While muscles do have a certain aesthetic quality about them, there are many benefits to staying toned and fit. If you haven’t heard by now, our own chief Aaron started his muscle-building regime to prepare himself for the IRONMAN competition November 5th in Florida. It has been quite a journey for him, and all of us stand behind him and support him in reaching his health goals. While he has toned up (not that he was ever in bad shape), his strength training regime had to fit in with his busy schedule. So from the start, if you are already making excuses in your head as to why you won’t have time to build muscle or begin an exercise regiment, you are already selling yourself short!
Benefits of Building Muscles
- Increased metabolism
- Increased strength
- Reduced risk of injury
- Lose excess body fat
- Strength training exercise can help keep your heart healthy
- Muscle training also helps people improve their bone density, according to WebMD
Studies from the CDC have found that muscle-building exercise can also:
- improve balance,
- reduce the likelihood of falls,
- improve blood-sugar control, and
- improve sleep and mental health.
Keep in mind building muscles take time and energy. You aren’t going to achieve your ideal health or body weight overnight, nor are you going to get it by exercising for 20 minutes once a week. While commitment and persistence will support you, one of the easiest ways to build muscle is to be genuinely interested in health and exercise in the first place. Let’s be honest – if something interests and intrigues you, you will have no issues building muscles and staying healthy!
How to Build Muscle Effectively
1) Consume enough calories. While protein is important, calories are also very important for the growth and sustainability of muscle mass. The trend is to eat tons of protein while you are strengthening, toning and building your muscle, but this is only half the story. The goal here would be to get your body into what is called an anabolic state, which is when tissues within the human body obtain and use energy for growth and maintenance.
According to bodybuilding.com, taking your body weight, multiplying it by either 10 or 12 (depending on your level of fitness) and adding on 1000-1500 calories a day is a great way to calculate how many calories you should consume.
[Body weight X 10 (or 12 if you are fit)] + 1000 = daily caloric intake.
Basically, it’s a balance between diet, training and rest: once your body has achieved an anabolic state, it is easy to maintain and grow muscle, as well as burn calories due to your high metabolism.
2) Eat a healthy diet. A healthy blend of carbohydrates, proteins, and natural fats will help you build muscle quickly. A lot of athletes, including Aaron, eat several small meals a day in order to achieve their ideal caloric intake.
3) Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated. This is very important for your body to flush out any toxins or lactic acid build-up.
Lactic acid is produced in the body when there is a lack of oxygen in the blood that is meant to fuel our muscles as we are working out. As an example, lifting weights requires more energy, and if our bodies can’t keep up with the oxygen demand, then glucose is broken down into something called pyruvate which is then often converted to lactate.
For those who exercise, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) suggests drinking anywhere from four to eight ounces of water every 20 minutes during exercises.
Our bodies use water in a myriad of ways: check out the Importance of Drinking Water here.
4) REST!! When you are building muscle you have to keep in mind that you are also breaking them down. Resting helps muscles to receive the proper nutrients and recover so that they can be broken down again. Usually between 24 and 72 hours after a workout, you may notice that your muscles feel sore which can result in a lack of your usual range of motions. The good news is that you can do something about muscle soreness when you combine your muscle-building regime with an effective detoxification method.
5) Aid your muscles in repairing faster.
While resting is one way you can help your muscles repair faster so you can break them down again, this is where full spectrum saunas really come in handy. Utilizing near, mid and far infrared waves, Sunlighten saunas can actually help you repair your muscles faster – take it from Aaron! He is a busy bee most days and doesn’t have time to be sore after a strenuous IRONMAN workout – instead, he takes 30 to 45 minutes in a sauna in order to help his muscles repair while simultaneously reducing pain and inflammation that comes from intense strength training.
How to Build Muscles Without Feeling Sore
After a workout, it can take two or three days for my muscles to stop aching. Surprisingly enough, there are ways you can reduce the pain you feel in your muscles after a workout, and one of the ways is to sit in a Far-Infrared Sauna a couple of hours after exercising.
After a workout, you may experience muscle inflammation. A full spectrum infrared sauna naturally increases circulation helping your muscles get the oxygen and nutrients it needs. In fact a study conducted at Auburn University of Montgomery showed an mPulse full spectrum sauna can increase your flexibility up to 3x!
Building muscle isn’t just about the aesthetic value, it is a necessity for a healthy life!