Putting on muscle should be at the top of everyone’s to-do list. Regardless of whether you’re a stay at home Mum, a dedicated bodybuilder or a 65 year old retiree, everyone can benefit from having big guns. There are many benefits associated with having a high muscle mass. Not only will you look fitter, you will also feel better and live longer. Unfortunately most people aren’t as fussed about putting on muscle as they should be. Keep reading to find out more. If doing resistance training wasn’t already at the top of your priority list, it will be after you finish this article.
It turns out you don’t need longevity supplements and fasting to live to a ripe old age. You can increase your lifespan just by having a decent amount of muscle mass. Research shows that those who resistance train for around 30-60 minutes per week live 10-17% longer than those who don’t. It turns out your level of muscle mass and bodyfat is a pretty good predictor of mortality. This could be due to a range of confounding variables. Those with more muscle are less likely to die from falls. Also, having a lot of lean body mass is one of the best ways to be metabolically healthy. Weightlifting on a regular basis can improve health in a number of ways, hence why those with more muscle tend to live longer. So if you’re here for a good time AND a long time, make sure to pump that iron.
If a longer life isn’t enough to motivate you, maybe looking good naked is. Lifting weights is one of the best ways to tone the body. Don’t waste time doing poorly executed exercises that don’t challenge you. Running on the treadmill might make you tired but it won’t necessarily get you the physique you desire. Studies show that people with a healthy level of body fat and high muscle mass are more attractive. Humans are evolutionarily wired to be attracted to fit looking individuals. This is because we associate leanness and muscularity with health and strength. Rarely do people seek out partners who are lazy and obese. If being attractive is important to you then make sure to stay active, eat enough protein and prioritise muscle building exercises. You will look and feel better as a result.
Stronger Immune System
Did you know that lifting weights can stop you from getting sick? People with low muscle mass are more susceptible to infections and illnesses. This is because muscles produce compounds that activate and distribute immune cells. Every time you contract a muscle, it releases myokines which have an anti-inflammatory effect on the body. The Covid-19 pandemic forced us to become much more aware of the importance of immunity. Putting on muscle is one of the best things you can do to ward off illness and maintain health. Amino acids, which are vital for fighting off infections, get stored in your muscles. More muscle equals more storage space for disease fighting compounds. So instead of staying inside and swallowing vitamins, try lifting some weights. Doing so could have a far greater impact on your vitality.
Daily Life Will Be Easier
There is nothing fun about struggling to carry groceries or climb up a flight of stairs. Working on your muscle mass will make daily tasks feel so much easier. Being able to lift heavy things is both impressive and practical. Interestingly, the more muscle you have, the better your energy levels can be. Stronger muscles also means stronger tendons and ligaments. This results in better posture and gives you the ability to move around with ease. If you currently struggle to pick things up off the floor or move furniture around the house, it is only going to get worse as you age. Improvements in the gym correlate with improvements in daily life. Every time you deadlift, you are practising picking heavy items up from the ground. Your workout routine should mimic the movement patterns you do regularly. So if you want to own the day rather than letting the day own you, make lifting weights one of your main priorities.
Ward Off Sarcopenia
As we get older, our muscle mass gets lower. This age-related muscle wastage is known as Sarcopenia which is Greek for poverty of flesh. Sarcopenia affects everyone but is extremely detrimental for those who don’t have much muscle mass to start with. A lack of muscle makes you more prone to accidents and injuries. Thousands of elderly people die every year from falling-related accidents. Do you want to be an immobile senior who can barely get up off the couch? Or would you prefer to be the strongest person in the nursing home? Don’t wait until it’s too late to put on muscle. Start early and your future self will thank you for it.
Basically, big muscles are good and you should get some. We are not saying you have to be able to squat three times your bodyweight but you should prioritise resistance training multiple times per week. It’s not just about aesthetics. Having a decent amount of muscle reduces your chances of illness, injury and insomnia. If you want to be a fitness god who retains independence throughout their senior years, focus on frequent resistance training. You’ll never meet a 90 year old who says “wow I wish I had less muscle!”. As Bruce Springsteen once said, only the strong survive.