Building muscle is an important part of any exercise program. However, many people think
cardio is more important since it is often touted as the best way to lose weight. But without
strength training, all the effort you put into cardio might not be worth it. Here is why building
muscle is important.
1. Fights Aging
Once you reach the age of 30, your muscles begin to deteriorate. They will naturally lose mass as you age and as a result, you will become weaker and weaker. This is why older adults are often weak and are more prone to falls. By building muscle, you are actively combatting aging and ensuring that your body will be healthy and strong, no matter what your age.
Tip: Always begin with light weights and perfect your form before you move on to heavier
weights. If you lift too heavy too quickly, you risk injuring yourself!
2. Boosts Your Metabolism
Muscle helps your body burn more calories, which is essential for burning fat and losing weight.
When you strength train, you burn more calories after your workout than after doing cardio.
Building muscle also ensures that you are losing fat and not muscle mass, a common problem
among people trying to lose weight.
Tip: Mixing in muscle work with cardio, like in High Intensity Interval Training, will help you get
stronger and lose fat really quickly.
3. Increases Bone Density
Just like with your muscles, your bones also lose density as you age. As a result, your bones can become brittle and weak and will break very easily when you become older. Strengthening your muscles also strengthens your bones, so that they can stay healthy and strong.
Tip: Weight bearing exercises can strengthen bones, so opt for using free weights or resistance bands instead of machines.
4. Lowers Blood Sugar
Maintaining regular blood sugar levels is very important. It significantly reduces your risk of
developing type 2 diabetes and storing fat. When you strength train, your blood sugar levels
naturally drop and remain that way until you refuel.
Tip: Make sure you properly refuel after a tough workout with carbs. Your body needs it to refill its glycogen stores!
5. Improves Your Sleep
Strength training is a great way to tire your body out so that you can sleep well at night. Since
your body must sleep in order to fully repair your muscles from your workout, it forces you to
fall asleep and stay asleep!
Tip: If your sore muscles are keeping you from falling asleep, try some light stretching before
bed. You can also apply a patch that continuously delivers pain-relief like the Sinsinpas Arex
that provide both heat and cold therapy so you can sleep well and let your body heal.