Low muscle mass can have implications for various metabolic processes and may contribute to or exacerbate several metabolic disorders. Here are some metabolic disorders that can be impacted by low muscle mass:
- Obesity: While it may seem contradictory, low muscle mass can contribute to obesity. Muscles are metabolically active tissues, and their mass contributes to overall basal metabolic rate. A lower muscle mass means a reduced capacity to burn calories at rest, potentially leading to weight gain and obesity.
- Insulin Resistance: Insulin resistance is a condition where the body’s cells become less responsive to the effects of insulin. Low muscle mass is associated with insulin resistance, which is a key factor in the development of Type II diabetes. Insulin resistance can also contribute to the development of metabolic syndrome.
- Metabolic Syndrome: Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions, including abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar levels, and abnormal lipid levels. Low muscle mass is often associated with metabolic syndrome, as it can contribute to insulin resistance and other metabolic abnormalities.
- Cardiovascular Disease: Low muscle mass is linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Muscles play a role in maintaining blood vessel health and regulating blood pressure. Additionally, the association between low muscle mass and metabolic syndrome increases the risk of cardiovascular issues.
- Sarcopenia: Sarcopenia is the age-related loss of muscle mass and function. It is associated with frailty, reduced mobility, and an increased risk of falls in older adults. Sarcopenia can contribute to metabolic disturbances and insulin resistance, potentially leading to other metabolic disorders.
- Osteoporosis: While primarily a disorder of bone density, osteoporosis can be influenced by muscle mass. The mechanical stress placed on bones during muscle contractions helps maintain bone density. Reduced muscle mass may contribute to decreased bone density and an increased risk of fractures.
- Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD): NAFLD is characterized by the accumulation of fat in the liver, unrelated to alcohol consumption. Low muscle mass, especially in the context of a sedentary lifestyle, is associated with an increased risk of NAFLD.
It’s important to recognize that these associations are often interconnected, and addressing low muscle mass through resistance training and lifestyle modifications can positively impact multiple metabolic disorders simultaneously. Encouraging clients to engage in regular physical activity, including strength training, and promoting a balanced and nutritious diet are key components of a holistic approach to metabolic health. Strength training is one of the key contributors to maintaining and increasing muscle size. It is never to late to add muscle to your body. Progressively overloading muscle with manageable resistance and gradually increasing this overtime along with sufficient protein are best practises to build muscle. Not sure what this means for you? Click here to book your free intro and let us help you explore options to ensure you build resistance live long strong in life’s active lane.