Skip to content

Healthy Muscles

Font Size

Topic Overview

Muscle fitness is one of three important types of overall physical fitness. The others are aerobic fitness and flexibility.

When you increase your muscle fitness, you'll notice that you can carry heavy grocery bags more easily, pick up children without feeling as much strain, or carry heavy items longer before you get too tired to continue.

Benefits of muscle fitness include:

  • Stronger muscles, which also help protect your joints.
  • Muscles that can work longer before getting tired.
  • Less body fat.
  • Stronger bones.
  • Better posture and balance.
  • Lower blood sugar.
  • Less stress.
  • Fewer body aches.
  • More energy.

How do you get healthier muscles?

Muscles become stronger when they are used regularly, but especially when they have to work against something. This is called "resistance."

For example, you use your arm muscles when you bend your arm at the elbow. But when you do the same movement with something heavy in your hand, your arm muscles are working against more resistance.

"Resistance training" means using things like weights, rubber tubing, or certain exercises to make your muscles stronger. It's a 3-step process:

  1. Stress. When you exercise against resistance, you stress your muscles slightly but not to the point of serious damage or injury.
  2. Recovery (rest). When you rest, your body rebuilds the muscles and the connective tissues between them (joints, tendons, and ligaments) in a way that prepares them for the next time they will be stressed.
  3. Repeated stress. When you stress the same muscles again, the process is repeated, and the muscles gradually become stronger.

A resistance-training program to increase muscle fitness can include:

How can you strengthen your core?

One part of muscle fitness is strengthening the muscles of your trunk. This is called core stabilization.

Core stability benefits everyone, from older people to top professional athletes. It can help you have better posture and balance, and it can help protect you from injury.

actionset.gif Fitness: Increasing Core Stability
1|2

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: September 26, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
Next Article:

Hot Topics

WebMD Video: Now Playing

Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

feet
Solutions for 19 types.
MS Overview
Recognizing symptoms.
pregnancy test and calendar
Helping you get pregnant.
build a better butt
How to build a better butt.
lone star tick
How to identify that bite.
woman standing behind curtains
How it affects you.
brain scan with soda
Tips to avoid complications.
row of colored highlighter pens
Tips for living better.
psoriasis
How to keep flares at bay.
woman dreaming
What Do Your Dreams Say About You?
spinal compression fracture
Treatment options.

Women's Health Newsletter

Find out what women really need.