Your body is a well-oiled machine, except when it’s not. Letting yourself go and neglecting to put time and effort into maintaining it often results in a decrease in fitness and function. While this might not seem like a big deal, it has considerable consequences now and later.
When thinking about neglecting your health, you may only be thinking of the way your body looks. What you’re forgetting is the way you feel and behave is also strongly connected to your physical health. Don’t believe it? Turn over a new leaf in the New Year and pump up your brain and body by building muscle.
Boost Your Mood
Diet and exercise have long shown to increase endorphins, the hormone that fills you with the warm and fuzzies. An increase in this hormone on a regular basis helps combat mood swings and wards off situational depression. Use a tool like 30 Day Guide to Build Mass to get the endorphins flowing.
Center Your Thinking
Yoga is typically the exercise that correlates most often with inner connectedness and growth. However, strength training can also have this meditative effect and increase the brain-body connection. The concentration it takes to perform a set of reps, coupled with regular breathing creates an excellent opportunity to do some inner thinking.
One of the biggest reasons you start weightlifting in the first place is to get stronger and look better. A gain in muscle mass equals a boost in confidence. Not only will you see fat shrinking, but you will start feeling stronger. These feelings will begin seeping into other areas of your life and give you an overall boost.
There’s nothing like a good hard work out to make you forget the day’s issues. That last-minute change in a course syllabus will cease to bug you once you start in on your curls. Challenging your body to do something harder is a great way to focus on anything but the bad. In fact, take it a step further and vow to leave your problems at the door of the gym, or with each change in exercise, think about something bothering you and work to dismiss it from your mind by the time that particular movement is done.
Escape the Diet Cycle
Obsessing about what you eat goes along with trying to maintain a healthier lifestyle. Increasing muscle mass, however, changes everything you thought you knew about diet. First, it burns more calories than aerobic exercise. That’s because your muscles continue to burn calories long after you hit the shower. Incorporating strength training, therefore, helps keep the fat at bay.
Second, your eating habits will change due to the types of food your body needs to build muscle mass. You will invest more in higher-protein foods like fish and chicken. You may even add in supplements to your diet to help keep your muscles happy. Healthy muscles work harder and look better.
The Scale Won’t Matter
Another benefit to gaining muscle mass is you can ditch the scale. Muscle weighs more than fat, so as you start building that muscle, the number on the scale goes up. However, because an increase in muscle equals results in a reduction in fat, your body will become leaner and trimmer. You will go down a size or two in clothes even if the number on the scale either isn’t changing or goes up.
Building muscle mass has benefits that far exceed just the physical changes. Boosting your muscles will result in positive changes throughout your body, including your brain. If your goal in 2019 is to become healthier, give strength training a try. You will gain more than muscle if you stick with it.