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10 Reasons Muscles Matter

1. Enhance your level of functional fitness. Your muscles play a key role in determining whether you can perform the activities of daily living at home, work and play. Accordingly, the higher your level of muscular fitness, the more likely you will be able to do the tasks in your life without undue fatigue or risk of injury.

2. Facilitate your efforts to control your weight. The amount of lean muscle mass you have helps to determine your resting metabolic rate, which in turn significantly affects the number of calories you burn. All factors considered, the more muscle you have, the easier it is to keep your weight within a desirable range.

3. Promote bone health. Strength training not only makes your muscles stronger, it also makes your bones stronger. Performed over an extended time, strength training has been found to increase bone density. Accordingly, proper strength training will help to lower your risk of osteoporosis.

4. Reduce your chances of sustaining both muscular and skeletal injuries that occur in physical activity could be prevented through a higher level of muscular fitness. In that vein, strength training can be viewed as a relatively effective and inexpensive form of personal health insurance.

5. Slow down the so-called aging process. Strength training enhances the ability of older adults to perform the daily tasks associated with independent living. Accordingly, proper strength training can have an invaluable impact on helping senior citizens maintain their independence and personal dignity.

6. Decrease the relative muscular demands of specific tasks. Every physical activity requires a certain percentage of an individual’s maximal level of muscular strength. For individuals who become stronger through strength training, common activities of daily living (e.g., carrying books, carrying groceries, lifting small children) require less effort and are easier to perform.

7. Help treat and prevent lower back pain. Proper strength training can help reduce the incidence and severity of lower back pain by strengthening both your abdominal and lower back muscles. By enhancing your postural stability, keeping these muscles strong can help prevent undue load forces from being placed on your spine.

8. Enhance your appearance. The “fit, healthy” look is a matter of muscle tone, and an improved level of muscle is a by-product of proper strength training. Fortunately, substantial changes in the level of strength and tone of a muscle can occur in a relatively short period.

9. Improve sports performance. Strength training has been shown to enhance an individual’s ability to perform a variety of athletic-related skills. A higher level of muscular fitness affects not only your capacity to perform a specific task but also your ability to continue to perform that task at an acceptable level over an extended period.

10. Improve your psychological well being. Strength training has been found to have a positive impact on your level of anxiety, depression and self-esteem. Accordingly, strength training can have a meaningful effect on the various facets of the mind-body connection.

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