Although modern medicine is continually finding cures for many diseases and illnesses our health has been steadily declining since World War II. In the last four decades alone the prevalence of overweight adults has increased from 31 percent to 64 percent. One of the main reasons for this decline in health is our steady loss of muscle mass as we have become more sedentary.
The price we pay –
Because the human body is tremendously efficient at converting body tissue into life-sustaining energy —anything not being used weakens and withers, including muscles. Unused muscles weaken and shrink and unloaded bones lose density, thickness and strength. Unused brain neurons die and nerves not being used degenerate.
The damage continues as joints and tendons lose strength raising the risk of getting damaged or hurt. An unused heart becomes scrawny and weak and cannot pump effectively. Lung capacity diminishes, and the red blood cell count declines if oxygen demand is low.
Up until recently the loss of muscle mass and strength was taken for granted throughout adult life and didn’t even have a name until 1988. This is a high price to pay for not getting enough proper exercise don’t you think?
Muscles are mandatory –
There is now clear evidence that the muscles that make up to 50 percent of our body weight also play an important role in our metabolic health and wellness. Muscles are mandatory and do far more than just make movement possible.
Physical inactivity adversely affects the function of the muscles, bones, brain, heart, blood vessels, liver, the immune system and every other organ and system in the human body.
The extra strain put on bodily systems is the result of both the loss ot precious muscle tissue accompanied by an increase in body fat. The increased body fat changes the balance of fats in the blood leading to heart attack and stroke and alters sugar metabolism, increasing the risk of obesity and diabetes.
Even if your body weight is normal these things can still be happening inside you completely unseen and not felt. So the stage can be set for disease without your knowledge. And, the bathroom scale won’t reveal the truth either. It is of no help because it does not measure your body compostion – i.e. your muscle to fat ratio which ultimate determines your level of health and the pace of your personal aging process.
Weak, flabby muscles cannot help the heart push oxygen and nutrient rich blood around the body and the end result is that all cells, tissues and organs suffer. Even the brain suffers and is downgraded, which is of vital importance as it is the central processing unit like the hard drive on a computer.
Every part of your being is impacted, your physical, mental and emotional health. Your mental stability, your moods, anxiety, stress levels and ultimately your happiness and satisfaction with your lot in life are all negatively impacted.
Negatives, especially about our health were previously seen as part of the aging process. But now we know the truth. They are lack of use related – not age related. They only happen more in older people because they have been around longer and have lived a sedentary lifestyle for longer.
Muscles are chemical triggers –
Since the human body won’t preserve indefinitely, anything not being used, it will not wait for you to get moving again and begins deteriorating. Fast.
The human body cannot stay healthy without constant vigorous activity because that’s how we’ve been made; it is in our genetic blueprint that has operated since early man.
Movement — or “work” as it should really be known — triggers chemical reactions that tell every single cell in every tissue, organ and system in the human body to repair, rebuild and renew itself. Without this stimulus there cannot be the renewal that keeps us healthy and we become exposed to the risk of disease, a condition that globally is shortening millions of lives.
Vigorous movement works the muscular system and without it, the body senses that strength is no longer needed and you are automatically switched into “shutdown and degeneration” mode.
Muscles challenged with the right exercise kick in the production of “growth and repair” hormones such as human growth hormone that gets stimulated into action to work its magic. This process of growth spreads throughout every cell in your body, making you not just a little bit younger and healthier — but a WHOLE lot younger and healthier.
From the top of your head to the bottom of your toes, being physically active is the stimulus that gets the human body to work at its best and prevents it from deteriorating.
Muscles and immunity –
Everybody knows that muscle is necessary for body strength but not many people are aware that your muscle mass serves as your body’s armor and defence against illness and disease. Toned healthy muscle tissue is crucially important for the immune function in two ways:
The necessary fuel source used by many cells of the immune system is the amino acid glutamine and the muscles are the primary site where this is stored. The more toned muscle you have the more plentiful the glutamine supply, the better the immune system works.
Muscle is where the body stores protein. Protein is essential to produce new antibodies and white blood cells to fight off infections or find and destroy cancer cells. The body uses protein at a much faster rate when fighting sickness, and muscle tissue is where a reserve of extra protein is kept to draw on when needed.
Physical activity that raises the heart rate also serves to speed the circulation of antibodies and killer cells through the body and can raise white blood cell counts by anywhere from 50–300 percent after an exercise session.
Vigorous activity helps reduce stress hormones and releases good hormones. Along with providing an outlet for the nervous energy produced by stress, activity increases the robustness of the immune system itself and lessen susceptibility to disease.
Studies are now showing a strong link between strength and lower risks of ALL chronic lifestyle diseases, especially those feared top three — heart disease, cancer and diabetes together with dozens of others.
Forget the notion that muscles are just for looks, they are essential for the healthy functioning of the immune system and the ability to withstand disease.
The reality is, the stronger you are relative to your body mass, the healthier you are.
Regain vitality, muscular strength and endurance, avoid disease and lead a higher quality of life beginning now…
If you truly want to take command of your life, build your immunity and avoid disease somewhere down the road…
“Healthy Self Healing” can help you do just that…
For more tools and resources from Carolyn Hansen to assist you in attaining your health and fitness goals please visit:
Leave A Comment