Woman Weight-Lifting at Wellness Spa

Why muscles will help you live longer

Glynis BarberFitness & Exercise, Health 4 Comments

When I was a child and used to do ballet, all my class mates had beautifully toned legs with shapely calves and thighs. I had two skinny little twigs and seemed incapable of developing muscle no matter what I did.

I had muscle envy!

And I still do. Some people (remember Madonna’s arms?) just look at a weight and get ripped. I know people who have to be very careful not to overdo weights because they develop muscle so easily. It’s just not fair. I have to work VERY hard just to keep toned.

And it turns out muscle is everything

It’s important to do weights and build muscle as your metabolism depends on it. You will burn fat more efficiently and avoid weight gain by having well toned muscles.

As we get older we tend to lose muscle

This is called sarcopenia and it makes us more frail and at risk of falling. It means that it becomes ever more important to include weight training in our fitness regime just to maintain the muscles we have.

Now it turns out that our muscle mass is linked to our longevity

This is because muscle mass increases our survivability against all diseases. How so I hear you ask? It’s because we have the highest amount of our protein reserves in our muscles and these reserves are needed to survive a serious disease. You are at great risk if you are seriously ill and have very little muscle.

You need to eat enough protein as well

As per my previous article with Dr Zoë Harcombe PhD, animal protein is optimal and excellent for building muscle. You should include a good portion of protein with every meal. My go to are eggs. They are the perfect protein and filled with nutrients. Exercising alone, is not enough.

See the article with Zoë HERE

Regarding exercise, it would seem that weight training is therefore more important than cardio work. Although, of course, doing both is optimal. And don’t forget that using your body weight (as in yoga) is beneficial too.

The good news is it’s never too late to start making muscle

Whatever age you are, you can improve and build your muscles. It may be a little harder the older you get, but it will be worth every single effort you make. And remember, what you eat is just as important as lifting those weights.



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Comments 4

  1. That’s very interesting, thanks Glynis! I think my good muscles helped me survive very serious illness (severe septic shock) last year. Now I’m working hard to build them up again.

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  2. This is very relevant to me at the moment because my father who is 86 is wobbly on his feet and it worries me to death. It came on quite suddenly. He has been having a course of vitamin B12 injections to help him and I make sure he eats a lot of the right things, I’m learning all the time!

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