Which weighs more, muscle or fat?
If you answered “they weigh the same”, you are correct. The difference is that muscle is denser so it takes up less space.
To put it another way, if you gained 5 pounds of muscle and lost 5 pounds of fat, your body weight would stay the same but you would appear smaller because 5 pounds of muscle will occupy less physical space than 5 pounds of fat.
Whether or not you are looking to lose weight or build muscle, you should be aware of the ways that muscle benefits your body and your overall health.
Research shows that there is a direct correlation between increased lean muscle mass and improved insulin sensitivity.
This means that the more lean muscle you have, the better your body can handle glucose, which in turn results in less stored body fat.
This is important because higher levels of stored body fat have been linked to everything from obesity, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack, kidney disease, atherosclerosis, arthritis and even some forms of cancer.
Not to mention you look and feel better about yourself when your body fat is lower.
Benefits of increased lean muscle include:
- Increased Metabolism: Because muscle is denser than fat, it requires more calories. This means the more muscle you have, the more calories you will burn throughout the day.
- Improved Bone Mass: Muscle strengthens the bones it surrounds and supports.
- Reduced Injury Risk: To gain muscle you need to strength train. Strength training improves bone mass, core strength, balance, and coordination which in turn reduce the risk of injury.
- Increased Muscle Definition
- Increased Likelihood Of Living Longer: As mentioned, strength training helps us to preserve areas that degrade as we age such as bone density and balance. Muscular individuals have a lower risk of falling in old age and less of a chance of seriously injuring themselves. Also, the more muscle you have, the harder your body needs to work to maintain its resting level. This results in better circulation, healthy organs, and a reduced risk of illness.
Resistance training at least three times per week in conjunction with a high protein diet is a great way to build lean muscle and increase the number of calories you burn on a daily basis.
If you want some help with this, you can now try my online fitness coaching program FREE for 7 days!
Brian Donovan is a certified fitness and nutrition coach, and the founder of Online Fitness Coach – an online fitness program where clients get direct coaching and personalized training and nutrition plans. Coach Brian was voted Chicago’s “Best Personal Trainer” by Chicago Reader magazine, Best Of Chicago 2014 edition. He has been featured in magazines such as Muscle & Fitness, Chicago Reader, Voyage Chicago, Bach Performance, and The Personal Trainer Development Center (PTDC).
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