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Muscle Mass Madness

Finding the right fitness routine takes time, practice, and patience. Building and maintaining lean muscle mass can offer a wide variety of health benefits. 

 

Why Muscles? 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), increases in lean muscle help reduce the likelihood of falls, improve blood-sugar control, and improve sleep and mental health. But that’s just the beginning—performing exercises that target muscles helps you maintain a healthy weight. 

Workouts, sports, and household projects can end in sprains, strains, or traumatic injuries. Age and inactivity increase the chance of these injuries, too. Thankfully, there are ways to strengthen our muscles to prevent such occurrences from happening. 

 

How to Get Started

Set goals. The CDC recommends 150 minutes weekly of moderate-level aerobic fitness to maintain your weight and improve bone density and muscle strength. Moderate-level activities include walking at a brisk pace, hiking, dancing, rowing, bicycling, playing softball or basketball, and weight training.

Find flexibility through stretching. Explore dynamic stretches—or slow, controlled movements—like lunges or circling the hips and shoulders. Wind down a workout with stagnant stretching, like a forward fold, to help reduce tight muscles and prevent strain. Try a yoga class for optimal breathing and stretching benefits.

Exercises like swimming, strength training, and tennis build and maintain muscular and heart health. At-home tasks like yard work and gardening are other ways to stay active and maintain muscle strength. 

Muscles are necessary for movement and support bones and joints for optimal body function. Do your muscles a favor—keep these easy steps and exercises in mind to help improve your lean muscle mass and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Talk with your physician to determine if you're getting enough protein. Learn more by visiting www.beebehealthcare.org

This article appears in the Summer 2016 issue of The Beacon.