Part of weight loss is counterintuitive – as you build dense muscle and shed lighter fat, you actually gain weight. This is only one of the facts about muscles that can help you on your fitness journey. Check out this post from the archives to get your muscles to work for you.
They say knowledge is power, and in the case of fitness, half the battle is knowing what the positive and negative factors are in achieving your goals. Your muscles play a huge role in virtually any fitness goal you have – even if you’re focused on fat loss. Here are some pointers that can help you meet them, courtesy of Health.com:
- Pumping iron increases your metabolism: Your body’s reaction to dieting is to slow your metabolism down to conserve energy (thank our cave-dwelling ancestors), so building muscle will help counteract that. Don’t worry if you’re gaining weight as you add muscle – fat is lighter than muscle, and adding muscle squeezes out fat. This is good weight gain!
- Eat your greens. Studies show the potassium in greens like spinach, kale and broccoli helps you maintain that muscle you work so hard to build
- Don’t forget the vitamin D. This particularly applies to women, where estrogen is linked to muscle strength. While estrogen levels decline with age, vitamin D can pick up some of the slack
- Try not to overdo it. Some routines can work your muscles until they break. CrossFit has been in the headlines for this. Working your muscles is good, but like anything else, too much of a good thing is just that…too much
Knowledge is power!
– Dan Mulcahey