Muscles are the literal movers of our bodies. Without the function of muscles, we would be piles of bone and tissue. Our muscles are responsible for posture, movement, and keeping us alive.When it comes to muscles, we have hundreds beyond the ones we think of like our quads, abs, and glutes. Below are a few facts about muscles that you may not have known button should.
Fact: Muscles make up about 35% of our body mass
Because muscle is one of the most dense things in our bodies, it weighs more than fat. This is the reason that as individuals lose weight, they initially lose fat but often start gaining muscle (which increases weight)
Face: More muscle increases your metabolism
Unfortunately when you drop weight, your metabolism typically falls with the scale. This issue to the chemical leptin which tells our brain that we are full. Our fat cells make this chemical and as we lose fat, our levels of this hormone decrease causing our bodies to decrease our metabolism to conserve energy. The good news: by lumping iron, you can decrease this dip in metabolism and even kick it into overdrive. Studies have shown that resistance training for 9 months give individuals roughly 5 percent increase in their resting metabolic rate.
Fact: Go green (with a little added protein) for better health
Eating enough protein in our diets helps our bodies reduce the rate that we lose muscle as we age and helps use build more with resistance training. Greens contain very important nutrients, one of which is a natural compound in fruits and veggies called nitrate that helps the body use less oxygen while exercising and makes muscles more efficient.
A study followed people age 65 and older for 3 years and demonstrated that individuals that consume a higher intake of potassium, found in spinach, kale, and broccoli, maintained their muscle better than those that ate half as much.
Fact: Inflammation is your muscles friend
After an intense gym session, and with knowledge of the impending soreness, it is common to pop an anti-inflammatory to keep it at bay. But research from Brigham Young University found that after exercise, pro-inflammatory T cells infiltrate damaged muscle fibers and possibly help repair the tissue.Try easing soreness with ice or moist heat instead of medication.
Fact: It takes about half as long to build muscle than it does to lose it.
Without use, our muscles will start to degenerate as we age. There is good new fortunately. It takes approximately half of the time to build a muscle than it takes to lose it. This means if you spend a month building a muscle, it will take about two months for it to return to its original size. This can provide motivation that your goals are closer and easier than you think.
Our bodies are great things and the more we know about them, the easier it is to get healthy. Our muscles are one of the most important systems in our bodies and by exercising and developing our muscles, we can influence our overall health and wellness.