The Importance Of Lean Muscle Mass
I fully realize that the title above may sound somewhat rhetorical. Of course you understand how nice it is to have a decent amount of lean muscle, right? Although you are correct in this assumption, having an optimal amount of lean muscle tissue is important for many more reasons other than looking like a movie star.
It is safe to say that almost all of us that have ever attempted to build lean muscle have done so solely for the purpose of building a better physique. Whether you chased those gains for this purpose or any other number of reasons, building muscle tissue is a respectable goal. An increase of lean muscle mass in the body carries a wide array of benefits that are valuable for a number of purposes.
In this article, we are going to discuss a few reasons why increasing lean muscle tissue is important for more than just looking good on your family beach vacation!
Increased Caloric Expenditure
Most of us know that in order to prevent excess weight gain, the number of calories we consume must be equal to or less than the amount consumed. This is a very straightforward equation. However, when thinking of ways to put this into action, we tend to do one of two things. The first idea is usually attempting to burn excess calories through some form of exercise, such as cardio or hobby. The second method is to cut back on the amount of calories consumed each day.
While both of these options are beneficial in that they will get the job done, having more lean muscle tissue in the body also burns calories, but in a much more passive way. Muscle tissue requires a lot of attention in the body.
Not only does muscle have a relatively high oxygen and nutrient demand, it also maintains a higher temperature than fat or skin. Because of these requirements, lean muscle mass burns a pretty significant amount of calories even at rest. Put simply, the more lean muscle present in your body, the more calories you will burn doing absolutely nothing. Consider this the anatomical version of passive income.
Maintained Vitality With Age
As we age, there are some inevitable declines throughout the body. One of these unfortunate processes is a decrease in overall muscle tissue. Although this may seem obvious when stated, having less muscle puts you at risk for a wide array of injuries and decreased physical ability.
The solution to this issue is not to stop the decline itself. Instead, having more lean muscle mass to lose in the first place allows any noticeable loss to occur much more gradually. However, this does not mean you should try to pack on as much muscle as possible in your younger years and cease working out at a certain age. At every stage of life, we still have the ability to gain muscle as long as we adhere to the basic principles of this process: regular exercise and sufficient nutrition. Long story short, the more muscle mass you have to lose, the less of a decrease in vitality and function you will experience over the course of your lifetime.
Enhanced Immune Function
The immune system works day in and day out to ward off almost constant threats of illness. When illness does occur, this system fights the intruder head on to maintain and restore normal function in the body. When thinking of ways to fortify the immune system, we often turn to vitamin C supplements and other pharmaceuticals to get the job done.
Another method for strengthening the immune system is to increase lean muscle mass. During periods when the immune system is working overtime to maintain your health, there is often a shortage of fuel.
When this occurs, the body actually begins breaking down protein stored in muscle tissue to keep pushing forward. Naturally, the more lean muscle tissue your immune system has available to pull from, the stronger the system becomes as a whole!