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Health

An elderly man wonders how to measure muscle mass.

How to Measure Muscle Mass Accurately: A Gym Beginner’s Guide

By BIA, Blog, Body Composition Analysis, Health, Muscle

Congratulations on taking the first step towards your fitness journey by subscribing to a gym membership! Building muscle and seeing progress can be exciting, but it’s also important to track your progress accurately. This beginner’s guide will cover how to measure muscle mass over time, including a particular focus on using an InBody device.

Download the guide to get an accurate InBody test.

Gym beginner works out with coach

How to measure muscle mass?

There are several ways to keep tabs on your progress, each with its advantages and drawbacks. Some of the most popular approaches are listed below:

1. Visual Inspection

The simplest way to track muscle growth is through visual inspection. This usually involves looking in the mirror or taking photos of your body to see if there is any noticeable change in muscle size. This is why so many gymgoers enjoy posting their accomplishments on social media.

This method is quick and straightforward, but it is also somewhat arbitrary. If you’ve just started working out, it might be difficult to see changes in your muscles within a few weeks.

Even though you are making gains in muscle, it may let you down if the changes aren’t immediately visible in the mirror.

Gym builder inspecting his progress in the mirror

2. Tape Measurements

Taking body circumference measurements using tapes, such as bicep and thigh circumference, is another way to track muscle growth. This method is more accurate than visual inspection.

However, the tape measurement result may be inaccurate, especially if you are overweight. According to research, even medical professionals may struggle to prevent tape measurement errors for their obese patients.

3. Weightlifting Progress Tracking

Monitoring the progression of your weightlifting can help you observe your muscle mass growth. This can be done by recording the weight lifted, repetition count, and set quantity for each workout.

You may download progress-tracking apps like InBody and Strong to assist you. If you see an increase in the weight you can lift or the number of reps you can perform, it is likely that your muscles have grown.

4. Body Composition Analysis

Body composition analysis is a more advanced method of tracking muscle growth.

There are numerous methods for body composition analysis, ranging from a DXA scan, which is one of the gold standard measurements, to a body weighing scale that claims to be able to check your body’s muscle mass.

ūüí° As one of the high-accuracy alternatives to DXA scanning, InBody devices would be appropriate and cost-effective tools for you to track muscle mass over time.

The InBody devices are currently being used in a growing number of gym settings. Consider finding a convenient location to take an InBody test and track your muscle growth.

Where can I get the InBody test?

An elderly man wonders how to measure muscle mass.

Tips to help you effectively track your muscle mass:

1. Be consistent with your tracking methods.

Always remember that it’s crucial to track your progress using the same method and device. This is due to the fact that different devices may use a different technological and algorithmic approaches to measuring muscle mass. In progress tracking, comparing your results with different devices every month would be misleading.

2. Be mindful of the precautions and steps of measurement.

Many gym goers are not concerned about when to measure and what to look for during the measurement. However, improper posture and measuring right after workouts and meals, for example, definitely lead to inaccuracies in measurement. Your efforts in the workout may be disguised by inaccurate measurement results.

Download the guide to get an accurate InBody test.

3. Track progress regularly, such as every two to four weeks.

Tracking your progress consistently will help you see how far you’ve progressed since the baseline. Knowing whether your current workout and diet plan are appropriate for your specific situation is important. If the results do not match your expectations, you may know it’s time to review your fitness approach.

How frequently should you track your fitness progress?

4. Discuss your progress with an expert.

Discuss your workout plan with a professional regularly. If you receive an InBody result, as shown below, it will be easy for both you and the expert to understand your current progress.

The image above from InBody results clearly illustrates the muscle mass in different body parts.

This can make it easier for you to communicate with an expert, like a physiotherapist or personal trainer. They can give you a lot of personalized advice and point out areas where you can improve.

5. Celebrate your progress, no matter how small.
You might think your progress is insignificant after scrolling through the attractive physique photos posted by gym enthusiasts. This could be demotivating somehow.

However, they put in a lot of work and it takes them years to succeed. And yet, it’s not surprising to hear that they’ve already been through what you’re going through. It’s worth a blast of celebration even if you discover that you broke your Personal Record (PR) or that you gained 0.1 kg of muscle.

A women is happy with her gains

Conclusion

Measuring muscle growth is an important step in tracking your progress toward your fitness goals. With the right tools and mindset, you can have an idea of how to measure muscle mass accurately and reach your muscle growth goals sooner.

By using these methods and tips, you’ll be able to effectively measure your muscle growth and track your progress toward a stronger, healthier you.

 

 

 

A mother is watching her daughter having meals

5 Ways to Prevent Childhood Obesity: A Parent’s Guide

By BIA, Body Composition, Body Composition Analysis, Children, Health

Maintaining a healthy body fat percentage is essential for a child’s growth and development. In order to prevent childhood obesity, parents and healthcare providers should monitor body fat and educate children on healthy lifestyle choices.

Don’t be worried if your child has more body fat than expected. The good news is that you can help your children maintain a healthy body fat percentage by taking a few simple steps.

A child try to take a strawberry from the table

Healthy food choices to prevent childhood obesity

Food choice is the most important factor determining your child’s health and growth. It‚Äôs important for you to help them develop healthy eating habits and limit calorie-rich temptations.

This means avoiding processed foods and sugary drinks. Instead, introduce more nutrient-dense foods like fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains into your child’s daily diet.

ūüí° One of the examples would be keeping a supply of nutritious, ready-to-eat food at home.

These include a variety of fruits that can be consumed raw, like apples, grapes, and bananas.

You could include more dairy products, such as low-fat or flavor-infused milk, cheese, yoghurt, whole-grain snacks, or low-sugar biscuits. Remind your children to pick these foods if they are hungry and in a hurry.

A mother is watching her daughter having meals

Monitor the meal frequency and portion size

Start by encouraging regular meal times and limiting snacking between meals. You’re helping to regulate their appetite and making sure they’re getting the right amount of nutrients for optimal growth and development.

And don’t rush through meals; encourage your child to eat slowly; this way they can learn to recognize when they’re full and prevent overeating.

You should be conscious of the portion sizes you serve your children. To make sure your child eats enough food throughout the day, you may schedule 3 main meals and 2 snacks. If you plan your child’s meals thoughtfully, you can address both the budget and the nutrients needed at the same time.

To ensure that the menu you planned is suitable, you may refer to the checklist below:

  • Is your child eating a variety of foods for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day?
  • Does he consume foods from all food groups?
  • Does he drink milk and plain water on a daily basis?
  • Do you make an effort to prepare meals using healthy cooking methods such as steaming, baking, or roasting on a daily basis?
  • Is the food selection being repeated too frequently? For instance, fried chicken 5 times per week.
  • Is the meal you made high in nutritional value/nutrient density?

Tips to prepare a healthy menu for your children

Parent having outdoor activities with child to prevent childhood obesity

Get your kids to be more active

Parents should also try to limit the amount of screen time that their children are getting, as excessive screen time has been linked to an increased risk of obesity in children.

Instead of nagging your kids to stop spending too much time on their phones or iPads, you should suggest an engaging activity to do together as a substitute for playing games on the phone.

Here are some helpful exercise ideas for you and your kids:

  • Take family walks or play active games together to incorporate physical activity into your family’s daily routine.
  • You could get your kids some new sports equipment that promotes physical activity.
  • Take the kids to places where they can be active, like public parks, community football fields, or basketball courts.

How much physical activity do children need?

A child is sleeping

Make sure your child gets enough sleep

A study that followed nearly 1,000 children from birth to age 15 discovered that earlier bedtimes can have a long-term impact. The researchers discovered that preschoolers who went to bed before 8 p.m. had half the risk of obesity as those who went to bed after 9 p.m.

Given that inadequate sleep is closely related to childhood obesity, it’s important to establish a regular sleep routine with your children.

Stick to the routine as much as possible to ensure your kid gets adequate sleep. This should include a consistent bedtime routine, such as setting a bedtime and wake-up time.

The most important thing is that before they go to sleep, your kids aren’t kept up by things like their favorite iPad movies. To achieve optimal sleeping quality, you are responsible for creating a comfortable and dark sleeping environment for them.

Keeping soda away before bedtime can also be beneficial. The extra sugar and caffeine from soda may also play a factor in poor sleep quality.

How much sleep should your children get?

Keep ‚ÄėPercent Body Fat‚Äô on track

Your children’s body weight is increasing most likely from a combination of bone growth, lean muscle development, and fat accumulation.

However, it can be challenging to tell if your kids are gaining the necessary amount of weight. Weight gain could sometimes be a result of higher body fat levels due to an unhealthy lifestyle.

Check the impact of high body fat on your child’s growth.

ūüí° Most parents may believe that as long as their children do not appear to be overweight, everything is fine. However, there may be unseen risks arising in your child that are not visible to the naked eye.

This is how InBody reveals the ‚Äúhidden‚ÄĚ body fat of a child with a normal BMI.

Childhood Obesity with Normal BMI

The ideal objective should be to concentrate on bone and muscle growth rather than excess body fat. By assessing Percent Body Fat (PBF) on a regular basis with the InBody device, you will be able to determine whether your child’s lifestyle is healthy while under your care.

Get your child an InBody test now.

Summary

Parents are the biggest influence in children’s lives. They look up to you and tend to follow your lifestyle as part of their learning process.

However, simply telling them to live a healthy lifestyle may not be enough. To truly instill healthy habits in your children, you must set a good example as a parent.

Monitoring your child’s body fat and growth consistently to prevent childhood obesity will undoubtedly require some effort.

However, if you discover that your child’s body does not respond well to the effort you put in for their lifestyle changes, a consultation with your family doctor or a pediatrician will definitely be necessary. By doing so, you’ll be able to better comprehend the risks that come with childhood obesity and take measures to prevent them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can you be too old for weight training?

By Health, Muscle, Nutrition

‚ÄúSarcopenia‚ÄĚ is the gradual loss of muscle mass that begins for most people after age 35. Contrary to popular belief, this decline in muscle mass and strength is not only due to aging process; rather, it‚Äôs due to inactivity.

However, current dogma around resistance training among elderly women has been a barrier. Sarcopenia is the loss of muscle mass and strength that occurs as a result of “normal ageing.” It is not entirely due to sickness but is also a normal aspect of the ageing process. This is not to be confused with cachexia, which is the uncontrollable loss of muscle and/or body fat mass. While cachexia is most commonly associated with malnutrition caused by illnesses such as cancer, sarcopenia is defined as a progressive loss of muscle mass caused by changes in nutrition and physical activity. This is significant because sarcopenic people can keep their fat mass, resulting in a “thin fat” body composition. Sarcopenic obesity has more serious health effects, as we will discuss in another chapter.

‚ÄúFew would argue that some form of resistance training should not be part of a complete exercise program; however, the bulk of literature on the cardio-protective effects of aerobic exercise has continued to make this form of exercise preeminent and the central focus of many physical activity guidelines in Canada, the United States, and many other countries.‚ÄĚ

Studies show that resistance training is the best way to prevent and reverse the loss of muscle for older adults. For women, in particular, resistance training is an effective long-term strategy to preserve muscle and positive changes in body composition.

The science is clear: improving your muscle mass is something anyone can (and should) do.

Can women gain the same relative amount of muscle mass as men?

By Body Composition, Body Composition Analysis, Fitness, Health, Muscle

If you’re like most women, you’re curious about whether doing the same routine as the men in your CrossFit class will give you the same results. On average, baseline muscle mass in men is 36% greater than in women. In terms of muscle distribution, women tend to have less upper body muscle mass compared to men.

Men have a slight genetic advantage over women because of their higher baseline muscle mass, particularly in the upper body. However, that doesn’t mean that women will gain less muscle mass than men, despite lifting the same amount of weights.

When men and women exercise for the same amount of time, they can accomplish the same amount of gains in muscle mass. While the increase in size was similar between men and women in the study, the relative strength of women actually increased more than men because they were starting with a smaller overall body size.

In addition, it’s worth noting that muscle mass gain may be more affected by individual variations in terms of sensitivity of resistance training responses rather than gender differences.

Does Weightlifting Causes Women To ‚ÄúLook Bulky‚ÄĚ ?

What This Means For Women:
It’s possible to gain as much muscle mass as men, but it may take more work on your end because of your slightly lower baseline muscle mass. However, if you’re worried about getting too big, it’s also unlikely to happen due to differences in testosterone (we’ll cover that later,) and how you train.

The first step toward achieving enough amount of muscle mass is to do a body composition analysis to determine how much you have. Click here to read more about the various types of BIA devices that analyse body composition.

Does Weightlifting Causes Women To ‚ÄúLook Bulky‚ÄĚ ?

By Body Composition, Body Composition Analysis, Health, Muscle

Many women believe that resistance exercise causes weight gain and a ‚Äúbulky appearance‚ÄĚ. Yes, strength training can lead to weight gain. You can almost certainly count on that. That is, nonetheless, totally acceptable.

If the gains you’re seeing are in Lean Body Mass, your weight may stay the same or even rise, but you’ll appear more lean and toned.

Women muscle from the back

Understanding How Muscle is Gained

To begin, let’s be clear about how muscle is gained. Muscle growth occurs when the rate of muscle protein synthesis exceeds the rate of muscle protein breakdown.

In other words, you can only gain muscle through a process in which resistance training breaks down muscle fibers and then repairs them with enough nutrients from diet and rest. As a result, the muscles will grow in size, resulting in [muscle hypertrophy](https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6950543/#:~:text=Muscle hypertrophy occurs when muscle,muscle protein breakdown [8].).

It is important to note, however, that muscle hypertrophy occurs at different rates for different people. Building “bulky” muscles take time and effort, and it is not a common result able to be achieved through weightlifting for the majority of women.

Women’s Muscle and Hormone

Women and men muscle difference

It’s understandable that seeing selfies of men in the gym with massive muscles while scrolling through social media can be frightening. And you might worry that working out in the gym will only lead to a bulky appearance.

Contrary to popular belief, women do not have the same level of testosterone as men, which is the primary hormone responsible for muscle hypertrophy. In general, women’s bodies only contain 10% to 20% as much testosterone as men’s bodies. As a result, women are much less likely to gain significant muscle mass from weightlifting.

Can women gain the same relative amount of muscle mass as men?

Have You Eaten and Lifted Enough?

Women cooking for her meals

You might have to eat more calories than you needed to in order to appear “bulky.‚ÄĚ This is due to the fact that gaining muscle requires a calorie surplus.

Several studies have shown that women tend to have low-calorie diets and, worse, low protein intake. This dietary habit was strongly linked to sarcopenia or progressive muscle loss. Instead of being concerned about gaining too much muscle, the problem of muscle loss should be prioritized among women.

Aside from that, muscle building requires progressive overload in weightlifting. This is because muscle gain will adapt to the same weight carried during your exercise routine. To achieve greater muscle gain, you must gradually increase the weight lifted.

Learn how much muscle you can gain in a month

The Benefits of Weightlifting for Women

women having a rest after weightlifting

Not only does weightlifting not lead to significant increases in muscle size for women, but it also has numerous other benefits.

Weightlifting can improve bone density, which is particularly important for women as they are more prone to osteoporosis than men. It can also improve balance, coordination, and flexibility.

In addition, weightlifting can boost metabolism and help you burn fat. This is because muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue, even when you’re not exercising. As a result, incorporating weightlifting into your fitness routine can help you achieve your weight loss goals.

Think of weight training as an investment that pays serious dividends down the road. The more muscle you have, the more visceral fat in your body can burn over time.

How to Safely Incorporate Weightlifting into Your Fitness Routine

Women training with coach

Before starting a weightlifting routine, it is important to consult with a certified fitness professional. They could guide you with proper form and technique, which are also crucial to avoiding injury and getting the most out of your workouts.

It is also important to gradually increase weight and intensity and to incorporate rest and recovery time into your routine. This will keep you in good condition and allow you to perform weightlifting exercises safely.

The Importance of Tracking Progress

One of the keys to success in any fitness or nutrition journey is tracking your progress. This is where a body composition analyzer like the InBody machine can be incredibly useful.

Track muscle mass with InBody

By measuring your body composition, you can see how much muscle mass you have gained and how much fat you have lost. This information can help you fine-tune your nutrition and exercise plan so that you can keep making progress toward your goals.

Start tracking your progress with an InBody machine today and see the difference it can make. Find the nearest location for an InBody test here.

Summary

To summarise, weightlifting is a safe and effective form of exercise that will not make you “look bulky” in the majority of cases. Weightlifting is a valuable addition to your fitness routine because of its numerous benefits, including increased bone density, metabolism, physical strength, and mental health.

By incorporating weightlifting into your exercise routine and dispelling the myth of “bulky muscles,” you can meet your fitness goals while also improving your overall health and well-being.

So, jump off your treadmill and give the free weights a try! By doing so, you’ll not only dispel this myth but also reap the numerous benefits that weightlifting has to offer.

Outcome-Based Wellness Program: Self-Care Zone in Workplace

By Corporate Wellness, Health, Press

In Malaysia, the rising health-related issues and problems faced by the corporate workforce currently is the ever-increasing medical cost, the increase number of critical illnesses reported, and the continuation of an exceptionally unhealthy lifestyle of business professionals.

These core issues, mainly because most people do not practice healthy lifestyle and conduct regular medical checkups to understand their health condition.

Thus, lack of health awareness has became a major challenge for the corporate workforce as they struggled to lead a good corporate wellness program, and improve employees’ health consistently over time.

 

 

Outcome-based Wellness Program

Most employers start a wellness program to improve employee health, improve employee productivity, or reduce their health care costs.¬† The goal of every wellness program should be to help employees adopt and maintain healthy behaviors. If wellness programs are successful, they will improve employee health and reduce healthcare costs. Since every company with a wellness program is trying to produce one of these outcomes, so here comes to the next question for Human Resource Department…

“Is your corporate wellness program successful? How does HR justify if the outcome is successful despite of using the participation rate?”

These aren’t just the challenges that most of the companies are facing, by just implementing a wellness program for the sake of organizing.¬†¬†The purpose of any wellness program should be to improve the health of employees, sustainably. That means the program should be focused on behavioral change in lifestyle, and we all know, it takes long time make this as a company’s culture.

Some corporates use incentives to motivate employees to improve their health. Any kind of incentives-based program that are being used in the nation is only to create a short-term gimmick but it might not be able to make a sustainable healthy workplace.

Hence, this is the reason why many of the HR nowadays looking for a better solution which it can be successfully integrated into an incentive strategy and still able to increase health awareness through a routine health evaluation tool.

InBody Self-Care Zone in collaboration with PMCare

PMCare and InBody sought to address these issue by finding a creative way to administer and empower the concept of self-care among the corporate workforce. InBody Self-Care Zone is a product of an intellectual collaboration between PMCare and InBody as the primary solution to promote self-care with outcome-based program that shows evidence of employees’ health by improving body composition as the basic of overall health assessment. With this initiative, PMCare and InBody sought to support Malaysia‚Äôs transformation in cultivating a healthier lifestyle and becoming a renowned Vibrant Living Nation.

The Self-Care Zone is a special area equipped with InBody proprietary state-of-the-art health devices that enables employees to track their health parameters such as heart rate, muscle mass, fat percentage, segmental lean & fat analysis, and more in the body compositions. The devices are also integrated with the InBody Mobile App that streamlines the measurement records on the devices with an internal data system, which can be used by employees to monitor their health parameters and track any improvements from time to time. Besides, the human resource department can also use the LookinBody Web to manage data of employees’ measurement analysis in order to have a complete picture of overall health status changes in the organization.

On top of that, the Self-Care Zone is a great catalyst for the corporate workforce to encourage and empower their employees to adopt a healthier, active lifestyle – act as an self-motivational tracker. Serving as the main health empowerment area of any corporate office, it provides the right atmosphere and environment for employees to take a more active control in the management of their personal health. Setting up this InBody Self-Care zone at PMCare office enables their employees to also track their progress regularly, helping them to continue a sustainable overall health journey.

PMCare and InBody had also run this self-care zone program for the employees in Mitsubishi Motors Malaysia  . Watch the review from  Ms Christina РHead Of Human Resource shared about her point of view in HR about their experience in this program.

For more corporate solutions, please feel free to contact our Corporate Wellness Specialists or email us at info@inbody.com

 

 

Why men are more prone to heart disease?

By BIA, Blog, Health, Nutrition, Press

Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the leading causes of death in Malaysia. Heart disease is responsible for nearly 1 out of every 4 deaths in Malaysia. ¬†Malaysians in their 20’s and 30’s are currently suffering from heart attacks. Ischaemic heart disease, which can lead to a heart attack, was the leading cause of death among males in Malaysia in 2018, accounting for 17.8% of all deaths.

It is important for men to understand what heart disease is, the risk factors and symptoms, and how to prevent heart disease.  

What is heart disease? 

Cardiac disease encompasses a wide range of heart disorders, including coronary heart disease (CHD) or coronary artery disease (CAD), arrhythmia, heart failure, and heart attacks. Coronary heart disease develops when the arteries that deliver blood to the heart and body harden and narrow due to plaque buildup.

This plaque is composed of components found in the body such as cholesterol and other fatty lipids. Atherosclerosis is the term used to describe the hardness and constriction of the arteries. When this plaque accumulates, blood flow is constricted, resulting in a reduction in the amount of oxygen delivered to the heart. This can eventually lead to a heart attack.

Why men are more prone to heart disease?

Men have an elevated risk of heart disease. According to National Health & Morbidity Survey (NHMS) 2019, hypertension affects men 3 times more than women under the age of 30.

Other risk factors for heart disease include being overweight or obese, having a poor diet, high cholesterol, physical inactivity, and having diabetes.  

Symptoms of heart disease  

The symptoms of heart disease can often be ‚Äúsilent,‚ÄĚ and go undiagnosed until someone experiences the signs of a heart attack or arrhythmia.¬†Symptoms of these events may include:¬†¬†

  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Pain in the upper back or neck¬†¬†
  • Heartburn or indigestion¬†¬†
  • Nausea or vomiting¬†¬†
  • Dizziness¬†¬†
  • Shortness of breath¬†¬†
  • Extreme fatigue¬†¬†
  • Palpitations or feelings of fluttering in the chest¬†¬†
  • Swelling in the feet, ankles, legs, neck, or abdomen¬†¬†

It’s important to note that not all people who have heart disease experience signs or symptoms. Half of the men who died suddenly of coronary heart disease had no previous symptoms or warnings. 

High blood pressure and heart disease

Having high and uncontrolled blood pressure can lead to heart disease. Over time, high blood pressure taxes the blood vessels and heart by making them do more work less efficiently. The friction and force that come from high blood pressure will do damage to the delicate tissues lining the arteries. Plaque forms along with these tiny tears and lesions. As more plaque builds up, the narrower the arteries become, raising blood pressure even more. It becomes a vicious cycle.   

Many people have no symptoms of high blood pressure until it is too late. It is important to regularly check your blood pressure to make sure it is within the healthy range.  

How can you lower your risk for heart disease?  

  1. Check your BP: regular monitoring of your blood pressure will help you stay informed and in control of your blood pressure. If you suffer from high blood pressure, it may be helpful for you to keep a log of your blood pressure readings and take them to review with your doctor.  
  2. Quit smoking: Smoking is known to increase blood pressure and can greatly increase your risk of heart disease.  
  3. Check cholesterol and triglyceride levels: Work with your doctor to regularly check your cholesterol and triglyceride labs to make sure you stay within a healthy range.  
  4. Eat healthy food: Eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains has been tied to a lower risk of heart disease. Limit red meat, fried foods, high sodium foods, and sugary drinks and desserts.   
  5. Stay active: Regular physical activity can help keep your blood pressure in check and keep your arteries relaxed and pliable. Find an exercise that you enjoy doing and aim to get about 30 minutes of exercise per day.  
  6. Limit alcohol: Excess alcohol intake is tied to an increased risk of heart disease. Drink in moderation which means 1-2 drinks per day. 
  7. Lower stress: Too much stress can tax the heart and blood pressure even more. Find healthy ways of relaxing like taking a walk, reading a book, listening to calming music, or spending a few moments in quiet meditation or prayer each day.  

Men need to bear in mind their risk for heart disease and the associated risk factors. It‚Äôs advisable for men to keep their regular check-ups with their doctors, and complete the recommended labs. Checking your blood pressure regularly may also be beneficial, and those who struggle with high blood pressure or have a family history of hypertension may want to consider an at-home blood pressure monitor. Let’s have a look at our clinically validated kiosk type blood pressure monitor, BPBIO 750 Blood Pressure Monitor.

Why building lean mass is important for everyone (even you!)

By Blog, Fitness, Health, Muscle

People have all sorts of reasons for working out and developing lean body mass (LBM).  Athletes are interested in muscle building to improve their performance on the field. Bodybuilders want muscle growth for that trophy-winning physique.  For us regular joes and janes who struggle to find enough time to diet and workout, it can be as simple as looking losing weight and looking lean.

Whatever the reasons, recent research has made a very strong case that building lean body mass has health benefits far beyond aesthetics and athletic performance.  Sufficient amounts of LBM are actually critical for building a healthy life over the long-term.

This doesn’t mean that you have to work out twice a day lifting heavy weights. Male or female, young or old, everyone can benefit from increased lean body mass.  Here are four important health benefits that you gain from developing your lean body mass.

1. Lean body mass combats obesity

Based on the National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS) Malaysia 2019, 50.1% of adults are overweight or obese (30.4% overweight and 19.7% obese) and the numbers keep on rising. With this current situation in Malaysia, it’s hard to avoid advertising that guarantee weight loss in X number of weeks, or a new workout technique that promises to shred fat off of your frame, or that new diet that promises to increase your metabolism and burn body fat.

However, most of these shortcut approaches fail to address the basic issue regarding weight gain: it’s about calories in vs. calories out (energy balance).

‚ÄúEnergy imbalance‚ÄĚ in this context refers to consuming more calories than your body needs. ¬†Do this for a long enough period of time, and you‚Äôll gain fat. Gain enough fat over a long period of time, and you can become¬†overweight or obese.

‚ÄúEnergy intake‚ÄĚ refers to how many calories you consume through eating and drinking, in other words, your diet. ¬†This is what many people think of when they think about¬†calorie reduction.

However, its ‚Äúenergy expenditure‚ÄĚ where you can really make a big effect on balancing your calories in and calories out, and this is why developing your lean body mass¬†is so important.

Lean body mass is associated with your basal metabolic rate (BMR) ‚Äď the amount of calories you burn at rest. ¬†The greater amount of LBM you have, the greater your BMR will be. This means that people with greater amounts of lean body mass will have a greater energy expenditure while doing nothing, helping to avoid calorie imbalances, and ultimately, obesity.

2. Lean body mass helps you battle diseases

When you become sick and your body becomes stressed, your body‚Äôs immune system gets kicked into high gear. ¬†When that occurs, your body‚Äôs nutritional demands change. In order to support the immune system and contribute towards recovery, your body requires protein ‚Äď and a lot of it. ¬†Diet alone won‚Äôt supply the amount of protein required to defend against illness. Where will your body find protein reserves? Your lean body mass.

For example, in burn victims, the need for increased protein can increase tremendously: around 4 g of protein per kilogram of body weight, or about four times the normal daily intake of protein. Too much protein for a person to consume through a healthy diet.  This demand for protein exceeds the demands put on the body during fasting (times where you aren’t bringing in calories), which is when muscle breakdown occurs.  The same trend was also found in cancer survivors. In those whose overall body protein decreased due to cancer and cancer therapy, the rate of recurrence of cancer increased.

In both cases, the ability to survive these serious conditions ultimately came down to how much lean mass each patient had to begin with, and how much their bodies lost due to increased demand for protein.

Bottom line: your lean mass can act as protein reserves that your body can draw off of when the immune system is triggered.  If you have built sufficient lean mass through diet and workout, your body will have a much easier time fighting off infection because it will have enough protein in reserve to power the demands caused by the immune system.

If you don’t have sufficient lean mass, your body will have a much more difficult time defeating and recovering from illnesses because it won’t have the type of nutrients it needs to power the immune system.

3. Lean body mass contributes to strong bones

One common concern that both men and women have as they age is the onset of osteoporosis or frailty in general.  These conditions can put people at serious risk in the later stages of life because they can lead to falls and broken bones.  Sometimes, these falls are so serious that some people never walk again.

What can preserve bone density and bone mass later in life?  Maintaining sufficient and healthy amounts of lean body mass.

In the Mediterranean Intensive Oxidant Study, researchers found that lower amounts of skeletal muscle mass, a significant and major component of lean body mass, was correlated with weaker and thinner bones in elderly men.  Because lean body mass is made up of multiple components that cannot be readily increased, such as the weight of body water and internal organs, increasing skeletal muscle mass is the primary means of increasing lean body mass. This, in turn, builds up greater bone strength and density.

In order to protect against thin and weak bones, maintaining and developing sufficient skeletal muscle mass is key.

4. Lean body mass can protect against (and potentially reverse) insulin resistance

Insulin resistance occurs when the body is unable to clear the blood of excess glucose due to the presence of free fatty acids (FFA).  The release of FFA into the body is generally associated with high amounts of body fat mass, which lessens insulin’s ability to clear glucose from the blood.  If this insulin resistance becomes significant over a duration of time, the development of Type 2 diabetes mellitus can occur.

Once again, developing sufficient amounts of lean body mass can help prevent the onset of insulin resistance/Type 2 diabetes. Because insulin resistance/Type 2 diabetes can strike anyone at any age, ensuring that your LBM levels are sufficient while keeping your body fat mass low (i.e. a healthy body composition) is very important for everyone.

In a large-scale study of over 13,000 people over a 6-year span conducted by the UCLA School of Medicine, the researchers concluded their findings by illustrating an inverse relationship between skeletal muscle mass and insulin resistance.  Not only that, they found that for every 10% increase in skeletal muscle mass, there was an 11% decrease in insulin resistance.  For people without diabetes, the decreases were even more pronounced.

Developing your lean body mass also has the added benefit of increasing your BMR, which will increase your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) all on its own, which, when combined with proper diet and nutrition, causes body fat mass reduction.  This reduction contributes to less release of free fatty acids into the body in the first place, which will, in turn, make it easier for the body to clear excess glucose and transport it into muscle cells.

Fitness for Long-Term Health

Muscle building isn’t something that only bodybuilders and athletes should worry about; for long-term health, everyone can benefit from building their LBM.

For this reason, it is important to monitor the changes in your lean body mass by having your body composition measured. InBody body composition analysis can divide your weight into its various components ‚Äď Body Fat Mass, Lean Body Mass, etc. ‚Äď which will give you a much clearer picture of your overall fitness and health.

Building lean body mass is an investment in your future. The more LBM you build while you are still young and healthy, the more you will have in reserve when you really need. But before you start adding protein shakes and resistance workouts to your daily regimen, you need a plan. The first step to building a healthy level lean body mass is to measure how much you have with a body composition analysis.  You can learn about the different types of BIA devices that analyze body composition and the types of outputs for each devices.

How to Maintain Muscle Mass While Losing Fat During Lockdown? With General Manager of Peak Fitness Gurney Plaza – Mr. Leonardo Azevedo

By Blog, Fitness, Health, Muscle, Nutrition

You may not be able to crush your body composition’s goals during a public health crisis especially months of gym closure lately in Malaysia, but you can definitely keep from losing your hard gained muscle mass. We are so glad to have Mr. Leonardo Azevedo, General Manager of Peak Fitness Gurney Plaza who has over 22 years of experience in the Sports & Fitness industry, share us about his top 3 tips that can ensure you still maintain muscle mass while aiming for the body fat to fall off (even though your gym is still closed).

“Most of the time when people want to cut away their body fat and cut down to a healthier and more aesthetic physique, they often think the only way is with hours and hours of tireless exercise at the gym. But, if you can’t exercise at the gym due to our current Government restrictions, then all isn’t lost.” – says Mr. Leonardo.

A balanced food & calories intake, proper muscle stimulus and quality sleep can definitely change the way you look despite the challenges we face by being forced to workout at home. Sounds like a perfect recipe for losing your gains, doesn’t it?

Here’s why you shouldn’t worry about¬†losing your gains during the lockdown with these 3 rules to help you out.

#1: Balanced Food and Calories Intake

You don’t need to find a bunch of weird or novel exercises in order to maintain some semblance of fitness. In fact, by controlling your calories intake and balancing the amount of nutrients such as Protein, Carbohydrates and Fats in your daily diet routine, you can definitely maintain your mass while still achieving fat loss. Based on Scientific research, it’s also recommended an average daily intake of 30 (female)/35 (male) calories per Kilogram of Body Weight to maintain the weight in individuals from 20 to 30 years old who exercise moderately (home workout) 3 to 5 times per week.

In order to maintain your Muscle Mass, the most used way to divide this total amount of calories by the nutrients you should intake daily macronutrient of  40:40:20 (Protein:Carbs:Fat). As per science we know that, a gram of carbohydrate and protein contains 4 calories each, and a gram of fat, though, contains 9 calories. Therefore, Mr. Leonardo also give an example of a calculation on daily macronutrients intake with the sample reference as follow :

Female who has total Body Weight 60KG (aged between 20 to 30 years old)

* Calories per day = 60KG x 30 calories = 1800 calories day

* Daily Protein Intake (40%) = 1800 x 0.40 = 720 calories / 4 calories (1 gram of protein) = 180grams of proteins per day.

* Daily Carbohydrate Intake (40%) = 1800 x 0.40 = 720 calories / 4 calories (1 gram of carb) = 180grams of carbohydrates per day.

* Daily Fat Intake (20%) = 1800 x 0.20 = 360 calories / 9 calories (1 gram of fat) = 40 grams of fats per day.

You can figure out the proper food based on its nutrients, speak to your certified personal trainer or look for a professional nutritionist to help you on a more personalized nutrition advice.

#2: Proper Muscle Stimulus 

When it comes to Muscle Mass maintenance, engaging the proper exercise intensity is very important to achieve optimum results. Functional training is, in most cases, the way to exercise from home. I also would recommend the usage of some household items to replace gym equipment. Suspension training, and small equipment such as dumbbells, barbells and kettlebells are very good and easy to handle at home. Besides that, it can produce a very efficient load as muscle stimulus. Always search for assistance from Fitness Professionals in order to create the best and most efficient way to get the best results working out from home. In order to ensure that you can be consistent in your workouts, there are some Professional Online Home Trainings that you can join as well.

#3: Improve Sleep Quality

You might think this counter productive to losing weight, as sleep doesn’t burn many calories. But as you sleep you recover and two important hormones come into play: Leptin and Ghrelin. These two hormones tell your body when it feels satiety and hunger. If you sleep badly, the levels of these hormones will be unbalanced and science has found that you’re more likely to be over eating and getting overweight.¬† Besides, poor sleep quality and short sleep duration are associated with an increased risk for muscle mass reduction. Thus, according to research, sleeping for 7-9 hours per night is crucial, especially if you are looking to change body composition, increase muscle mass and/or if you want to improve quality of life. Sleep enhances muscle recovery through protein synthesis and human growth hormone release as well. Like Mr. Leonardo said, he recommends at least 8 hours of good sleep every night.

 

Conclusion

Keep life and the gym workout in perspective. Your habitual mindset should keep up a healthy lifestyle, which it shouldn’t be affected by any of these challenges. When this is over‚ÄĒand it will be over at some point‚ÄĒ we don’t want you to end up feeling worse, deconditioned, and incredibly detrained. One thing we should be grateful is: Staying fit is one way we may have to protect ourselves against getting sick over the years. A healthy body usually has a healthy immune system. Although it doesn’t give you any guarantees, well it’s certainly a better option than doing nothing. So do your best to be well.

**

Leonardo Azevedo

Mr. Leonardo Azevedo from Brazil with over 22 years of experience in the Sports & Fitness industry. Holding Bachelor’s Degree in Sports & Science, FIFA Certified Conditioning Coach, Specialized in Physiology of Exercise, Certification in Biomechanics of Exercise and Sports Nutrition, Extensive Experience in Fitness Business Management.Currently working as¬†General Manager at Peak Fitness Gurney Plaza, Brazilian Eagles Football Academy Head Coach & Owner, Mitts Boxing Fitness MD, SEA Sales Representative at Rezzil Sports.

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