5 Tips to Improve Your Mind, Body and Spirit

Let’s face it, there are plenty of ideas circulating around that you could try to use in your everyday life that may potentially help you become more healthy. But what are the best things to try and how should you implement each into your lifestyle so they eventually take hold and become a habit? Here are a few ideas that I have tested that may be just what you need in order to become a healthier 2.0 version of yourself!

 

“Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be”
John Wooden, former UCLA Basketball Coach

 

  • Try a yoga class. Keep in mind, that it may take time to find the right class and instructor that ends up working for you and your body. Personally, I have not found any activity that hits on all three areas of mind, body and spirit better than yoga. It’s simple, you will continue to lose joint range of motion, mobility and flexibility as you age and yoga can help bridge the gap between health and disability. After you leave a class – all three (mind/body/spirit) feel like they have been re-energized. Research continues to demonstrate that a regular yoga practice can improve everything from back pain to depression.
  • Focus on both mobility and strength training.  The majority of people focus on one or none. They are both critical in the aging process. If you want to maintain functionality as you age you must do both on a regular basis. Think “mobility and strength for life.” Make it a priority adding in mobility work before and/or after – each strength training session. Individuals continue to load their joints and muscles without spending the necessary time on improving mobility. Ever wonder why chiropractors, orthopedic docs and PT’s are continually taking on new patients? Work on mobility to prevent disability.
  • Let technology help. It seems everyday there are new apps coming out that can help make us more aware of our current health status. I actually came across one such app called Welltory that does just that. It basically documents how well your body is handling stress each day and what your energy level looks like. Take a look at this free app for a week or two and see how well you’re doing in those areas. When your body releases too much cortisol (known as the stress hormone), from lack of sleep, too much stress, etc. – you’ll have trouble in other areas, like trying to build muscle. Another cool meditation app that can help reduce stress and improve mood is Headspace. I have previously written about it here and here.
  • Don’t neglect sleep. In my opinion, sleep is one of the key missing pieces of the human puzzle.  Have a few bad nights with inadequate amounts of sleep and you’ll (always) pay the price.  We have become a sleep-deprived society and the evidence supports this; showing that we sleep on an average 6.8 hours as opposed to 9 hours a century ago. About 30 percent of adults report sleeping less than 6 hours per night. A study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal showed that individuals who got less than 5.5 hours of sleep each night lost 60 percent more lean muscle that those who got adequate sleep. Another study from the University of Colorado showed subjects that got minimal sleep on consecutive nights gained two pounds on average over the course of the study. A third study from the University of Pennsylvania Sleep and Chronobiology Laboratory looked at the sleeping and eating behavior of 225 people. They reported in the journal Sleep, when you’re awake between the hours of 10 p.m. and 4 a.m., you’re more likely to consume extra calories. The group ate an average of 553 more calories, typically choosing foods higher in fat, when they were kept awake until the early morning hours. Make sure you get or catch up on your ZZZZZ’s.
  • Cut back on added sugar. This one tip that hopefully turns into a habit can significantly improve many different facets of your life, including sleep, energy, oral health, body weight and body fat, to name a few. The average American consumes about 40 teaspoons of sugar each day (about 600 calories) and this far exceeds what your body needs. The American Heart Association recommends the amount be cut to a maximum of six teaspoons (100 calories or 25 grams) a day for women and nine teaspoons (150 calories or 38 grams) for men. One study that was completed at the University of California at Davis, found adults who consumed 25 percent of their daily calories from HFCS for two weeks had increase levels of cholesterol and triglycerides, indicators of increased risk for heart disease. And in 2011, researchers at Georgia Health Sciences University concluded that high fructose consumption by teenagers could potentially put them at risk for heart disease and diabetes.

References

Webb WB and Agnew HW (1975). Are we chronically sleep deprived? Bulletin of the Psychonomic Society, vol. 6, p. 47. (82)

National Sleep Foundation, Sleep in America Poll (2003). National Sleep Foundation, Washington, DC, USA.

Nedeltcheva AV, et al., (2010). Insufficient Sleep Undermines Dietary Efforts to Reduce Adiposity. Annals Internal Medicine 153, 435-441.

Basu S, Yoffe P, Hills N, Lustig RH (2013). The Relationship of Sugar to Population-Level Diabetes Prevalence: An Econometric Analysis of Repeated Cross-Sectional Data. PLoS ONE 8(2): e57873

Stanhope KL, Bremer AA, Medici V, Nakajima K, Ito Y, Nakano T, Chen G et al. (2011). Consumption of Fructose and High Fructose Corn Syrup Increase Postprandial Triglycerides, LDL-Cholesterol, and Apolipoprotein-B in Young Men and Women. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 96(10); DOI: 10.1210/jc.2011-1251

Pollock NK, Bundy V, Kanto W, Davis CL, Bernard PJ et al., (2011). Greater Fructose Consumption is Associated with Cardiometabolic Risk Markers and Visceral Adiposity in Adolescents. Journal of Nutrition, 2011; 142 (2): 251 DOI: 10.3945/jn.111.150219

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Choosing the Fitness Program that Works for You

In a sense, current fitness landscape is very reminiscent of a kaleidoscope. It is intriguing, it’s impressive to look at, and it’s a horrible mess. Don’t believe us? Just look at the things that are considered “fitness” – power yoga, BodyPump, CrossFit, swimming, power lifting… The list goes on and on. What makes this confusing situation even worse is that each of these activities represents a viable fitness approach. Which one will work the best for you depends entirely on you. So, let’s see how to make the right choice.

Make the list of things preventing you from exercising

These would be the common roadblocks people face on a daily basis. We won’t preach you that it’s all in your head – some of these obstacles are legit. Instead, we’ll try to offer the solutions.

  • You don’t have enough time – Try focusing on the bodyweight options you can do at home or at work. This approach can be applied if you can’t stand the gym environment as well.
  • You are way out of shape – It’s better to start late than never. But, don’t expect the changes to occur over night. Start your fitness journey by introducing casual physical activities like walking in your daily routine, and work your way up.
  • You find working out boring – Just find a fitness partner or sign up for a group activity and turn a physical activity into a social activity.
  • You are on a tight budget – Though hiring a professional trainer or at least enrolling for a program that offers a certain level of mentorship, extensive research and a couple of fitness DVDs will do sufficient of a job at filling your blanks.

Determine your fitness goals

Now that you have a somewhat clearer picture about your future approach to fitness, let’s take a look at another huge determining factor – your fitness goals. They can roughly be divided into three groups:

  • Endurance – The most common endurance-building activities are running, swimming, cycling, and rope exercises. When you are building endurance, you are burning calories that would, otherwise, be spent for muscle building, so we can say that building muscles and building endurance are two mutually exclusive processes. However, you can combine strength days and cardio days, cut the rest between sets, and do fast-paced lifting and marry the best of both worlds.
  • Bigger muscles – Building muscles means eating more, so you’ll find combining this approach with losing fat reasonably hard. Also, the most conventional way to build muscles is in the gym. If you have a natural aversion to the gym, you can build your self-confidence and make your stay there more pleasant by finding a gym companion, buying quality gym wear or bringing your headphones.
  • Burning fat – The thing with losing fat is that you simply need to outrun your fork so as long as you’re burning more calories than you are ingesting you’re good to go. The most efficient way to do this, on the other hand, is through high-intensity interval training. The good news is that you’ll also be able to pack some muscles along the way. Not as much as with plain old body-building, but you’ll definitely look leaner.

Special affinities

Last but not least, you have to take into consideration your special affinities. For instance, if you are impressed with nature, you may put the fitness goals on the backseat and simply go hiking. Spiritual persons may find the most enjoyment in yoga or tai chi, while people who like music will probably appreciate dance lessons the most.

All you have to do now is to put these three categories together and find the lowest common denominator that works your needs. Every one of us has a distinct personality and distinct needs. You don’t need to force anything upon yourself. Just find the approach that suits your goals and your qualities the best.

Diana Smith is a full time mom of two beautiful girls interested in fitness and alternative medicine. In her free time she enjoys exercising and preparing healthy meals for her family.

Cross Training: Why It’s a Good Idea to Change Things Up

Just being active should be good enough to maintain and build your fitness level—right? Actually, your muscles want a little something more from you to become their best and strongest. What they want is confusion—muscle confusion, that is.

Muscle confusion is simply doing different things with different muscle groups to create challenges and therefore newfound levels and areas of strength. It helps you from becoming stagnant in your fitness, and is often referred to as cross training. Cross training might be exercise types, or it might be varied options within a certain time period.

What cross training does, though, is pretty remarkable. It builds your strength, of course, but can also lead you away from getting bored, and then abandoning, a workout program.

There are lots of cross training, muscle confusion options. This graphic provides a good place to start. Infographic source: (http://www.clubwoodside.com/cross-training/)

cross-training-infographic

How to Maximize Muscle Adaptation

It is clear as day that building muscle mass is a painful process that demands considerable devotion, diligence, time, planning, and physical endurance. Unfortunately, most people will stop pursuing this goal within the first six months of training. This is because reaching such formidable level of fitness and definition can protract, cause impatience, and as well as having improper training, can lead to lousy results and loss of enthusiasm. Still, there should be no room for discouragement; a sound body doesn’t go anywhere without a sound mind. Developing a stable and focused mind set is the first step to succeeding in this endeavor.

So, how do you train adequately? How do you stimulate muscle growth and memory? “When muscles are used they adapt and change. Changes are dependent on the type of activity and muscle fiber types used, the load exerted on the muscle, and the velocity and duration of the contraction.” (Marieb, 2004) The point is to persevere through all the hardships, because muscular growth or hypertrophy can only be accomplished through these adaptations and changes. It takes about 16 workouts to have a noticeable ‘superficial’ effect. There is simply no other recipe to do this in a healthy, orderly, and long-lasting manner.

Training stimulus

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Photo Credit: http://fitnesshealth101.com

Without a training stimulus, you won’t get any proper results. This will be the main goal that everyone has to with when having such individually rough training regimes. Otherwise, everything can go down the drain. The highlight should be put on systematically overloading your body in a progressive pace in order to reach a momentary failure with each new set of exercise. This is what develops your base level of strength, and the same thing goes with your aerobic capacity when it comes to cardio. High interval training on a bike, rowing machine, elliptical, or plain sprinting will get your body working. Be consistent when using protocols like Tabata (8 series of 20 seconds of intense work, followed by 10 seconds of rest), or Gibala (30 seconds of same intense work, 4 minutes of recovery done at least 4 times).

“Whether training for sports performance or health enhancement, much of the success of the program will be attributable to the effectiveness of the exercise prescription in manipulating the progression of the resistance stimulus, the variation in the program design and the individualization of the program.” (Kraemer, 1994)

Diet and protein intake

Health comes within the body, and, what we eat influences how the body functions. In this meticulous, physically empowering case, it’s very important to keep track of the required amount of protein needed to maximize the process known as protein synthesis. This is what gets the engines running! It’s up to you to estimate how your body reacts to 1 gram of protein intake per kilo, and slowly progress comparing the effects with the same dose (but only per pound of your bodyweight). On average, it will all boil down to about 20-30 grams of necessary protein intake with each meal or snack. The best way to continue nurturing yourself in this fashion is by drinking whey protein, especially after workout and before going to sleep.

Rest and sleep

Resting is part of a workout, just as silence is a part of music. You have to know when to put your previously strained body at ease in order for it to heal, and reap what it has sowed while pumping iron. Naturally, 7-8 hours of uninterrupted, comfortable sleep each night is crucial. This is important, because it reduces the production of cortisol (the stress hormone) which can otherwise put you in a very disruptive situation should it overrun your system. Still, the primary reason why sleep is so important is pretty simple – health! Only when your body is fully regenerated, stout, and free of fatigue, you can effectively train to the max. On the other hand, once your body is weak and spent, you should aim to pacify such ailments and get back on track as soon as possible, no two ways about it.

Finally, remember to do your research, because any additional information that can help you in this process is always beneficial. Consult yourself with professionals, see what other enthusiasts know, think and feel, check if there are some answers online, and primarily get all of your facts straight. The more you discover, implement, and analyze, the better you are at figuring out what suits your body’s growth and strengthening the best.

Author

VsafL3XZ_400x400Mathews McGarry is passionate about many forms of strength training, and spent years lifting, dragging and flipping all manner of heavy objects. After graduating from the Faculty of Health Sciences, he started writing about his experiences, and sharing tips for better life at highstylife.com and other health blogs. Follow him on Twitter.

Do You Know What Your 13 Major Muscle Groups Are?

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Source: http://flowingharmony.com

You may be aware that there are more than 600 muscle in the human body but what are considered the major muscle groups from that list?

About 35-42 percent of your body weight is made up of muscle tissue and muscle is either cardiac, smooth or skeletal.

Muscle fibers are classified as either slow twitch fibers or fast twitch fibers based on their contraction times.

Getting back to our question of the actual number of major muscles groups in the body – well, that number is thirteen and they are:

  • Abdominals
  • Biceps
  • Deltoid
  • Erector Spinae
  • Gastrocnemius & Soleus
  • Gluteus Maximus
  • Hamstrings
  • Latissiumus Dorsi & Rhomboids
  • Obliques
  • Pectoralis
  • Quadriceps
  • Trapezius
  • Triceps

One of the most important muscles in this group of thirteen is the abdominal muscle known as the rectus abdominis. It is considered part of the core that includes 28 additional muscles. Hidden beneath your “abs” is your tranverse abdominis muscle and on the sides are your (internal/external) oblique muscles. A strong core is important for good posture and even more critical when jumping, running or lifting weight overhead. The development of a strong core is vital for everything from ADL’s to sport-specific movements to helping you maintain functionality as you age. To increase endurance and strength in this area continue to use full-body movements as well as over-head lifts. In addition, add in various progressions of prone and side plank exercises.

3 Key Factors Needed to Build Muscle and Strength

imagesThere are three key ingredients that you need as part of your recipe to successfully build muscle and increase strength.

Adequate Training Stimulus. Without this training stimulus it just won’t happen and if you’re not getting results, the odds are that you – like most people – will stop exercising within the first six months of starting. You need to focus on overloading your muscles in a progressive manner, pushing your muscles to momentary failure with each set of exercise. This happens only after you develop a strong base level of strength. The same hold true if you’re looking to improve aerobic capacity on the cardio side. Try adding in a few days of high-intensity interval training into the mix, using protocols like Tabata (20 seconds of hard work, 10 seconds of recovery x 8 rounds) or a Gibala protocol, 30 seconds of high intensity work followed by four minutes of recovery repeated x 4 rounds. This can be done on a bike, rowing machine, elliptical, sprint work etc.

Adequate Recovery and Protein Intake. This is where many drop the ball. It’s very difficult to get plenty of recovery between workouts while making sure your body is getting the required amount of protein to maximize protein synthesis. See how your body responds to 1 gram of protein/kilogram of body weight and slowly progress to 1 gram of protein/pound of body weight if needed. Here is what that might look like when I plug-in my own body weight:

1 gram/kilogram of body weight (228 lbs/2.2 = 104 kilograms or 104 grams of protein/day).

1 gram/pound of body weight (228 x 1 gram = 228 grams of protein/day).

To make this happens you will probably need to take in 20-30 grams of protein with each meal and snack. A good way to ensure this happens is to drink a whey protein drink especially post workout and before bed.

Adequate Sleep. Another difficult area for many people. Your goal is 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night. If not the body’s hormonal system can get out of whack. Hormones like cortisol (known as the stress hormone) can increase with insufficient sleep. Read the following study here and article here. Researcher and author, Charles Poliquin puts it nicely into perspective:

“lack of sleep is like the opposite of strength training”

All three of these variables are under your control. You can manage this and you can definitely have success with it, you just need to choose to “commit to get fit.”

A Full Serving of Protein at Each Meal Needed for Maximum Muscle Health

Most Americans eat a diet that consists of little to no protein for breakfast, a bit of protein at lunch and an overabundance of protein at dinner. As long as they get their recommended dietary allowance of about 60 grams, it’s all good, right?

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Source: http://www.authintmail.com

Not according to new research from a team of scientists led by muscle metabolism expert Doug Paddon-Jones, PhD, of the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. This research shows that the typical cereal or carbohydrate-dominated breakfast, a sandwich or salad at lunch and overly large serving of meat/protein for dinner may not provide the best metabolic environment to promote healthy aging and maintenance of muscle size and strength.

“The new study, in the Journal of Nutrition, shows that the potential for muscle growth is less than optimal when protein consumption is skewed toward the evening meal instead of being evenly distributed throughout the day.”

Age-related conditions such as osteoporosis (bone weakening) and sarcopenia (muscle wasting) do not develop all of a sudden. Rather they are insidious processes precipitated by suboptimal lifestyle practices, such as diet and exercise, in early middle age, the study states.

The UTMB researchers provided volunteers with a generous daily dose of 90 grams of protein — consistent with the average amount currently consumed by healthy adults in the United States. While very active individuals may benefit from a slightly higher protein intake, the team’s previous research suggests that, for the majority of adults, additional protein will likely have a diminishing positive effect on muscle metabolism, while any less may fail to provide optimal muscle metabolism support.

When study volunteers consumed the evenly distributed protein meals, their 24-hour muscle protein synthesis was 25 percent greater than subjects who ate according to the skewed protein distribution pattern. This result was not altered by several days of habituation to either protein distribution pattern.

“Usually, we eat very little protein at breakfast, a bit more at lunch and then consume a large amount at night. When was the last time you had just 4 ounces of anything during dinner at a restaurant?” Paddon-Jones said. “So we’re not taking enough protein on board for efficient muscle building and repair during the day, and at night we’re often taking in more than we can use. We run the risk of having this excess oxidized and ending up as glucose or fat.”

A more efficient eating strategy for making muscle and controlling total caloric intake would be to shift some of the extra protein consumed at dinner to lunch and breakfast.

“You don’t have to eat massive amounts of protein to maximize muscle synthesis, you just have to be a little more thoughtful with how you apportion it,” Paddon-Jones said. “For breakfast consider replacing some carbohydrate, particularly the simple sugars, with high-quality protein. Throw in an egg, a glass of milk, yogurt or add a handful of nuts to get closer to 30 grams of protein, do something similar to get to 30 for lunch, and then moderate the amount of protein for dinner. Do this, and over the course of the day you will likely spend much more time synthesizing muscle protein.”

This blog post was used with permission from EurekAlert! Other authors of the paper (“Dietary Protein Distribution Positively Influences 24-h Muscle Protein Synthesis in Healthy Adults”) include Madonna M. Mamerow, Jonie A Mettler, Kirk L. English, Shanon L. Casperson, Emily Arentson-Lantz, Melinda Sheffield-Moore and Donald K. Layman. The study was supported by funding from the Beef Checkoff, the UTMB Institute for Translational Sciences, the National Institutes of Health National Center for Research Resources and the Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center NIH/National Institute on Aging.

Differences Between Muscle Tissue and Body Fat

The body is an amazing organism and is made up of many different elements, including various tissues, bones, organs and fluid. The two that we seem to focus on the most, when it comes to exercise and our health, are muscle and fat. We exercise and monitor our nutritional intake to build one, muscle, while trying to lose the other, fat (also known as adipose tissue). photo-60

Skeletal muscle is the most abundant tissue in the body accounting for approximately 42% and 35% of body weight in men and women respectively. An average male who weighs 185 pounds would have about 78 pounds of lean muscle tissue while a female who weighs 140 pounds has approximately 49 pounds of lean muscle tissue. The remaining body weight, once muscle and fat are accounted for, includes water, mineral, bone and organ weight (the average human heart weighs about 10 oz. while the brain weighs about 3 lbs.). That same average male that where talking about may have, on average, about 25% body fat (or 46 pounds of fat) while that average female may have 30% body fat (or 42 pounds of fat).

One of the amazing things about muscle tissue is that it has the ability through regular, progressive exercise, to increase in size (known as muscle hypertrophy). Donnelly and colleagues have reported that strength training studies (lasting from 8 to 52 weeks) have shown increases of 2.2 to 4.5 pounds of muscle mass. On the other hand, fat tissue typically decreases in size when an exercise prescription is consistently followed. In addition to increasing in size, muscle can also get stronger and with additional training, improvements can be seen in endurance capacity, power output and force production as well.

Fat is stored in the body in the form of triglycerides and also stored in fat cells which are called adipocytes. According to Coyle, about 50,000 to 60,000 calories of energy are stored in fat cells throughout the body. Fat can also be stored within skeletal muscle cells. Protein stores in muscle can account for about 30,000 calories of energy. Muscle tissue can contribute approximately 20% of the body’s total daily energy expenditure compared to 5% for fat tissue.

The photo shows equivalent amounts of both muscle and fat (5 lbs.) but the same amount of muscle, which is more dense, takes up one-third less space compared to fat. Five pounds of muscle and fat may in fact weigh the same but that is where the similarities end. Muscle tissue, pound for pound, requires 3-4 times more calories to maintain compared to fat and is important in the process of energy metabolism. A pound of metabolically active muscle tissue requires 5-7 calories per pound while fat tissue is less metabolically active, needing about 2 calories per pound.

Finally, muscle plays an important role in the aging process. With advancing age we experience a loss of exercise capacity. This is due to first, to a decline in skeletal muscle mass and strength during aging and then a decrease in maximal oxygen uptake mainly due to a drop in maximal heart rate, according to Henning Wackerhage, PhD, a Senior Lecturer in Molecular Exercise Physiology at the University of Aberdeen.

References

Marieb, EN and Hoehn, K. (2010). Human Anatomy and Physiology (8th ed.). San Francisco: Benjamin Cummings.

Elia, M. (1999). Organ and Tissue Contribution to Metabolic Weight. Energy Metabolism: Tissue Determinants and Cellular Corollaries. Kinney, J.M., Tucker, H.N., eds. Raven Press. New York.

Donnelly, J.E., Jakicic, J.M., et. al. (2003). Is Resistance Training Effective for Weight Management Evidence-Based Preventive Medicine. 1(1): 21-29.

Wackerhage, H. (2014). Molecules, Aging and Exercise in Molecular Exercise Physiology. Routledge.

Coyle, EF. (1995). Fat metabolism during exercise. Sports Science Exchange, 8(6):59.

5 Facts About Muscle That You May Not Have Known

Sartorius_muscleHow much do you really know about your body? The body is an amazing organism that is able to function because the heart continually pumps blood throughout the entire body, beating about 100,000 times a day and 1,000,000 times over the course of a week. Depending on the activity you’re doing, the typical heart will pump one to seven gallons of blood a minute, and as much as 2000 gallons a day. In addition to the heart, you have 650 muscle, 185 joints and 206 bones in your body (52 of those bones are in your feet) that enable you to move like an Olympic athlete (on a good day). Let’s look a bit deeper at muscle, here are five facts about muscle that you may not have known.

  • Skeletal muscle makes up about 40% of your body weight.
  • You use 200 muscles to take just one step.
  • Approximately 85% of your body heat is generated by muscle tissue.
  • Muscle can only pull (not push), contract and relax. If all of the muscles in your body could all pull in one direction, it would create a force of 25 tons!
  • The longest muscle is the Sartorius in your thigh (about 12″), the largest is the Gluteus Maximus and the smallest is in your ear, the Stapedius.

Reference

Sandler H and Vernikos J (1986). Inactivity: Physiological Effects. Academic Press.

McMahon TA (1984). Muscles, Reflexes, and Locomotion. Princeton University Press.

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.