Muscle is far more important than “just looking good” or “being strong.” While being stronger is certainly a valuable part of having a healthy amount of muscle, building lean muscle is important for the overall health of your body and most importantly your bone mass density.
As we age, our body muscle mass decreases. After age 30, you can expect to lose 3-8% muscle mass per decade, and this percentage increases further after the age of 60. Loss of muscle mass may account for more fatigue, weight gain, and increased risk for fracture.
Muscle burns more calories than fat even when at rest: Research suggests that a pound of muscle will burn 3x more calories than a pound of fat will at rest. This means even when you are not working out, your body will burn more calories just by having more muscle.
Muscle can also improve coordination and balance and help prevent falls and injuries from occurring. Building a strong core will allow you to improve your posture and keep your spine aligned. Building muscle will also contribute to strengthening your bones and connective tissues. Studies show that the stress put on your bones during a strength training activity triggers your bones to actually grow more bone. Not only does this contribute to building bone mass, but also prevents you from losing it, resulting in stronger, more dense bones.