Muscular strength is an important part of your overall health. That’s overall health, mind you, not just running, jumping and having toned muscles. Maintaining the right amount of muscle in your body is important throughout your life for keeping all the inner workings of your body strong as well.
The metabolic syndrome is not itself a disease. Instead, it’s a set of risk factors comprising a dangerous progression towards declining overall health. It indicates a sharp increase in your risk of type-2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, circulatory problems and other potentially life-threatening conditions. Almost a quarter of all Americans already have the metabolic syndrome, and that number is expected to increase dramatically.
If you’re overweight, lead a sedentary lifestyle without regular exercise, and/or have poor insulin efficiency, you are at risk of developing the metabolic syndrome. You can find out if you have metabolic syndrome by answering just a few questions.
Why will strength training help?
Building and maintaining quality muscle through strength training affords you numerous benefits:
- Better quality muscle leads to improved insulin efficiency. This is important for everyone regardless of weight. Low insulin efficiency is associated with a litany of problems, including weight gain, diabetes and the metabolic syndrome.
- Muscles burn more calories than fat, meaning you are able to lose weight more easily.
- Quality muscle allows your body to run more efficiently, such as lowering triglyceride levels and inflammation in the body.
- A stronger, fitter body makes you more energetic, thereby more active and less prone to weight gain.
How well will muscular strength prevent the metabolic syndrome?
One study, from the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, of more than 8,000 men aged 20 to 75 found that strength and fitness resulted in a significant reduction in the rate at which participants developed the metabolic syndrome. Whether they were overweight or not, there was no less than a 62% fall in chances of having the metabolic syndrome.
Another study, published in 2011 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, looked at more than 13,000 men and women. It found that every 10% increase in skeletal muscle caused an 11% increase insulin efficiency.