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Weight Loss vs Muscle Building — an article on the Smart Living Network
September 30, 2010 at 12:00 PMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Weight Loss vs Muscle Building

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Undergoing a fitness regimen should be a priority for us all, but is all a time and energy commitment. Usually, a goal for our fitness efforts is a big part of what helps motivate us to go ahead and spend those precious resources, but what that goal is may differ. When it comes to fitness goals, there are two main groups people fall into - the people who are looking to lose weight, and the people who are looking to build muscle.

Losing Weight

Extra pounds can have a negative effect on our appearance, self-confidence, and health. A number of illnesses and diseases have been traced to weight problems and obesity as well. Carrying around unnecessary weight also leads to fatigue and a sedentary lifestyle. The lack of movement is unhealthy for muscles and joints by placing excessive strain on the body. Weight loss is often the motivation behind an exercise program as more and more people are trying to take an active role in their physical fitness. By maintaining a weight that is proportionate to your height, the ability of your body to protect itself is substantially increased. However, the weight needs to be lost gradually to avoid the complications associated with unhealthy tactics, such as starvation.

Building Muscle

Strong, defined muscles are the foundation for the universally admired, toned physique. As a muscle encounters resistance, it naturally adapts to the situation, and rebuilds accordingly. During the recovery phase, muscle fibers are strengthened. They grow in both size and firmness, creating a sculpted look. A lot of time is spent by athletes and body builders on muscle building as they consistently challenge their bodies to move past plateaus and realize its full potential. You can read countless theories about all of the different kinds of workout plans that are the most effective in achieving the ultimate arms, chest, legs, etc. But it is worth noting that excess fat can drastically interfere with your muscle building efforts.

Weight Loss vs. Muscle Building (The Non-Choice)

But what's the difference? How do these different goals change the activity you should be pursuing?

Some people are trying to add size and mass, and do not need to lose weight. While those looking to lose weight engage in cardio exercise to boost metabolism and burn calories, people looking to build muscle engage in cardio to keep their heart and lungs healthy.

The truth about weight loss and muscle building is that there is no real reason we need choose between them when exercising! In fact, unless you are trying to gain weight as described above, it makes little sense to consider burning fat without also looking at building muscle. One of the biggest mistakes that a person can make is to ignore the importance of their muscles when managing their weight. Muscles burn far more calories than fat, so the firmer your muscles, the more calories you will burn. As your muscles get stronger, the fat burning process becomes easier and faster. So, the bottom line is that muscle building is essential to weight loss, and the choice is not really a choice after all.

Sources:

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/metabolism/WT00006

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/metabolism/WT00006/NSECTIONGROUP=2

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/weight-loss/WT00018

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