It’s our muscles that move us—each time you blink your eyes, take a step forward or cram your carryon bag into the overhead bin, it’s your muscles that make it happen. We should do our best to maintain them, both through exercise and innovations like TruSculpt Flex

Research from the Biochemistry and Molecular Exercise Physiology Lab at Cal State Fullerton reveals that the amount of muscle on your body’s frame is an indicator of longevity and health. Their 2017 study finds that lean muscle mass is a better predictor of overall health than BMI (body mass index). Echoing this finding, The Lancet published a study in 2015 that suggests grip strength can more accurately predict death by heart disease more than blood pressure. 

Here are four reasons to increase your muscle mass for a healthier, longer life:

1. Muscle Mass Combats Obesity

Two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. That’s why there is a diet section in every lifestyle magazine, and exercise equipment is a hot retail item year-round. When energy intake (calories consumed) outstrips energy expenditure, body fat increases, and muscle mass decreases. 

We burn calories with our 5,000 daily steps and spin cycles, but did you know you also burn calories while “at rest?” Muscle mass contributes to our “resting metabolic rate,” or the amount of energy burned while sitting behind the computer or even sleeping.  

If you’re building your strength, you’ll soon be losing weight. And strengthening any muscles helps. Overall toning achieved through yoga and pilates is just as effective as bicep curls, squats, and bench presses. When you spend 30 to 40 minutes per week in muscle-toning and building activities, you can really enjoy your downtime because you know you’ve optimized your resting metabolic rate.

2. Muscle Mass Helps You Battle Illness

When your body confronts a sickness, it requires protein to fight the illness. As a key structural component for all tissues, protein keeps the organs functioning properly. We get protein from our diet, but it’s stored in our muscles to be distributed to the heart,  liver and other organs as needed. If you have insufficient protein stored in your muscles, the body begins breaking down the muscles themselves to feed the organs.

3. Muscle Mass Contributes to Stronger Bones

Frailty or osteoporosis is a major concern for men and women as they get older. Falls and accidents lead to breaks, hospital stays and a spiral of life-threatening issues. Mobility may become an issue after a mishap, as well. The Mediterranean Intensive Oxidant Study found that lower skeletal muscle mass correlates with weaker bones in older men. Optimal muscle mass, on the other hand,  correlates with stronger bones.

4. Muscle Mass Protects Against Insulin Resistance

Excess fat creates too much glucose in the system. When the human body can’t flush the blood of excess glucose because of fatty free acids, insulin resistance follows. Type 2 diabetes results when insulin resistance becomes significant over time. An increase in muscle mass can prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes by ensuring a better ratio of fat to muscle and reducing glucose levels.

When Diet and Exercise Fall Short

The older we get, the tougher it is to maintain optimal muscle mass. Diet and exercise are crucial to maintaining peak health but may fall short in attaining body contouring goals or removing excess fat from certain parts of the body. TruSculpt Flex is a non-invasive body contouring procedure that uses electrical muscle stimulation to increase Muscle Mass. 

If you would like more information on how you can build muscle and get leaner, contact board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. David Dreyfuss to schedule a consultation today.