The Connection between Strength Training and Longevity
When it comes to living a long and healthy life, most people think of practices such as maintaining a balanced diet, getting enough sleep, and engaging in regular cardiovascular exercise. While these habits are undoubtedly important, one crucial aspect that often goes unnoticed is the role of building muscle in promoting longevity. Regular strength training exercises not only enhance physical performance and aesthetics but also offer a multitude of health benefits that can significantly impact our lifespan. In this article, we will explore the fascinating connection between building muscle and living longer.
Increased Metabolic Efficiency
One of the key advantages of building muscle is its impact on metabolic efficiency. Muscle tissue is metabolically active, meaning it requires more energy to maintain compared to other tissues in the body, such as fat. By engaging in strength training exercises, we can increase our muscle mass, which subsequently raises our resting metabolic rate (RMR). A higher RMR leads to increased calorie expenditure throughout the day, even at rest. This metabolic boost helps prevent weight gain and obesity, reducing the risk of chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers that are associated with excess body fat.
Enhanced Bone Health
Building muscle not only strengthens the muscles themselves but also promotes better bone health. Strength training exercises, particularly weight-bearing exercises, stimulate the production of new bone tissue, increasing bone density and reducing the risk of osteoporosis and fractures. As we age, bone density naturally declines, leading to a higher susceptibility to fractures. By incorporating resistance training into our fitness routine, we can counteract this natural decline and maintain stronger bones, ultimately reducing the risk of falls and fractures that can severely impact longevity.
Improved Insulin Sensitivity
Insulin sensitivity refers to how effectively our cells respond to the hormone insulin, which is responsible for regulating blood sugar levels. Poor insulin sensitivity, also known as insulin resistance, is a precursor to type 2 diabetes and is associated with numerous health complications. Engaging in strength training exercises has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity by enhancing glucose uptake by the muscles. This effect helps maintain stable blood sugar levels, reducing the risk of developing diabetes and its associated health problems such as cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, and nerve damage.
While strength training is often associated with building muscle, it also offers cardiovascular benefits that contribute to a longer and healthier life. Engaging in resistance exercises elevates heart rate and increases blood flow, improving cardiovascular fitness. Regular strength training has been linked to lower blood pressure, reduced resting heart rate, and improved cholesterol profiles. By enhancing cardiovascular health, strength training reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular-related conditions, leading to an overall longer lifespan.
Functional Independence and Quality of Life
Maintaining muscle mass through strength training plays a vital role in preserving functional independence as we age. Strong muscles support joint stability, improve balance, and enhance overall mobility, allowing individuals to perform daily activities with ease and reducing the risk of falls and injuries. By staying active and preserving muscle strength, older adults can maintain their independence, remain engaged in physical activities, and enjoy a higher quality of life for longer.
Building muscle through strength training is a powerful tool that not only helps us achieve a more sculpted physique but also promotes longevity and overall well-being. From increased metabolic efficiency and improved bone health to enhanced insulin sensitivity and cardiovascular benefits, the advantages of building muscle are extensive. By incorporating strength training exercises into our fitness routines, we can unlock the potential for a longer, healthier, and more fulfilling life. Remember, it's never too late to start reaping the benefits of building muscle and embracing a lifestyle that promotes longevity
The peri/post menopausal years typically bring about some weight gain. This is a multifaceted reaction brought about by the symptoms of the hormonal changes.
The key piece of that sentence is ‘symptom’. The weight gained isn’t because of the hormonal changes directly but because of the indirect symptoms the changes cause.
The symptoms hormonal changes cause are:
➡️ Sleep disturbances
➡️ Loss of muscle mass (this is occurring through adult life)
➡️ Energy changes
➡️ Appetite changes
➡️ Lifestyle changes
Imagine your weight gain is a car driving along. For your weight to go down/reverse you need to back the car up.
➡️ You can’t go from D, Drive to R, Reverse.
➡️ You need to slow down in D, apply the brakes and halt the forward momentum.
➡️ When you’ve come to a halt you can put it in reverse and go backwards…
Ok, the process of losing weight comes from calorie restriction but you need to slow and stop the reasons for the gain as your first task. Only then can you sustainably reverse it and keep reversing it.
Succeeding to your goals requires you to address the causes:
This one’s personal, you would need to find something that works for you. Maybe melatonin, ashwagandha, magnesium, reduced alcohol intake, improved nutrition quality, reduced stress.
Eat more protein & strength train to prevent further muscle loss.
Improved sleep, improved/adjusted exercise routine / not over training (which is common), reduced alcohol intake, improved nutrition quality, reduced stress.
Eating more protein to aid satiation (feeling full), reduce refined carbs in your diet, reduce alcohol and sugars, eat more fiber, eat more non-starchy veggies, drink more water, reduced stress.
All of the above + increase NEAT, reduce meals out, reduced stress.
All of the above are key for your health to improve
All of the above are needed for the scale to move.
All of the above should be your goals, if you work on the above goals your scale and body will change positively
All of the PLT Nutrition all of our plans enable someone to exceed in this season of life.
PLT Nutrition is a leader in this area of nutrition.
Our Platinum Plan was developed specifically to enable someone to navigate to their goals. With bi-weekly face to face LIVE check-ins and a personalized training plan, it is our premier service.
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What is Creatine?
Creatine is a popular dietary supplement that is commonly used by athletes, bodybuilders, and fitness enthusiasts to improve their physical performance.
Creatine is closely related to ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which is the primary source of energy for muscle contractions during exercise. When you exercise, your muscles use ATP to generate energy for movement. However, the amount of ATP stored in your muscles is limited, and it is quickly depleted during intense exercise.
This is where creatine comes in. Creatine is converted into phosphocreatine in the muscles, which can add a phosphate group to ADP (adenosine diphosphate) to form ATP. This means that creatine can help to replenish the ATP stores in your muscles, allowing you to maintain high-intensity exercise for longer periods of time.
By increasing the availability of ATP in your muscles, creatine supplementation can improve athletic performance, increase muscle strength and size, and enhance recovery after exercise. It is important to note that the benefits of creatine supplementation may vary depending on the individual, their training program, and their diet.
Overall, creatine is a safe and effective supplement that can be a useful tool for athletes and fitness enthusiasts looking to improve their performance and achieve their goals. As with any supplement, it is important to speak with a healthcare professional before starting creatine supplementation.
What are the benefits of Creatine?
Here are some of the benefits of creatine:
1. Increases muscle strength: Creatine can help increase muscle strength by improving the availability of energy to the muscles during intense exercise.
2. Enhances athletic performance: Creatine supplementation has been shown to improve performance in activities that require short bursts of intense energy, such as weightlifting, sprinting, and jumping.
3. Increases muscle size: Creatine can help increase muscle size by promoting the retention of water in muscle cells, which can lead to greater muscle volume and improved muscle definition.
4. Improves recovery: Creatine can help reduce muscle damage and promote faster recovery after exercise, which can allow athletes to train harder and more frequently.
5. May have neuroprotective effects: Some research suggests that creatine may have neuroprotective effects and may be beneficial for people with certain neurological conditions.
There is some evidence to suggest that creatine may have neuroprotective abilities. Creatine is involved in the production of ATP, which is the primary source of energy for all cells in the body, including brain cells. By increasing ATP production in the brain, creatine may help to protect neurons from damage and improve cognitive function.
Several studies have investigated the potential neuroprotective effects of creatine in various neurological conditions, including Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, and traumatic brain injury. While the results are not conclusive, some studies have suggested that creatine supplementation may help to improve motor function, reduce inflammation, and protect against oxidative stress in the brain.
One proposed mechanism for the neuroprotective effects of creatine is its ability to increase the availability of phosphocreatine in the brain. Phosphocreatine can act as an energy buffer in the brain, helping to maintain ATP levels and protect neurons from damage.
It is important to note that the research on creatine's neuroprotective abilities is still in the early stages, and more studies are needed to fully understand its potential benefits. Additionally, creatine supplementation may not be appropriate for everyone, and it is always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen.
Should I take Creatine?
That's a good question and more commonly asked by women.
The short answer is yes, probably, you should consider taking creatine daily.
Creatine can cause a short term weight gain due to increased muscle volume but this isn't body fat and is a benefit to you and your body.
Creatine doesn't benefit everyone. Some people already have considerable creatine stores and adding more daily creatine doesn't produce any benefit. However, the benefits of creatine aren't something you can feel or measure so it's unlikely you will know if its benefiting you specifically.
Considering it's high level of safety and potential benefits beyond just sports we feel it's worth considering adding to your daily regime.
Just taking 3-5g daily, no need to back load or anything. You only need monohydtate, any other type doesn't have more benefit but typically costs more and may actually have side effects. You also don't need to purchase any specific brands, creatine monohydrate is just creatine monohydrate. Its tasteless so just add it to yogurt or oats or a shake.
You can take it whenever is best for you each day, there's no benefit from its timing
Are there side effects?
Some people can get stomach cramps in rare cases. please ensure you hydrate well and this shouldn't happen.
Other possible side effects are below but are typically rare:
If you have liver function issues or diabetes we recommend not taking creatine.
*Always consult your MD if unsure.