By Kennedy Shelley
Losing muscle mass year after year is becoming a huge increase in increasing your risk of having a heart attack.
This is one of the reasons doctors keep pushing their patients to add weight training to their exercise routines as well as cardiovascular or aerobic exercise.
While many reading this may be already getting 30 minutes of exercise a day, but a surprisingly high number get less than 5 minutes of activity a day.
The CDC reports that 31 million adults over 50 get no exercise whatsoever.
This new study in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community showed that the lack of exercise was going to kill many of them.
They tracked over 2000 people 50 and over and followed them for 10 years.
Those who maintained their muscle mass kept heart attacks at bay.
It didn’t make any difference in blood pressure or diet…maintaining muscle mass was the most important factor in heart health.
This was especially true in men who were four times more likely to have heart problems.
Those who had and maintained the highest amount of muscle mass had 81% greater protection from heart problems than those who were basically couch potatoes.
High muscle mass helps your health in a number of ways.
To get it, you have to tax the muscles, which taxes the arteries, which keeps them healthier and more flexible.
It also cascades to positive hormone issues.
In short, being healthier and stronger works to keep you alive.
The authors concluded:
“The prevention of [skeletal muscle mass] decline, which is becoming increasingly prevalent among middle-aged and older populations, may constitute an effective means of promoting [cardiovascular] health.”
And it makes your life better when it comes to fighting off intruders.
According to a CNN story on November 26, 2019, Willie Murphy, 82 and an award-winning powerlifter had her house broken into on November 21, which turned out very badly for the intruder.
She started beating him with a table, which she eventually broke beating him and then used the pieces to continue to pummel him.
By this point he was unconscious and deadweight, so she had to leave him in a heap until the police came to take him away.
While we can’t guarantee that maintaining muscle mass will keep you from beating an intruder or a heart attack, but your odds of success for both go up dramatically when you build and maintain muscle mass.
Ms. Murphy works out nearly every day at her local YMCA.
It takes surprisingly little exercise to maintain your muscle mass.
While there is a temptation for men to mostly do arm lifts, most of the benefit will come from building the leg muscles which is the largest collection in the body.
A 30-minute brisk walk every day is a good starting point.
Adding in short intervals of body weight and weight training will keep increasing your benefits.
The more intense the strain you put on your muscles as you get stronger the better.