5 Reasons to Keep Moving!

brain health healthy living immunity mindful movement morning practice resilience sleep strength training stress-free Mar 15, 2024

As seen last week, aerobic (endurance) exercises, like walking and cycling, enhance heart and lung function, reduce the risk of heart disease, and help shed those extra pounds.  But it also supports muscular health: researchers have found that it significantly reduced their risk of sarcopenia -- a condition defined as the loss of muscle mass and function (muscle wasting or “frailty syndrome”), commonly seen in older adults.

In other words, the three forms of exercise work synergistically to help improve and support the overall health of the body and the various internal organs.

Why should people of all ages engage in Strength Training?

For those under the age of 50 it's important to have a good muscle mass because you start to lose up to 1% muscle mass per year after that.  That's up to 30% loss by the time you're 80!  

And you can lose your muscle strength even faster than 1% per year. 

So, the more muscle mass you have before age 50, the better off you'll be. 

If you're over the age of 50, the more you lift weights, the slower your rate of loss will be.  Why settle for 1% loss, when you can keep your strength even longer?

So you can have more muscle AND slow down the rate of muscle loss by lifting weights at all ages.

Lifting weights is not just about muscle “mass” and “strength” though.  It's a great way to maintain good health for just about everyone at any age, whether you're athletic or not.

Experts recommend strength training twice a week, to give your muscles recovery time in between your sessions.

And like all other forms of exercise, do your best to minimize distractions, and move mindfully, focusing on the movement and how your body responds in each moment!

Here are five key health factors that are improved with increased muscle mass:


We all want a nice, healthy metabolism, right?  We want to have energy, and be able to burn the right amount of calories from our foods.

Inactivity reduces the body's ability to burn oxygen (oxidative capacity).

This in turn leads to chronic fatigue.

Regular exercise improves body’s capillary density, muscles get the blood and oxygen they need, and stay healthy longer

Endocrine Responses: Exercise triggers the release of hormones. Testosterone and Growth Hormone are vital for muscle growth, while cortisol can lead to protein breakdown. Insulin and Insulin-like Growth Factors contribute to muscle protein synthesis.

Muscle tissue preserves aerobic capacity (body’s ability to process oxygen), keeps BP low, retains healthy blood sugar balance, healthy cholesterol, mineral density of bones, stabilizes temp.

So, lifting weights can build up your muscles so they become more efficient metabolism-boosters, calorie burners, as well as less fat storage and inflammation.


Muscular Response: Exercise stimulates skeletal muscles, leading to adaptations like increased oxygen uptake and enhanced muscle fiber capacity. Aerobic training boosts oxygen delivery, while anaerobic training increases muscle size and strength.

This means that even as we age, we can still like: lifting the groceries, mowing the lawn, carrying things up from the basement.

All of these are everyday things that help us maintain our independence.  Things that we can do on our own without needing extra help when we have healthy muscles to rely on.


Diabetes.  Insulin resistance.  You've heard of them, and they are something to avoid.

When your body has trouble maintaining healthy amounts of sugar in your blood (not too much, and not too little), this can cause both short- and long-term issues.

Short-term issues can include things like fatigue and brain fog.  And, of course, long-term issues are the potential for insulin resistance, or even diabetes.

And, you'll never guess what can help your body maintain proper blood sugar control…healthy strong muscles!

They do this because they can store and burn excess blood sugar, therefore helping to keep blood sugar levels in just the right place.


Do you know anyone who has broken a bone?  What about someone who broke their hip?

Stats show that 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men end up with osteoporosis.  And this can lead to bones that break easily, from a simple slip on soft grass or even carpet.

But did you also know that your bones can stay strong when your muscles stay strong?

When your muscles pull on the bones to move you around, the bones get the message that they're important, and so your bone-building cells actively keep making strong healthy bones.

This doesn't happen so much when muscles aren't pulling on them.  When the muscles get weaker from lack of use, the bones follow suit.

Not to mention the fact that weight lifting improves balance and reduces the risk of falling, both of which reduce risk of breaking bones.


If none of the above reasons resonate with you (but they probably do…), then this one will surely get your attention.

Did you know?  More muscle mass and strength as we age is directly associated with longer life AND better quality of life.

That means lower rates of heart disease, cancer, mental disorders, etc.  And that means being healthy, independent, and keeping your mental sharpness.  All of those are huge factors when it comes to quality of life.

Lifting weights can help stave off all of those, so you can truly have a healthy, long life.

This Week’s Home Practice ~  add in some Resistance Training

The results are in:  we need to lift weights to maintain good health!

It can be as simple as a “body-weight only” routine like pushups and squats.  And these are easily modifiable if you are just starting out.

You’ll help maintain your metabolism, have the strength to do everyday things, and keep your blood sugar and bones healthy.  Not to mention living longer...and better.

So take a moment now and plan NOW how to strengthen your muscles and through them the rest of your body.  This can mean joining a gym, finding a coach, or finding some exercise videos on Youtube.

Better yet, join the Monthly Challenge where I offer a clear structure to incorporate healthy habits.  Month #3 is all about Mindful Movement! 

For more info on this and other natural health topics:

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