Updated: Apr 18
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Building muscle is a beneficial aspect and by-product of physical fitness for kids and adults of any age.
Muscle is a better tissue for burning calories than fat, so building muscle will help you not only lose weight in the moment, but your metabolism will function more efficiently going forward. That doesn’t mean you have to be bulky to be fit. But as you add muscle to your individualized frame, you can improve your own body’s ability to process calories into energy and burn some excess.
Strengthening your muscles helps to improve or maintain good bone health as well. This can aid in avoiding or delaying osteoporosis, avoiding bone breaks, and maintaining your functional movement even into later life. Exercises that involve “pounding” (like walking, jogging or jumping) make a big difference, but so do resistance exercises that involve pushing (or pulling) against gravity and other forces. Muscle tone, along with improved/maintained bone density will also help with functional abilities and with mobility, especially as you get older. You’ll want to be able to get out of a chair without help for as long as possible, right?
Muscle definition, even if you aren’t striving to “look muscular” can contribute to a more defined body, and many people find that encouraging and something that contributes to overall confidence levels. Some times you can get back into those too-tight jeans without losing a pound on the scale just by losing inches thanks to more muscle definition.
Toning muscle and increasing muscle mass often improves performance for other activities you’d like to do while decreasing the risk of injuries. You’ll often hear about athletes doing cross-training that doesn’t include motions or activities that would normally be performed during their sport, but helps to increase overall ability. Strength training is on the cross-training schedule because of all the benefits it brings.
But resistance training isn’t just for athletes! Just 30 minutes of strength training 2-3 times a week (with a rest day for each muscle group the day after) can help you strive toward all the benefits mentioned here!