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Many people look at bodybuilders and wonder if all that muscle mass can be healthy.
Still others wonder if there are any health benefits to bodybuilding training or whether they might be putting themselves at risk when they train.
It’s fair to say that no form of exercise or physical fitness training is 100% risk-free but there are definite health benefits to bodybuilding and weight training too.
We’ve got the best of them to encourage you to keep on resistance training and weight lifting or to take it up if you haven’t already.
You may not know it but our muscle tissue is not something that maintains itself.
In fact, once we turn 25 (or so) we begin to lose muscle mass with each passing year. The average person loses about 8% of their total muscle every decade between 40 and 70 and then? Things get even worse with the average 70-year-old losing 15% of their muscle over the next decade!
You might not know it by muscle mass protects your body against cancer, makes it harder to get injured, and controls your metabolism.
The loss of muscle is linked to failures in both mental health and physical health.
This is why weight training and resistance training have become so important in recent years, while you can’t avoid aging at all, by carrying out rigorous exercise that impedes or even reverses muscle loss, you can delay aging.
And here are several health benefits of bodybuilding that are directly linked to muscle mass and weight training.
This might sound ridiculous, particularly if you’ve been listening to the news but diabetes is not always linked to obesity.
In fact, while there is a definite link between body fat accumulation and diabetes, around 20% of people with diabetes or who have prediabetic symptoms are, in fact, at a completely healthy weight.
There are a number of ways to fix this and many opt for a no-exercise approach that involves a low-carb diet, after all, if you reduce the amount of sugar in your body, you make it much harder to have too much sugar in your bloodstream.
The are a few things that can go wrong with this approach, however, and the main thing is that elimination diets such as keto or carnivore are hard to stick to, and each time you go back to eating carbs, your body stores the sugar in your body. When it runs out of storage space, it dumps them in the bloodstream, and “boom” diabetes or prediabetes returns.
If you opted for building muscle as a solution to diabetes instead of weight training as your key mechanism for improving muscular strength, you would find that not only would you burn more carbs but you would have more space in your body to store them – muscle is where carb storage takes place.
Reducing diabetic symptoms can help prevent cancer, improve your cognitive abilities and help avoid heart disease.
Obviously, weight training that leads to building muscle will lead to strength gains. Everyone knows that this is true because we all associate muscle with strength.
However, when you first start to work with a personal trainer, you’re not really building muscle, so much as you are training the muscle you already have to be more effective.
It’s after a few months that you start to build muscle effectively.
And at this point, you see why you started bodybuilding and why it’s better than aerobic exercise, you’ll soon be skipping up and downstairs and it will feel good, no shortness of breath or tiredness.
Your muscles will be creating new fibers and thus mitochondria that help you produce energy in a more efficient way than say through aerobic exercise.
When you compare those who bodybuild to those leading sedentary lifestyles, you can quickly find many benefits of bodybuilding. One thing you should know is that if you don’t start working out today, in a year’s time your muscles will be weaker than ever.
People often avoid resistance exercise such as lifting weights in favor of aerobic exercise because they think it’s going to cause them joint pain.
The thing is that aerobic exercise is often worse for joints than weights and the reason you suffer from joint pain is usually a lack of muscle to properly support your body shape.
That doesn’t mean, of course, if you have severely damaged joints that every form of strength training is going to help or won’t hurt, you may have to look for alternative exercises that help to enhance these areas rather than standard weight training if that’s the case, but you can always find some way of strength training that improves joint usage.
In fact, many people use strength training to help resolve issues that they have with forms of arthritis!
We’d also point out that muscle training is vital if you want to do aerobic exercise safely if you want to hold surfaces when they are a little slippery or awkward, strong muscles around your joints can really help you keep your balance.
There is no doubt at all that building muscles helps to improve your bone density too, in fact we use a range of supplements to make this gain even stronger by combining pre-workout supplements, post-workout supplements, and natural testosterone boosters with our workouts so we can be sure we get the amino acids, vitamins, and minerals for healthy bone growth.
Bones like muscles weaken over time and you can only improve bone density by resistance training, so gaining muscle tissue and bone mass require a similar approach in the gym.
One of the most interesting things about muscle is that a pound of muscle burns roughly 300% of the calories that a pound of body fat does.
Thus reduced body fat plus muscle gain becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy in the longer-term because your body burns more and more calories.
This is a really important point and not just for your self-esteem or desire to lose weight.
Often when we first start weight training, we find ourselves not changing in size very much according to the scale and that’s because to start with – we replace fat with muscle and muscle weighs more than fat does.
However, you should be able to see that your overall physique is improving at this stage – and over time, you will find that your metabolic rate makes it much easier to lose weight than it was before.
Your muscles keep burning extra calories even while you’re sleeping. Do enough physical activities and you should find that your fitness goals become easier to achieve and weight gain becomes a thing of the past.
It is entirely possible for exercise to give an elderly person the same metabolic rate as a younger person, particularly if the younger person does no exercise in everyday life.
So, if you’re feeling old at the moment, it might not be negative thinking that’s weighing you down, but rather your metabolism. It’s time to hit the gym and put that right.
Have you ever noticed that sad, anxious even depressed people have a certain slouch in their posture and body that screams “things aren’t OK for me”?
Our bodies can reflect our emotional state and this is obvious in this case.
But the reverse is also true. Our mental health and self-esteem can also reflect our physical state.
When you take on the posture of someone assured, happy, and confident a positive self-image follows.
Bodybuilders find that the muscle work that they do, translates to better posture in their lives and if you combine this with improving the ergonomics of chairs, workstations, etc. you can get a massive boost to your mental health from weight training. You may also find your blood pressure starts to drop when you combat issues of low self-esteem.
Finally, body composition and physical strength can lead us to feel more confident in ourselves.
There is often a relationship between feeling weak in our minds and feeling weak in our bodies. When we regain the strength in our bodies, we regain it in our minds too.
This is why many people say that they feel years younger and more capable of handling the world around them when they start doing weight training, it’s not an illusion it’s the simple reality of being healthier.
So there you have it, you can put off the negative effects of old age and if you need to, enjoy weight loss and other benefits from bodybuilding.
Life will become easier and it’s a great tool for managing stress as well. We would note, however, that you should still pay attention to your nutrition which will also play a role in your health but bodybuilding is an excellent start if you want to feel better and happier today.