First of all, what is lean muscle mass?
Lean muscle mass is the amount of muscle that makes up your body composition. You can have two distinct individuals who weigh the same but upon inspection have completely different body compositions - one having more lean muscle mass percentage as opposed to body fat percentage.
But why is it important to develop and increase muscle mass?
- Increase Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR): we know there is a positive correlation between lean muscle mass and basal metabolic rate - the more lean muscle mass the higher the BMR. Having a higher BMR is important because it means you will have greater energy expenditure at rest (while doing nothing) and this is vital to ensure calorific balance and avoid obesity
- Protection Against Insulin Resistance: a variety of studies have reported that having more muscle mass improves insulin sensitivity. This is important because increased insulin resistance may lead to prediabetes, type 2 diabetes and other serious health problems like heat attacks, strokes and cancer.
- Better mobility and strength: As we get older, we naturally start losing muscle mass - "after age 30, you begin to lose as much as 3% to 5% per decade" (in the medical field this is called Sarcopenia) as a result, we slowly lose mobility and become more vulnerable to injury and bone fractures. Researchers have found that lower amounts of skeletal muscle mass is correlated with weak and thinner bones. Therefore, it is safe to assume that building more muscle will lead to greater bone strength and density. Less muscle mass, often means greater weakness and decreased mobility alongside decreased bone density and increased risk of injury and fractures.
- Boosted immune system: when you get sick, your body nutritional needs change in order to fight the disease. There'll often be a higher need for protein in order to support your immune system and nutrition alone might not do the trick. However, your muscle mass might be able to give your immune systems the reserves it needs.
Overall, muscle building should not only be a bodybuilder or athlete activity, it should be something all of us should do since it has so many benefits. For a healthy a long life we should all pay attention to our lean body mass.
We should all invest now in building lean body mass because it is certain to payout in the future. Since as we get older we tend to lose muscle mass the more muscle mass we build in our youth years the more in reserve we'll be able to have for when we need it.
But how do you build lean body mass?
Stay tuned, because we'll be giving you those secrets as well!