• lynneeveratt

🔋Your muscles are bigger than you think

When you're building muscle, you're building a stronger life.

Here's how.

1. 💪 Strong body = Strong mind 🧠

Bicep curls for a stronger bear hug! Recent research out of McGill University in Montreal has found that low muscle mass is associated with a faster decline in executive function over time. Tell me more: 8,000 Canadians with an average age of 73 were tracked over three years.

  • Muscle mass was the key factor in the decline in executive function, not body fat percentage or grip strength.

  • Grip strength is thought to be a predictor of dementia risk and mortality, but a strong handshake appears to be only part of the picture.

  • This study is important because it followed people over time rather than measure their strength and executive function at one point in time.

Why do you need executive function if you’re not an executive? Executive function is a set of mental skills such as flexible thinking, attention, working memory, and self-control. It helps you get things done, and is critical for daily living. Why is muscle mass affecting the brain? Scientists don’t know for sure, but it may have something to do with more blood flowing to the brains of people with greater muscle mass who tend to be more physically active. Another theory is that the anti-inflammatory chemicals released when you flex your muscles protect your brain’s long-term health. Reality check: strength training isn’t the only path to better brain health.

  • 150 minutes of moderate cardio per week is associated with a 25-percent reduction in the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s.

  • 300+ minutes of moderate cardio reduces your risk by 40 percent!

The bottom line: brawn is brainy. Get fully charged on the muscular research here. 2. 💡Muscles are your body’s armor

Strong muscles are protective, but easier to move around in than a suit of armor

Surprising fact: Your skeletal muscles—the muscles that you voluntarily control—are the largest organ in your endocrine system, keeping blood sugar levels in check and secreting substances that play a critical role in the anti-inflammatory process.

Why muscles matter: Physical inactivity affects your muscles' ability to protect you, shifting your body toward inflammation and the development of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, depression, dementia, and cancer.

“When you strength train, you build your body armor and the medicine that our muscles provide,” says Gabrielle Lyon, a physician and champion of muscle-centric medicine, adding…

“Your body wants to have muscle.”

The bottom line: Think about your muscles as your body’s protective armor, armor that you have the ability to strengthen.

Get fully charged on muscle-centric living here.

3. How to build your body armor

Squats are the perfect human and canine armor builders “Pushing the body to a level that is somewhat uncomfortable, creates a capacity to age well,” says muscle-centric physician Gabrielle Lyon, adding that if you’re building muscles the right way, you should dread at least two of your workouts. Reality check: most people are not at Dr. Lyon’s muscular level, and would benefit from a more modest approach. Lynne’s tips for building muscle without really trying:

  • Supermarket kettlebells: Unless I'm doing a really big shop, I use two reusable canvas totes and carry my groceries. It’s much faster than pushing a cart, and carrying the weight of your groceries works the muscles supporting your spine, along with your glutes and hamstrings.

  • Push-up your coffee: while waiting for coffee, do push-ups on a counter or against a wall.

  • Restroom squats: Each time you use the bathroom, do a few squats...at the sink...I'm not suggesting you use a squatty potty.

When you’re ready: Dr. Lyon recommends 3-4 challenging strength training sessions per week, ideally with a trainer. Motivation to muscle-up: The science is unanimous: the healthier your muscle mass, the greater your survivability across nearly all disease states. Quick recharges: 🍂“When you think in seasons rather than in a single day, the year becomes your canvas.” 🎃“The anxiety, the promise, even the rumination, make fall the ideal season to build resilience and practice mindfulness.” 😊Yes, you can move to your happy place. 🧠 Neuroscientists share some of the best ways to take a brain break. Hint: move your body! 🤩 An awesome challenge: Step outside. Pick a random number between 1 and 100. Take that number of steps and look around in search of something awesome. “Awe is related to this sense of oneness with humankind. I think you can have your mind blown, even in everyday settings…” A rose for you from Kiki's award-winning garden taken in mind-blowing awe, September 12, 2022, Ajax, Ontario.

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