There is something about working those muscles hard and having that feeling of being totally pumped up afterwards!! I just love that feeling!
The muscles feel swollen and full as the blood surges through them after the heavy burn wears off.. if you have never felt it, you may not know what I mean.. but if you have done a good lifting routine…you will know exactly what I am talking about here…???
This morning, I feel compelled to talk about what goes on inside the muscle to make it feel this way and how that gives us benefit, conditioning and a sense of well-being. Its totally changed my life to do resistance training and I am certain it would change yours as well.
It may sound weird, but the action of lifting weights actually depletes muscle building nutrients in the body and causes microscopic tears in our muscle fibres. Its only after the workout is over that our bodies work to repair the damage we inflicted on it and then the muscle growth starts to happen. Immediately after a workout, the body gets to work by increasing blood flow to those muscles causing them to feel bigger and more full. This increase blood flow and high rate of repair happens for up to several hours after a workout.
How to make sure our muscles repair and stay with us…
Its important to regularly have small meals with carbs and proteins after the workout to help keep the growth and repair process moving forward. During our sleep time at night, our body runs out of repair nutrients while we are sleeping (fasting) and this is why having a bit of extra protein at bedtime can be helpful to keep this repair process working well while sleeping. If we have prolonged periods of fasting, our body goes into what is called a catabolic state where muscle breakdown occurs. We definitely do not want to get into this state as it will reduce our muscle mass…so be sure that muscle is well fed and don’t allow your body to go into prolonged fasting periods.
WHY build muscle anyways?
Lifting weights (resistance training) is important to build muscle strength, but it also strengthens the surrounding connective tissue as well (tendon, ligament). The stronger the structures are, the less likely it will be that you will experience a strain, dislocation or tear around a joint or a muscle injury while in motion!!
The health benefits to having conditioned muscles are so amazing, that it is an important activity to incorporate into your life ASAP! Having muscles improves our physical appearance (more toned, nice shape, less fat), gives us more energy, increases bone density, increases power and strength, reduced injury, makes recovery from injuries faster, slows down aging and improves hormone balance, increases HDL (good cholesterol), improves our balance, lowers blood pressure and resting heart rate. The list goes on and on… so many benefits!
Oh and one more thing! Conditioned muscles typically do not cause us chronic pain! Yes, we will have some sore muscles from lifting at times especially when increasing weight or intensity, but in general, conditioned muscles at rest do not cause us pain! HUGE BENEFIT that improves quality of life! I suffered from chronic body, muscle, neck and knee pains for years and getting into shape completely transformed my quality of life and I am not in pain any longer! Its so worth the work!
If you would like to find a professionally designed resistance training program to get started with, please contact me and I will help you out.
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