Muscle is the Organ of Longevity

It is your metabolic currency!

Muscle is the organ of longevity. It functions beyond locomotion. Muscle is the foundation of your metabolism, helping regulate blood sugar and lipids. It’s also an endocrine organ that secretes myokines, proteins that help regulate metabolism in all other tissues in the body. The stronger and healthier your muscles, the more carbohydrates and fat your body burns. It is your metabolic currency.

It is time to change the paradigm and focus on building muscle at any age to live longer, healthier, and more vibrant lives. We want to train smartly to optimize our muscle composition, function, and context to improve metabolic function, balance hormones, and body composition. If your muscles are strong, you live better. Not only can you help friends move heavy things to their homes when they ask, but having increased muscle, compared to fat, has profound implications for your metabolic function. Muscle is the metabolic sink of the body. It determines almost everything about our body composition and overall health, how you regulate your blood sugar, your ability to manage fats, and your fuel during illness. Most health issues confronting adults are not a result of being “overfat” but being “under-muscled. “It’s more than just looking good in a bathing suit. Obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and many other chronic health problems begin with inactive muscles and poor metabolism. Muscles also serve as our amino acid reservoir. In times of stress, your body can draw on muscles to protect other vital organs like the liver, kidney, or brain. There are two ways to stimulate and safeguard muscle; one is through diet, and the other is through resistance training.

TIPS

  • Invest in a Bioimpedance Scale for your home.
    • Throw out your traditional scale and invest in a Bioimpedance Scale to get a better picture of your body weight – know your body fat and muscle numbers and track those over time rather than just your weight, which doesn’t give you the full picture.
  • Protein builds muscle via protein synthesis, and resistance exercise accelerates the process. Put simply, when you do resistance training, you stress your muscles, stimulating the processes of breaking down old and weak tissue and rebuilding new and stronger muscles. Resistance exercise plus protein yields repair, and you get stronger with more muscle definition. The more active your muscles, the more likely you’ll have lower blood pressure, better cholesterol, and better blood sugar. Not only that, if you make it a habit, you’ll improve your body composition with less body fat and be less likely to gain it back. Muscle can help you manage your body composition and weight over a lifetime.
  • Tend to your muscles with resistance training, i.e., any movement against your weight.
    • Lifting weights: 2x a week at a minimum – begin by working with a trainer to ensure you are working smartly and safely, learn how to go to failure, and don’t be afraid to lift heavy – it is a myth that you will bulk up!
    • Band workouts are also very effective (Melissa Wood Health has excellent online classes)
    • HIIT, or high-intensity interval training, can be an efficient, fun way to tackle your cardio workouts, add muscle, and shred fat.
    • Alternate your “A” workout days, i.e., your strength training and HITT days, with “B” workout days that include yoga or Pilates – both great for your muscles and balance.
    • Walking should be part of your overall movement strategy every day.

RESOURCES + TOOLS

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