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More Muscle, Longer Life

June 18, 2024

image of a man flexing his biceps

I speak with people every day who are scared by the concept of weightlifting or weight training. They don’t want to get “muscular.” They don’t want to get big.

They’ve been conditioned to believe that the key to good health and longevity, at least from an exercise standpoint, is repetitive motion and cardiovascular training. That’s why the treadmills and elliptical machines are never available at the gym. 

Some are worried about gaining weight, not realizing that adding muscle impacts bone development, which should be a priority for all of us as well.

Others are worried about getting injured. That’s fair. Many “personal trainers” are poorly trained in exercise science, and many people you see at the gym are simply doing the wrong exercises and doing them incorrectly. 

I’ve worked in physical rehabilitation and exercise science and developed programs for patients for more than 30 years, and the NHC Fitness virtual training program is an expression of just that.

Here’s the reality. The more muscle you have, the longer you live.

How do you build muscle? You build muscle through resistance training, which typically involves lifting weights – with proper form, a proper plan, and established goals.  Building muscle builds strength and an inner “girdle” for support and power, which can decrease the risk of injury. This is why I recommend weight training as the primary form of exercise for the majority of my patients at Natural Healthcare Center. 

When you weight train, you have to feed the muscle essential nutrients. You need to be hydrated. You need healthy, complex carbohydrates for energy. But protein is the macronutrient that repairs and rebuilds muscles as you train. 

We have all heard the word “degenerate.” Well, weight training helps you regenerate! Protein is made up of amino acids, which help repair muscle and build new tissue while you rest. 

There are many types of proteins, including plant-based, meat-derived, rice, and dairy. But saying “eat more protein” or even “eat more plant-based protein” isn’t nearly specific enough. Hypothetically, plant-based proteins might be right for eight out of 10 people who walk through our doors, but they might not be right for you. 

At Natural Healthcare Center, we don’t deal in generalities. We believe in bio-individuality in everything we do. The goal is to recommend what type of proteins are best for you. All proteins must be broken down into amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, so we have to keep digging deeper into the amino acids.

What does your health history tell us? What do your blood test results show us? We may use nutrigenomics to determine which types of proteins will be healthiest and most effective based on your genetic code. Should you take amino acids? Every human being is wired differently, and every muscle-building protocol must be personalized for the individual.

If you notice a familiar theme here, that’s because I’ve been saying the same thing for 30 years. The integrative, functional medicine approach guides every patient appointment and every service offered at Natural Healthcare Center, including building muscle. And people are listening.

One of the hottest supplements on the market right now is creatine for postmenopausal women. Creatine is now viewed as a longevity supplement because muscular development is the key to longevity. And women are going to the grocery stores in droves to get creatine.

Again, that doesn’t mean all postmenopausal women should be taking creatine. It does mean, however, that men and women of all ages who want to feel better, function better, and live longer should be exploring ways to build muscle that are healthy, safe, and effective. 

Dr. Proodian

Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician, health educator, and professional public speaker who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise is in identifying clinical imbalances and restoring the body to health and functionality. Contact: jproodian@naturalhc.com or (732) 222‑2219.