Neurosurgeon: The greatest thing you can do you for body is to build muscle

Published: Tuesday, July 1, 2014 at 11:40 AM.

If you want good health, a long life and to feel your best well into old age, the No. 1 most important thing you can do is strength-training, says Dr. Brett Osborn, author of “Get Serious, A Neurosurgeon’s Guide to Optimal Health and Fitness.”

“Our ability to fight off disease resides in our muscles,” Dr. Osborn says. “The greatest thing you can do for your body is to build muscle.”

He cites a large, long-term study of nearly 9,000 men ages 20 to 80. After nearly 19 years, the men still living were those with the most muscular strength. (BMJ, formerly British Medical Journal, 2008).

Muscle is all protein – “nothing but good for you,” Dr. Osborn says.

Fat, however, is an endocrine organ, meaning it releases hormones and other chemicals. When a person has excess fat, he or she also a disrupted flow of excess biochemicals, which can increase insulin resistance and boost risk factors for stroke and high blood pressure, among other problems.

“Increased cytokines, an immune system chemical, for example, are associated with increased risk for cardiovascular disease,” Dr. Osborn says. “You’re only as old as your arteries!”

Strength-training has health benefits for everyone, he adds, no matter their size.



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