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Muscle is a scary word. As a woman, the last thing you want when you start your fitness journey is to become bulky. So muscle gain or muscle-building exercises can be daunting. However, there’s more about muscles you need to understand. 

Indeed, your muscles are crucial to your health. According to the NewScientist, strength training is the best thing you can do to maintain your health. Stronger muscles reduce the risks of cardiovascular disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, and dementia. So how can you support your lean muscle mass?

Eat proteins

There is no miracle. If you want to build more muscle mass, you need to fuel your muscles. Muscles are essential made of protein, so a protein-heavy diet can be essential to support muscle growth. You can find protein powders, which are effective. However, protein meals such as chicken and bacon are just as good, and they are a better choice as a family meal. Other sources of protein include: 

  • Greek yogurt, 
  • lean beef,
  • tuna,
  • salmon,
  • eggs,
  • soybeans,
  • cottage cheese,
  • kidney beans,
  • peanuts,
  • etc. 

Focus on a strength routine

Every type of physical activity is beneficial for the body. However, if you wish to focus on strength, you might want to reach out to a personal trainer at your local gym. Fitness 19 gyms are excellent facilities with plenty of strength training equipment and the possibility to work with a coach to design an individual plan. 

Yet, if your gym doesn’t offer training services, you can build your own strength routine with simple weighted movements. More often than not, it’s best to use a set of dumbbells from 3 to 5 pounds for beginners to 8 to 12 pounds for stronger individuals. Do not attempt heavy lifts and compound movements unless you are already familiar with these. 

Schedule plenty of rest

Strength training may not affect your body in the same way as cardio training. However, just because you may not feel as out-of-breath, it doesn’t mean you should skip rest days. On the contrary, rest days allow your muscles to recover and grow. If you skip rest days, you could put yourself at risk of injuries. Indeed, your muscles experience micro-tears during training. The recovery period enables those tears to heal, which leads to muscle growth. Overtraining can slow down the healing process and affect muscle gain. 

Get your 8 hours of zzz

When does the body build your muscles? As surprising as it might sound, muscle growth happens during your sleep. The non-REM sleep, which is the deep sleep phase, releases the growth hormone essential for muscle repair and building. In other words, short nights and disrupted sleep patterns can reduce muscle gains. Training hard is only half the process. You need to rest fully to ensure your muscles have plenty of time to recover and repair themselves. If you train too much and don’t sleep enough, you may not get to see the full results of your work. 

First of all, a word of warning: No, gaining lean muscle mass is not going to make you bulky. Muscle gain is an essential factor of health. Building muscle mass through targeted exercises, recovery, and a protein-heavy diet can help preserve your health for longer. 

Heather Brummett

I am Heather Brummett . I'm just a real mom, sharing my real life experiences with the world. Thank you for being a part of my world. Here you will find recipes, crafts, fun ideas for the kids, how to work at home, encouragement, inspiration, and the latest news in and around Houston. To be featured or for information on freelance work contact me at [email protected].

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