Build Muscle to Boost Your Heart

Build Muscle to Boost Your Heart

Having more muscle mass and less fat reduces the risk of early death in people with heart disease, finds a recent study. Individuals with heart disease are encouraged to do resistance training as part of a healthy lifestyle.

In this study of more than 64,000 Americans with heart disease, researchers found that people with higher amounts of muscle and lower levels of body fat were less likely to die of heart problems or any other cause than those in the other groups based on body composition: low muscle/high fat; low muscle/low fat; and high muscle/high fat.

The results show the importance of maintaining muscle mass in order to reduce the risk of premature death, even in people with a higher heart risk, say the study authors.

Resistance training is any exercise that causes the muscles to contract against an external resistance, which can be dumbbells, exercise bands, your own body weight, or any object that causes the muscles to contract (think heavy grocery bags, carrying a child around, or even yard work). Resistance training builds muscle by causing microscopic damage or tears in the muscles, which are quickly repaired by the body to help the muscles regenerate and become stronger.

The body needs a variety of vitamins, minerals, protein, carbohydrates, and fats to build muscle, so a nutritious diet is essential. In addition to lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, enjoy complex carbohydrates from whole grains and low-fat dairy, and healthy fats from avocados, olive oil, nuts, seeds, and fatty fish like salmon, halibut, and sardines.

For extra muscle-building support, consider a grass-fed whey protein supplement. Whey protein helps refuel and repair muscles as well as reduce recovery time after exercise. This highly absorbable, easily digestible protein has the highest concentration of the amino acid glutamine and branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) found in nature. Studies show that when combined with resistance training, whey protein can help increase muscle mass.

Combined with a healthy diet and resistance training, grass-fed whey protein can be an effective way for anyone with heart disease or simply anyone concerned with heart health to build muscle and reduce fat.

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