When it comes to fitness and health, most people associate exercise with weight loss, and they’re not wrong. However, losing weight shouldn’t be the only goal when exercising. Instead, it should be about building lean muscle mass.
What is lean muscle?
Lean muscle is a type of muscle that’s built through resistance training, also known as weight training or strength training. When you exercise, your muscles undergo small tears, and when they heal, they become stronger and denser, resulting in lean muscle growth. The term “lean” is used to describe muscle that’s not covered in fat, giving the appearance of a lean, toned body.
Why is lean muscle important?
Lean muscle is crucial for several reasons, including:
Muscle tissue is more metabolically active than fat tissue, which means that the more lean muscle you have, the more calories you burn at rest. This increased metabolism can help to maintain a healthy weight and prevent obesity, which is linked to numerous health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
Improves Bone Health
Resistance training, which is often used to build lean muscle, is one of the best ways to improve bone health. The stress of weight-bearing exercises helps to stimulate bone growth and reduce the risk of osteoporosis and fractures.
Enhances Insulin Sensitivity
Lean muscle tissue is a major consumer of glucose in the body, which means that having more muscle can improve insulin sensitivity. This can help to prevent and manage conditions such as type 2 diabetes, which is characterized by insulin resistance.
Inflammation is a natural response of the immune system, but chronic inflammation is linked to numerous health problems, including heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease. Lean muscle tissue produces anti-inflammatory cytokines, which can help to reduce chronic inflammation in the body.
Improves Heart Health
Building and maintaining lean muscle can improve cardiovascular health. Resistance training has been shown to improve blood pressure, decrease LDL cholesterol, and increase HDL cholesterol, which are all important markers of heart health.
Enhances Mental Health
Regular exercise, including resistance training, has been shown to improve mental health and reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression. Building lean muscle can help to improve self-esteem and confidence, which can lead to improved overall wellbeing.
Building and maintaining lean muscle can provide numerous health benefits, including increased metabolism, improved bone health, enhanced insulin sensitivity, reduced inflammation, improved heart health, and enhanced mental health. Incorporating resistance training into your exercise routine can help you build lean muscle and improve your overall health and wellbeing. It’s important to remember that building lean muscle takes time and consistency, so be patient and persistent in your efforts. With regular exercise and a healthy diet, you can achieve a healthy and strong body that supports overall health.