We all know that improved muscle mass translates into:
- better metabolism – because muscles burn more calories, even at rest
- better mood: with workouts, endorphins are released, brightening the mood and relaxing us
- increased bone density and stronger tendons and joints.
Hidden, however, is the impact of exercise and muscle building on mitochondrial health. Mitochondria are critical organelle in our muscle cells. They generate most of the chemical energy needed to power the cell’s biochemical reactions. Mitochondria — often referred to as the powerhouses of the cell — turn the energy we take from food into energy that the cell can use.
Our job is to do as much as we can to support mitochondrial health. Building muscle using a high-protein and nutrient-rich diet goes a long way in ensuring our muscles and the mitochondria that fuel them function as efficiently as possible. Of course, it’s our exercise habits that build muscle most powerfully.
Zone 2 training — low-intensity exercise for muscle and mitochondrial health
For a long time, we’ve been transfixed by the promises of high-intensity training (HIIT), a program that drives us to reach 80 to 90% of our maximum heart rate and maintain it for 30 to 40 minutes. Today, more attention is being gained by HIIT’s less excruciating twin — low-intensity training, which has advantages all its own.
Low-intensity training, referred to as “Zone 2” or “base” training helps us achieve metabolic health, aerobic fitness, and longevity. Where high-intensity training gurus encourage us to aim for 70 to 90 percent of our maximal heart rate for at least 30 minutes, Zone 2 trainers want athletes to strive for between 60-75% of maximum heart rate for 90 minutes. During Zone 2 training, you CAN hold a conversation. Zone 2 heart rate training boosts your performance, burns fat, and helps you increase your endurance.
Zone 2 is steady training just outside of your own “easy” level. This longer duration with a gentler intensity builds endurance and aerobic capacity. Of course, higher intensity efforts improve muscle mass, but Zone 2 is the basis and foundation from which to begin to build your faster pace. A stronger aerobic capacity also means you can recover quicker between higher intensity workouts. Better aerobic fitness helps you to perform intervals with a shorter rest in between. Best of all, the increased aerobic capacity achieved with Zone 2 training means you can increase your pace at the same heart rate output.
Maximizing Mitochondria for better fitness?
Low intensity or Zone 2 training supports mitochondrial health and therefore extended longevity. Many diseases that impact our lifespans derive from metabolic dysfunction. Mitochondrial dysfunction has been linked to cancer growth, dementia, immune system function, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and more.
Zone 2 training helps you will increase not only the number of mitochondria but mitochondrial efficiency, as well as your metabolic flexibility. It also primes your body to use fat as an energy source for longer, and more efficiently.
Most experts recommend using Zone 2 training as the bulk of your weekly training. When you hit hard runs or workouts in good “base” shape with solid aerobic fitness, you avoid injuries. Further, when exercising in lower heart rate zones, you will increase your pace at the same heart rate output.
Build muscle in a timely way with Evolve body sculpting
Need some motivation to jumpstart the muscle mass that will fuel your metabolism?
Essex Medspa has a new non-invasive device – Evolve Trim, Tite, and Tone – that brings dramatic results on three levels: fat reduction, skin remodeling, and muscle building. We can help you build muscle with this device. Evolve Tone gives you the same results of doing 1000 squats and crunches at the gym. Patients who inquire about Evolve’s Tite, Trim, and Tone system often complain about these issues:
- post-pregnancy skin laxity
- post-weight loss skin laxity
- belly & bra rolls
- aging, crepey skin
- untoned contours
- fat bulges
If you’re curious about how Evolve Tite, Trim, and Tone can revive your self-confidence and shape, please call 303-973-3683 or ask your questions on our online form. We’ll be sure to get back to you by the next business day.