Muscular strength refers to the power and capacity of muscles and connective tissue elements to undergo stress and strain in order to achieve a variety of activities by pulling, pushing, stretching, extending and flexing different joints of the body. Muscular strength is not only appealing to the eye but also serve a lot of other functions.
Benefits of Muscular Strength
Although it takes a lot of hard-work, dedication, commitment and consistency to achieve an appealing physique and powerful muscles, but once you have achieved muscular strength, you can get these benefits:
1. Increase in Energy Levels
Persistent and targeted workout leads to muscles hypertrophy by replacement of excess fat pads. This helps in improving basal metabolic rate and enhanced metabolism of dietary nutrients. The result is higher energy levels and long-lasting stamina. People who have higher muscle mass tend to have higher athletic endurance and physical stability. You tend to have better sleep cycles and improved mental concentration.
2. Physical Strength
With higher muscle mass and optimal muscular strength, you tend to function for longer periods of time without getting tired. The feeling of fatigue is delayed after any mental or physical exercise.
3. Better Health
Latest research studies indicate that muscular strength and regular physical activity is required to maintain overall health and well-being. Additionally, it is also suggested that a variety of medical diseases like cancer, cardiovascular issues; metabolic disorders like hypertension, diabetes, hypercholesterolemia and endocrinological/ hormonal disorders can also be prevented with physical activity and resistance training/ exercises.
4. Enhanced Posture
It is one noteworthy benefits of muscular strength. Besides the development of larger group of muscles (like biceps, triceps and hamstring muscles) the smaller group of muscles and connective tissue also get stronger and more capable of handling the stress and strain caused by environment and surrounding. With higher muscular strength, you can enhance your posture and alignment of connective tissue.
5. Decrease of Injury
Strong muscles are better able to adapt to the physical as well as environmental stressors. This also helps in decreasing the risk of injury in sudden or repetitive movements. This is especially helpful if you are an athlete, since you may be at a higher risk of developing trauma due to excessive stressful muscular and joint motion.
6. Healthier when Old
Strong muscles also contribute to the strong bones and joints by promoting healthy remodeling of bones with advancing age. In this regard, it is noteworthy that individuals who have strong muscles and those who continue to work-out to maintain muscular strength tend to age slowly and are at lesser risk of developing fractures, osteoporosis or other defects of bone mineral density.
7. Prevention of Diseases
If you have certain medical conditions, promoting muscle mass may decrease the progression of illness (or in certain cases may reverse the disease). For example, those who have diabetes may get significantly benefitted from exercise and enhanced muscular strength. Here’s why:
- Diabetes. The primary etiology of type 2 diabetes mellitus is insulin resistance (or lack of responsiveness of insulin). Research and clinical data indicates that higher deposition of adipose tissue can further increase insulin resistance (thereby worsening the glucose utilization and insulin response). However, if adipose tissue is replaced by muscles, the peripheral utilization of glucose increases (since exercising muscles do not require insulin for the uptake of glucose).
Of the benefits of muscular strength, more metabolic conditions that can be prevented with muscular strength are:
- Cardiovascular Diseases. Muscular strength and resistance exercises improve cardiac functioning and prevent the development of thrombo-embolic lesions.
- Breathing and Constipation. Muscular strength helps in promoting breathing functions and prevent the development of constipation.
- Hypertension and Hyperlipidemia. People who have higher muscular strength are less likely to develop hypertension, hyperlipidemia and other similar conditions.
Guidelines for Building Muscular Strength
Building strong muscles and healthy musculoskeletal system does not require medications, drugs or steroids. All you need is honest and vigilant efforts to maintain healthy lifestyle and consumption of nutritious diet that supply all essential vitamins and minerals required for healthy and strong muscles. Below are a few guidelines that may help you in developing optimal muscular strength:
1. Proper Workout
Exercises and workout to build strong muscles are different from conventional exercises that are performed by most of us in gyms. Instead of mere running or jogging, you need resistance training for muscles. For example:
- For strength training of your body and muscular reconditioning, you should focus on one group of muscles by performing resistance exercises.
- You can lift weight to stimulate the particular set of muscles.
Some simple exercises that target a particular set of muscles include:
- Bench pressing (for extensors of elbow or triceps and pectoralis major)
- Arm curls (especially targets biceps and deltoid)
- Cycling (for hamstrings)
For best results, healthcare professional suggest allocating days for particular exercises and workouts.
2. Diet and Nutrition
Diet is indeed the most important component that is responsible for strong and healthy muscles. It has to be kept in mind that excessive carb consumption does not promote muscle mass. Athletes and health fanatics consume more calories from proteins than carbs. For best results, plan and modify your diet according to these guidelines:
- Consume at least 1 g of protein per pound of the total body weight.
- Calculate your optimal calorie requirement and maximum calorie expenditure. It is important because consuming lesser calories than you actually spend during the course of the day may interfere with protein deposition and muscle building. Your body may begin to even breakdown existing muscles to supply fuel to your body.
- Consume organic sources of calcium, vitamin D and other essential vitamins and minerals from diet (or supplements if needed).
3. Enough Rest
Besides optimal physical activity, moderate amount of rest is also needed since remodeling and synthesis of muscles takes place when the body is in a state of rest. Exercise and workout provide stimulation to the muscles, but actual muscle building takes place when you are relaxing (or when you are sleeping).
Follow the guidelines to get the most out of benefits of muscular strength.