There are many ways to gauge the effectiveness of your fitness routine, but stepping on the scale isn’t necessarily one of them. Muscle weighs more than fat, so an individual whose shedding fat and building lean toned muscles may see a dramatic change in their appearance but minimal movement on the scale. Keeping the weight isn’t a bad thing. There are some very compelling benefits to maintaining those muscles.
Increased strength is the most obvious benefit of putting on some extra muscle weight, but the importance of that extra strength goes far beyond impressing your friends with your lifting prowess. Working to build strength can help you combat some of the effects of aging. The average individual loses a quarter of their muscle strength between the ages of 30 and 70. Another quarter will disappear by age 90.
Gaining and maintaining muscle weight can help you sustain your active lifestyle and continue to perform your favorite tasks easily and comfortably. The younger you are, the easier it is to begin building that muscle, so your workout today could yield lifelong benefits if you choose to continue with the less strenuous maintenance needed to hold on to those muscles once you’ve built them.
Some individuals, and women in particular, fear that gaining muscle weight will give them a bigger and bulkier appearance. In fact, you can create more toned muscles that ultimately give you a leaner look. If you choose the right exercises, gaining muscle weight doesn’t necessarily equate to adding bulk. Focus on lighter weights and a higher number of reps as opposed to heavy lifting to get those slim, trim muscles and a toned appearance.
Muscle mass burns more calories than body fat. If your body is busy maintaining lean, healthy muscles, it will consume more calories even in your resting state. This will help you burn off any unwanted fat that might be hiding your newly toned muscle mass.
If you’re accustomed to diets that restrict your calories, you may find your intake options refreshingly diverse when you’re building muscle weight. You need to feed those muscles, so your diet should include plenty of daily calories to keep them strong. The key to keeping a lean healthy shape is choosing the right foods. Choose nutrient-rich foods with plenty of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. Supplement with satisfying shakes and smoothies if you’re still not getting enough calories to increase your muscle weight. This is one regimen where you can consume generous portions when you pick the right foods.
Improved Bone Strength
Strength training can help you actively battle bone loss. As you get older, the rate of bone loss outpaces the rate of new bone creation. Muscle-strengthening and weight-bearing exercises help build bone mass, lower bone deterioration and strengthen joints and connective tissues. Keep your bones strong with strong muscles.
Don’t worry about the extra weight when it’s clearly coming from muscles. Those pounds bring a wealth of benefits to your shape and your health.
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