Don’t be afraid to build a little muscle. Doing so actually offers more benefits than you realize. Before you balk, understand that more muscle doesn’t necessarily mean more bulk. More muscle could mean better health and a leaner physique. Here are some of the benefits of more muscle.

Combat sarcopenia
Building muscle can mitigate some of the effects of sarcopenia, or age related muscle loss. Muscle loss results in reduced mobility and increased risk of falls and sprains. Building muscle is especially important for menopausal women.

Boost metabolism
Higher muscle to fat ratio means more efficient metabolism. You’ll burn more calories, even at rest, when you have more muscle. That means you won’t have to work quite as hard to maintain a healthy weight. Another benefit of muscle for boosting weight loss is the protection it offer against insulin resistance. Carbohydrates are more readily used as fuel, rather than stored as fat, thus reducing your risk of diabetes.

Better posture
You need muscle strength to stand tall. Better posture is possible with more muscle. You’ll look and feel better, too. Standing straight and tall helps ease back trouble and makes you look a little leaner as well.

man-641691_640Maintain independence
Muscle makes activities of daily living easier. These are things we take for granted like, climbing the stairs, carrying groceries and reaching for things on a shelf. You’ll find it is easier to maintain stability, stamina, balance and strength when you have more muscle.

Have more confidence
Muscle is more compact than fat, so you’ll sport a lean, toned look when you have more. That means more body confidence whether you are wearing a swimsuit or a power suit.

Better overall health
Muscle impacts our physical health and quality of life in countless ways. Its more than just how it helps us look in our clothes. Muscle can improve blood sugar control, ease insomnia and help stave off depression. Muscle also strengthens connective tissue – think tendons and ligaments – and eases the discomfort of arthritis pain. It can even promote recovery after illness. Skeletal muscle stores extra nutrients your body can draw from when needed, such as in the case of illness.

You don’t have to be a bodybuilder to benefit from more muscle. Add strength training to your routine two to three times each week to improve your muscle to fat ratio and overall health.