • Work as many muscle groups as possible at one time. You have hundreds of muscles. Try to hit them all!
  • Look for muscle confusion by varying your routine of exercises.
  • Be consistent. You have to work a muscle twice a week to make progress and once a week to maintain it.
  • Drink a lot of water. At least have your body weight in ounces
  • Always eat before a workout and within 30 minutes after working out. Make sure you include plenty of protein and vegetables in all your meals.

 “I use my muscles as a conversation piece, like someone walking a cheetah down 42nd Street.” Arnold Schwarzenegger

By Sherry Stirling Fernandez

 

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