9 April 2013
DR. PAUL D. THOMPSON, a 60 year old marathon runner and chief of cardiology at Hartford Hospital, stood in front of a medical audience recently and began his talk with a story about himself.
Hes had been lifting weights since he was 12 years old. Dr. Thompson is now a small and wiry with not a bulging muscle on him. He was speculated that he must have a genetic inability to build muscles, no matter how hard he works at it. But are his muscles healthy? Muscle researchers say it is important part of overall health. And, they say, when it comes to muscles, bulk does not matter. How big they can become depends on your sex as well as genetics. What matters for health is whether, like Dr. Thompson, you use them.
Healthy muscles are those that have been worked, stressed and pushed to their limit so that they can have enough power and strength to get you through life, especially as you grow older. And keeping muscles fit takes effort, which means regular training with weight lifting and exercise even if the results are not a sculptured look. If you don’t work your muscles, they will atrophy, especially as you grow older. Older people often fall because they are too weak to brace themselves, and they have trouble with steps and opening things because their muscles have lost so much strength.
There are two aspects to healthy muscles: endurance and strength, you should engage in activities that pump blood to the muscles, like walking. For strength, you need to lift weights, those of the back and legs, you should also maintain arm strength. Some try to do it on their own but tend to buy weights that are too light and you may not know the well-researched methods that get results. It may sound like a lot of effort, but even people like Dr. Thompson, who does not acquire bulk, benefit.
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