Building muscle is far more therapeutic than just looking good,

Mark Rippetoe, renowned strength coach and author once said “Strong people are harder to kill, and generally more useful.” Now, Mark Rippetoe is a really strong 63 year old from Texas. And given this context his statement is quite comical, and can be dissected in many ways. But what I think he means on a deeper level is “Strong people live longer and can serve people more effectively” – true altruism through self-care. That’s beautiful.

As a person who often struggles with the “Why” in life, it is so important to continually ask ourselves “What do I want out of life? Why?” What is your direction? What are your goals? These questions help align us with our purpose, and our drive.

Muscle-centric Medicine Helps with Ailments

Dovetailing on these thoughts, what if getting stronger can help us answer our purpose? Building muscle is far more therapeutic than just looking good. Muscle-centric medicine will help with ailments that we typically do not associate with building muscle. The top 3 complaints I see as a doctor are fatigue, pain, and general wellness. With these 3 alone, how much we can accomplish with just adding muscle!

Think of skeletal muscle as the largest endocrine organ in the body. It produces endocrine functions, termed myokines, associated with body weight regulation (obesity), insulin sensitivity (diabetes), inflammation regulation (pain), cognitive function (depression, Alzheimer’s, etc), and tumor suppression.

From a functional perspective, imagine what you would if you were stronger? I realized this for myself when I started strength training in my mid-30’s. As simple as it sounds I could reach over and grab a bag without straining, I could move dirt in the garden, I could get up and down from a seated position, I could lift my daughter in the air with ease, and many other daily tasks. Life just became easier and more enjoyable.

Muscle Gain is Important for Everyone

Often, we hear about weight loss and fat loss. I believe muscle gain is what needs to be targeted. We need to activate our muscle through exercise and nutrition. At North Coast Family Health, a program is being developed to help people develop muscle more effectively in order to target fatigue, pain, and other underlying endocrine issues. Perhaps going to the gym and just trying to get motivated to get movement in is not enough, and just may be too much. Targeted, personalized muscle-centric medicine is what is needed – for everyone.

Muscle is medicine.

Written by: Dr. Nathaniel Shober

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