5 Facts About Muscle You May Not Have Known

muscles-and-jointsWhat takes a great deal of work to build and then you lose it as you age? That would be muscle. Here are five science-based facts about muscle that you may not have known.

1. One of the many reasons why you should consistently perform strength training for the rest of your life: The 0.5 pounds of muscle you’re losing on average each year, after age 30, produces a 0.5% reduction in your basal metabolic rate each year.

2. Here are two reasons why every female should strength train for the rest of their life. About 24% of a newborn’s body weight is made up of muscle; a typical adult female will have about 35-38% muscle while that same female by the time she reaches age 70 ends up back at that original 24% number!

3. One of the many reasons you should be strength training for life: there is a 30% decline in muscle strength and a 40% reduction in muscle size from age 20 to 70. Another reason for you to continue or start a strength-training program – you will lose 50% of your strength by age 80 if you don’t.

4. When you progressively overload your muscles via strength training you also strengthen your connective tissue (ligaments and tendons). With each repetition, you’re strengthening your muscle and the tendon, that connects that muscle to a particular bone and the by-product is stronger bones.

5. You know muscle is important when it comes to metabolic rate. A pound of muscle requires about 6 to 7 calories per pound to maintain (not 30 to 50 calories as some publications have reported) while fat requires only 2 calories per pound. Muscle burns three times more calories per pound than fat. Muscle is not “heavier” than fat, it has a greater density than fat and as a result takes up one-third less space. The key to aging is maintaining lean muscle mass, if it goes you go.

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