A list of the components of fitness might include endurance, leanness, bone strength, muscular strength, flexibility and resistance to injury and sickness. Muscle is crucial to these all these components of fitness. This study The underappreciated role of muscle in health and disease gives a good summary and explanation of the vital role of muscle. The highlights:
MUSCLE AND THE ACUTE RESPONSE TO CRITICAL ILLNESS
“If there is a preexisting deficiency of muscle mass before trauma, the acute loss of muscle mass and function may push an individual over a threshold that makes recovery of normal function unlikely to ever occur. For this reason, >50% of women older than 65 y who break a hip in a fall never walk again.”
ROLE OF MUSCLE IN CHRONIC DISEASE
“Alterations in muscle play an important role in the most common diseases and conditions. With cardiac and cancer cachexia, the loss of muscle mass is an important determinant of survival. Sarcopenia, the progressive loss of muscle mass and function that occurs with aging, is a widespread syndrome that has a devastating effect on quality of life and ultimately survival.”
Added muscle can help alleviate or reverse the symptoms of many chronic diseases.
OBESITY AND MUSCLE
Maintaining and building muscle requires additional calories and can help prevent obesity.
MUSCLE IN INSULIN RESISTANCE AND DIABETES
Increased muscle helps with the disposition of sugar.
MUSCLE AND OSTEOPOROSIS
“Mechanical force on bone is essential for modeling and remodeling, processes that increase bone strength and mass. Whereas body weight and weight-bearing exercises provide a direct mechanical force on bones, the largest voluntary loads on bone are proposed to come from muscle contractions."
If you are going to exercise you might want to include some form of strength training. It does not necessarily require hours in the gym. With high intensity strength training you can work the whole body in less than one half hour, and it only need be performed once or twice a week to see continuing results. We have such a strength training program at both our locations - Austin Personal Trainers and New Orleans Personal Trainers. Better eating choices, an active lifestyle, and a little strength training is a program most people can stick to, and it can have profound effects on one's fitness and health.