Why Strength Matters

Healthy muscles keep you mobile and reduce the risk of disease
July 1, 2020 Updated: July 1, 2020

You might not need to lift boulders, tires, or other heavy objects every day. But regardless of that, strength matters.

Being strong enough to take on daily tasks makes life easier. But strength goes further than physical ability. Research has indicated muscle strength can also provide insight into your risk for chronic illness.

One way that muscle helps is through glucose metabolism. When you have strong muscle, your body has more area to store glycogen (sugar). This can improve insulin sensitivity and reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome, fat storage, and Type 2 diabetes.

A new study published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine shows that grip strength is associated with future risk for Type 2 diabetes.

The study found that apparently healthy adults who had weak grip strength were more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes than those with a stronger grip. Grip strength is a good indicator of overall strength.

So, how do you get stronger?

Resistance exercise and proper nutrition are key. For muscle to become and remain strong, it has to be continuously built and challenged. It’s built and maintained with adequate protein consumption and challenged with weight-bearing exercise.

A great place to start is resistance bands. These elastics don’t restrict natural movement patterns and provide versatility along the strength curve (which means you can adjust resistance where you want it). They can also be used virtually anywhere at any time.

Some things to keep in mind when picking bands are resistance level, manufacturer, and components. It’s recommended to get a set of a few bands so you can reach appropriate levels of resistance. Your legs and back require more weight than your arms.

Purchasing a set that includes a door anchor is also worthwhile. This allows greater versatility for movements.

Building strength is about more than just lifting. Muscle helps improve metabolism and fight against chronic illness like Type 2 diabetes. Resistance training can play a major role in your overall health and risk for disease.

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.