Ortho-Kinetics® Article by Matt Lindenmeyer

Muscle:  How does it do a body good?
By: Ortho-Kinetics® Trainer, Matt Lindenmeyer

In my professional opinion most active exercise enthusiasts fall in to two main camps:  the “chronic cardio camp” and the “all I do is lift heavy weights camp”. Often, the cardio people claim they don’t want to build muscle they just want to be “toned” while the lifters want to punish their muscles into growing becoming the size they feel necessary.  Although people can have a variety of goals and not everyone shares the same goals, it’s safe to say that for most of us, at some level, it’s really just about looking good.  Never in my years of experience have I met anyone who has told me that they wanted to commit to exercise and really didn’t care if their body looked any better.  Hasn’t happened once.  If it’s all about muscles and making them look good, which theory wins in the race to LOOK GOOD?  The “I’m going to do cardio FOREVER in order to burn the fat down to the muscle so I look lean and fit” OR the “I ONLY lift weights group who want to build enough muscle to push up through the fat to their skin so they look lean and fit.” Drum roll please.

It’s a trick question; with a simple answer. NEITHER. I believe that people need to have a fundamental shift in the way that they view their muscular system. We must analyze what we are trying to accomplish, the motives that drive us, and the long term effect our actions have on our bodies.  There are a lot of different ways that we can manipulate our bodies to make them look the way we want. Just because we have learned how to manipulate our muscles into giving us a desired look, doesn’t mean that we have also reached a place where we have a healthy muscular system.  Now I’m not saying that you shouldn’t exercise to look good but the role of the development and sustaining of your muscular system’s strength and integrity goes far beyond just the way you look in a t-shirt.  In my opinion, one of the greatest mistakes we make as exercisers is thinking PRIMARILY of our muscles as aesthetic equipment capable of being manipulated to our will, and we SECONDARILY view our muscles as the equipment responsible for moving us around.  To be frank, that line of thinking may be the biggest mistake that you ever make when it comes to exercise.

Muscles do many things.  Muscles affect our health more than we realize.

What do they do exactly?

–  Protects against obesity

–  Helps prevent cardiovascular disease

–  Helps prevent diabetes

–  Responsible for controlling metabolic processes

–  Helps prevent disease

–  Slows down the aging process

–  Enhances cognitive function

–  Provides for the stability of joints

That’s just to name a few.  Over the next few months I’m going to dive deeper into some of the most important roles that muscles have and hopefully provide you with some insight into ways that we can help provide our muscles with an environment to thrive and develop not just so that we can continue to look good but also have our muscles function as optimally as possible.  Our muscles do so much more than just do “work” or make us look good. They contribute to our health and well-being…and we should treat them like that.