3 Ways Building Muscle Helps Metabolism
One of the many changes that occur to women’s bodies during the menopausal transition, is the loss of muscle mass. Women can lose up to half a pound of muscle mass every year of their menopausal journey. Regaining muscle mass after that transition is possible, but it can also be difficult to achieve depending on individual health.
It may not seem like a loss of muscle mass has that much of an impact on health, but it has more consequences than we may realize. Without enough muscle mass surrounding bones and joints, it becomes easier for fractures to occur, especially in women with osteoporosis or who are at an increased risk of developing osteoporosis.
Building muscle mass can do a lot more for your health than just protect your bones. Muscle mass can help improve metabolism, maintain steady blood sugar levels, and much more.
More Muscle Means Higher Metabolism
Increasing the body’s muscle mass can help improve resting metabolism. The body is constantly expending energy during the day, in order to maintain all bodily functions. The body has to gain this energy from food and stored fat cells. Without these sources, the body can’t metabolize compounds (mainly calories) into energy. Of course, an excess of calories and stored fats can make it harder for the body to turn them into energy.
One way to help improve the body’s resting metabolism, that is the ability to turn fat/calories into energy, is to build muscle. Muscle utilizes more energy from resting metabolism than fat. This means that the body has to burn through more stored fats if it can’t burn through calories received from a meal. This can improve the rate at which your stores and burns through fat. Which can lead to a healthier weight and improved cardiovascular health.
Muscle Mass Helps Lower Blood Sugar
One of the biggest dangers to any person’s health is high blood sugar. Chronic levels of high blood sugar can lead to a lowered insulin response and increase the risk of diabetes. Insulin is a hormone that helps the body regulate blood sugar levels and dispose of excess glucose in the bloodstream.
Increased muscle mass helps improve the amount of glucose that the body disposes of. This can help your body better process glucose that gets absorbed into the bloodstream and regulates how much is passed in waste. This can help lower blood sugar levels, improve insulin response, lower the risk of diabetes, and help maintain cardiovascular health.
Muscle Can Help Maintain Heart Health
It may be hard to understand the link between cardiovascular health and muscle mass, at first, but once you understand the impact of muscles on metabolism, it becomes pretty clear. We know that increasing muscle mass helps increase the body’s resting metabolism, and also helps lower blood glucose levels. However, what are the implications of these effects on the heart?
High blood sugar increases high blood pressure. High sugar levels, especially fructose sugars, cause blood pressure to rise by inhibiting the release of nitrous oxide in blood vessels. Nitrous oxide is an important component of vasodilation and helps blood vessels maintain their elasticity. Without enough elasticity, blood vessels cannot widen to allow blood to flow more easily through the body.
How does this impact heart health? High blood pressure puts a strain on the arteries. The arteries are responsible for carrying oxygen and nutrients from your heart to the rest of the body. This helps your heart maintain the circulation of healthy blood to other areas of the body. If the arteries, which are major blood vessels, lose their elasticity, they become narrow and cannot effectively carry oxygen and nutrients away from the heart. This puts a strain on the heart that can lead to heart attack and stroke.
Because muscle mass can help lower blood sugar levels by increasing resting metabolism, this risk of nitrous oxide suppression lowers. This results in a lowered risk of developing high blood pressure which can help support a healthy heart.
Find Ways To Maintain Muscle
Maintaining muscle mass can help support your health as you age. Finding ways to support muscle health is crucial to supporting overall health. Consuming enough protein, focusing on weight lifting and resistance exercises, and staying hydrated can help your body increase and maintain muscle mass more effectively.