Muscle Mass and Life Extension Part 1

We all like muscle.  Besides the obvious mobility and use of our limbs, we like the way it looks.  Muscle gives the characteristic desired body shape so many people strive for.  Muscle also is important metabolically and plays an important and protective role in diabetes, heart disease, and other conditions.  It can therefore be agreed that the more muscle you have, the healthier you will be and the better you will look.  But muscle has an even greater role as we age:  the more muscle you have, the lower your risk of death.  A recent study out of UCLA suggests that the more muscle mass older Americans have, the less likely they are to die prematurely.  This adds to the growing body of evidence that body composition, rather than scale weight or Body Mass index (BMI), is a better predictor of health and all-cause mortality and morbidity.  This means that measuring your muscle mass should be considered a part of your wellness and preventative screening tests, equally as important as measuring your blood pressure.  Body composition can be measured or estimated a number of ways very simply and cheaply.  Seek out a way to get yours measured and over the next few weeks I will discuss ways to increase your muscle mass and thereby extend your life.


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