With strong, healthy muscles, you can be proud of your appearance and feel confident when accomplishing everyday tasks. In addition, when you perform resistance exercises to build strength and endurance, you'll likely improve your overall health and even help fend off some dangerous illnesses. Increasing muscle mass will also help you maintain a normal weight and can help you avoid accidents that are more likely with weak muscles.
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The most obvious benefit of strong, healthy muscles is the ability to perform everyday tasks on your own. With strength comes self-sufficiency, which contributes to a healthy lifestyle. With capable muscles, you can open your own pickle jars, rearrange your furniture when the desire strikes and carry heavy grocery bags from the car to your kitchen. Older adults can maintain their independence by building muscle strength, allowing them live alone as long as possible without the aid of a nurse or caretaker.
Chronic Disease Protection
When you increase muscle mass, you change your body composition, creating a lower percentage of body fat. A lower body-fat percentage can translate to a reduced risk of chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, elevated triglycerides and cholesterol and increased blood-sugar levels, which can lead to type 2 diabetes. The American Council on Exercise reports that people who engage in strength training are also better able to cope with the effects of osteoarthritis, which sometimes causes debilitating pain. Strength-training activities include lifting weights, using exercise bands, performing yoga or doing crunches, pushups and lunges.
Body composition also helps determine your metabolism, which is the rate at which you burn calories. Muscle matter requires more energy than less-active fat tissue, burning more calories around the clock. When you burn more calories, you can eat more without gaining weight, or lose weight faster on a reduced-calorie diet. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you may increase your metabolism by up to 15 percent just by building muscle.
Strong, capable muscles provide better stability, reducing your risk of accidents. For example, you'll be less likely to fall while walking or performing other physical activities. This can significantly benefit older adults, who may risk dangerous fractures from falling. The CDC reports that performing strength-training exercises improves flexibility and balance in addition to strength, providing a safeguard against accidents. Talk to your doctor before starting a new exercise program.