While cardio is important, we NEED to focus on building muscle with our training as well. And no, challenging yourself with heavy weights will NOT make you bulky…

But it may be the secret to you feeling like your leanest, strongest self till your final day on this planet…

Whether you’re a runner…

Want to achieve that six pack…

Or simply want to chase after your grandkids…

You need to prioritize building and maintaining muscle in your training.

Here are 15 reasons why you should care so much about that strength work and those muscle gains at any and every age.

#1: Muscle helps you look leaner.

If you’ve ever felt like you lose weight but don’t see any more definition and even just look skinny but soft, it’s because you’re not focusing on building muscle as you lose fat.

You may even be sabotaging yourself from looking more toned by seeking to lose faster on the scale. 

Because when we look to lose weight faster, we often do so at the cost of losing muscle.

And muscle is what helps us see that definition and look more toned. 

So even if your goal is fat loss, you want to focus your workouts on building lean muscle. 

Don’t slash your calories lower or turn to only cardio workouts!

#2: Muscle helps you KEEP the fat off.

Ever lost weight to feel like it just creeps back on? 

Getting older and feeling like your metabolism has slowed down?

This is often due to the fact that we’ve lost muscle!

And in losing muscle, we aren’t burning as many calories at rest. Not to mention resistance training also increases our metabolic rate.

So to help maintain your results, focus on building muscle to train harder, tackle more physical challenges and even better use the nutrients in your food, especially as you get older!

#3: Strength training protects and strengthens your skin.

With aging, we may find our skin becomes more papery and thin. 

But resistance training has actually been shown to improve our skin health. It increases our skin’s elasticity or the ability for it to bounce back as well as even our skin’s thickness!

This not only keeps our skin looking younger, and helps us fight against loose skin, but also even avoid seeing an increase in cuts and bruising as we get older. 

But focusing on strength training and building muscle isn’t just about looking fabulous, it’s also about moving your best! 

#4: Muscle powers our movements!

If you want to be functionally fit till your final day on this planet, you need to focus on building muscle.

It helps us maintain our capacity to move well and remain independent, decreasing our risks for falls and fractures.

Muscle is really the key to be able to conquer any physical challenges that come our way! 

Whether we want to get down and up off the ground playing with our grandkids or we’re an endurance athlete looking to set a PR and improve our speed and our endurance, muscle is the magic we need! 

#5: Muscle keeps our joints healthy.

Muscle supports our joints.

The stronger our muscles, the better the joint support and protection we have. 

Focus on building muscle with exercises that move you in every direction to keep your joints stable so you avoid the range of joint injuries we see adding up as we get older. 

This strength work to build muscle is especially key if you want to be able to train hard to build your leanest, strongest body ever or continue to even compete in sports you love. 

Not to mention this stability improves your balance, which helps you avoid falls and injuries!

And this strength work can even help ease the discomfort of any arthritis development as you get older.

#6: More muscle means stronger bones! 

Too often we just let ourselves get old.

But through building muscle, we can really keep ourselves feeling younger and stronger. 

We can help ourselves prevent so much of what we just write off as happening with age…like osteoporosis and a greater risk of fractures.

Do your resistance training, even if your strength work is more bodyweight based. 

Because not only does this strength work build strong muscles to protect your bones, it can actually improve your bone mineral density and promote bone development! 

This is even more essential for us ladies as we go through menopause!

And not only does muscle help you look fabulous and move better, it also improves your health in so many other ways… 

#7: Muscle improves your blood sugar levels.

Muscle helps increase insulin sensitivity.

Basically through resistance training and building muscle, you are then better able to handle carbs and move sugar into your muscles for storage.

This can be especially key during menopause when we are at greater risk for insulin resistance and even diabetes.

Along with being able to regulate your blood sugar levels better…

#8: Muscle also helps keep your heart healthy!

Strength training and building lean muscle can help you reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and issues. 

It can help lower your blood pressure, lower LDL or bad cholesterol as well as your triglycerides, increase HDL or the good cholesterol and even improve blood circulation.

And while, yes, cardio workouts are key for heart health, too often we don’t recognize the importance of resistance training and building lean muscle. 

Recent studies have found a link between lower muscle mass and higher risk of cardiovascular issues.

So include resistance work and focus on building that lean muscle for your heart health. 

#9: Muscle improves our immune system!

More muscle means a larger reserve of amino acids, or the building blocks of protein which helps your immune system respond quicker to infection or disease.

This helps you not get as sick or stay sick as long. 

Muscle also helps reduce inflammation as weird as that sounds, since building muscle is about creating trauma to the muscles so they have to repair and grow stronger. 

But having on more muscle can help us reduce levels of chronic inflammation, which not only helps us stay healthy, but helps us reduce our risk for age related diseases, such as some cancers.

Now the important thing to note with this is…you can only build muscle and train hard if you are paying attention to your recovery. 

Under recover and you’re going to sabotage your immune system health instead.

#10: Muscle also aids in better recovery from injury and even disease.

Part of this goes back to the benefits muscle has for our immune system.

Muscle also plays an important role speeding up our recovery because it promotes blood circulation and aids in efficient nutrient transport or getting the areas of our body what they need quickly to rebuild. 

And while it’s great that muscle can help us recover, more importantly it can help us better AVOID injuries and illness in the first place.

In the process of building muscle we strengthen other connective tissues such as tendons and ligaments.

But if you are currently injured, don’t keep pushing through the pain.

Training around the injury or issue, to keep your system strong, is key.

This strength training releases myokines, which are messenger molecules from muscles released during and after your workouts. 

These molecules boost the immune system and have anti-inflammatory properties, which is why muscle can be so key in our recovery!

#11: Strength training improves mood and anxiety.

While I know we often hear about the “runner’s high,” and many enjoy running for the mental benefits, strength training also has been shown to really improve mood and reduce levels of anxiety and stress. 

Part of this is due to the fact that our muscle plays an important part in our overall endocrine system function. 

And that system helps control and regulate our body’s metabolism, energy level, growth and development, reproduction and even our response to injury, stress and mood.

This is even extra reason to include muscle building workouts in your routine, especially during menopause when changing hormone levels may impact our mood and anxiety levels, not to mention make it harder to build and retain lean muscle. 

#12: Muscle helps you feel more energized.

Having more muscle means you are better able to create fuel from the carbs you consume. 

And this is partly because more muscle means more mitochondria.

Mitochondria create fuel to energize you from the glucose you eat and the air you breathe.

More muscle also means improved circulation. 

And this allows your body to function better and use your energy supplies more efficiently.

Not to mention, you’ll also see improvements in your energy levels because muscle and strength training can also positively impact your sleep. 

Which is my next big reason you should care…

#13: Building muscle improves your sleep.

Some interesting research has shown that resistance training may not only improve the quality of your sleep but even the quantity you get. 

So not only may it help you sleep longer, but get more deep, restorative sleep.

One reason it is believed that resistance training may even beat out aerobic training for sleep benefits, although both help, is that lifting stimulates growth in muscles cells boosting both testosterone and growth hormone levels in the body. 

Both of these hormones have been linked with better, deeper sleep.

This again can be an extra reason to focus on building muscle, especially during menopause or as we get older, where we may see our sleep quality and quantity decline. 

And can also contribute to better brain function as well! Which brings me to my second to last key reason…

#14: Muscle helps keep our brain healthy.

From the mental challenge that resistance training provides…

To the benefits that muscle has on our circulation and blood flow…

To even the release of myokines which can have an impact on overall brain function…

More muscle has been shown to be connected to improved cognitive functioning or brain health. 

And maintaining more muscle, while continuing to strength train, as we get older has been shown to decrease our risk of dementia.

Not to mention if you’re experiencing brain fog during menopause, you may find this symptom reduced by focusing on strength training and building muscle. 

Basically, more muscle means you’re going to feel, look and move your best till your final day on this planet.

And this is the most important overall reason to care about building muscle…

#15: More muscle means a longer, healthier, better life! 

Whether it is conquering any physical challenges you set for yourself…

Whether it is moving well to stay independent till your final day on this planet…

Whether it is avoiding illness, injury or disease…

Or even simply feeling more energized, healthier and happier…

Muscle is truly magical.

So focus on that strength work at any and every age to feel your most fabulous!

Ready to build that lean muscle and feel your most fabulous at any and every age? Check out my 1:1 Online Coaching!

–> Learn More About Redefining Strength’s Coaching

Skin: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10290068/
Resistance Training Benefits: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22777332/
Sleep: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7718168/
Muscle-Organ Crosstalk: https://academic.oup.com/edrv/article/41/4/594/5835999?login=true#323027942