Strong and healthy muscles matter. There is really no other way to say it. Your muscles allow you to move freely, send blood throughout your body, lift things, and promote independence.
Without strong muscles, you’re at risk for increased dependence and a host of health troubles. Muscles even play a role in ways you might not necessarily think about. Breathing, joint pain, and heart health are all improved by healthy muscles.
You’ve got more than 600 muscles in your body. That fact alone should indicate just how important they are to overall health.
Muscle health is about a lot more than working out and building strong muscle. In fact, you don’t need an intense workout plan to keep muscles healthy. Heavyweights and big muscles are not necessarily indicative of strength or muscle quality.
Although activity is required, it is really only one piece of the puzzle. Strength training at a moderate pace of three times per week is recommended. Working in the 8–12 repetition range for each exercise will help build, strengthen, and maintain quality muscle.
The next thing needed for muscle health is eating right. Eating sufficient high-quality protein is recommended as protein contributes to muscle tissue maintenance and growth. You also need to eat enough healthy calories overall to build muscle since it’s much hard to do if you are in a deficit.
Green vegetables and antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables are also important to feed muscles and limit the likelihood of oxidative stress.
Lastly, good sleep each night allows your muscles to repair and get stronger so you can face the challenges of tomorrow.
Aside from allowing you to move and carry things, your muscles protect your bones and joints from injury. If the muscles around your knee get weak, for example, you might be more likely to get injured. Muscle can also help provide balance to limit the risk of slips and falls.
Metabolism is also aided by muscle, which can help you keep a healthy weight. Muscle can help with insulin sensitivity and blood sugar control.
Muscles can get overlooked when it comes to overall health, but they are essential to an active and able body. Help your body age better, reduce the risk for chronic illness, and enhance independence by including muscle care in your health routine.
Mohan Garikiparithi holds a degree in medicine from Osmania University (University of Health Sciences). He practiced clinical medicine for over a decade. During a three-year communications program in Germany, he developed an interest in German medicine (homeopathy) and other alternative systems of medicine. This article was originally published on Bel Marra Health.