zig
0

Notifications

  • You're all caught up!

What Are the Benefits of Gaining Muscle Mass?

by
author image Alison Stellner
Alison Stellner, owner of Body Tune Personal Training, is a fitness instructor and freelance writer with more than 25 years in the health and fitness industry. Her first professional article was published in "Idea Today Fitness Magazine" in 1993. She majored in music and business administration at the University of Oklahoma.
What Are the Benefits of Gaining Muscle Mass?
Woman doing curls Photo Credit Design Pics/Design Pics/Getty Images

Overview

While you know exercise is good for you, you may not know the importance of building muscle through strength training. If your workouts only focus on aerobic exercise, you're missing a key component of overall fitness. Gaining muscle mass offers plenty of benefits for everyone. Strength training increases lean muscle mass, which helps your body burn calories more efficiently and improves your quality of life.

Weight Control

As far as metabolism goes, muscle mass is the "engine" of the calorie-burning machine. As you strength train and increase your muscle mass, you build a bigger, more efficient engine that burns more calories and helps you lose weight. The more toned your muscles, the easier it is to maintain your weight. In fact, the higher your muscle mass, the more calories you'll burn when you rest. For every pound of muscle you gain, your body uses about 50 extra calories a day.

You Might Also Like

Increased Strength

People lose about 10 percent of their muscle by age 50, according to the American College of Sports Medicine. By the time you reach your 60s and 70s, your muscle strength will decrease by about 15 percent per decade -- and about 30 percent thereafter. However, older adults who perform adequate strength and resistance training can increase their strength as much as threefold within two to three months. Increasing your strength will help you lead a more active lifestyle infused with spontaneous activity.

Reduced Risk of Injury

Building muscle also helps protect your joints from injury. As you age, balance may become an issue that can lead to fractured hip bones or other injuries related to falls. Stronger muscles help support your joints -- this can help you lead a more independent lifestyle as you age.

Miscellaneous Benefits

Increased muscle mass makes you stronger so you'll have more stamina when you perform physical activities. As you become more active, your quality of life most likely will improve. Stronger muscles also counteract the side effects of weak muscles, which may cause instability and structural pain. Strong, toned muscles also enhance your appearance, boost your self-esteem and make you feel better overall.

Related Searches

LiveStrong Calorie Tracker
THE LIVESTRONG.COM MyPlate Nutrition, Workouts & Tips
GOAL
  • Gain 2 pounds per week
  • Gain 1.5 pounds per week
  • Gain 1 pound per week
  • Gain 0.5 pound per week
  • Maintain my current weight
  • Lose 0.5 pound per week
  • Lose 1 pound per week
  • Lose 1.5 pounds per week
  • Lose 2 pounds per week
GENDER
  • Female
  • Male
lbs.
ft. in.

References

Demand Media