Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Beyond muscle: What else is happening in your body when you perform strength training?

When we think of strength training, we think about building muscle. But that's just the most obvious and visible benefit. There are actually a cascade of positive health adaptations that your body makes, which start as soon as you begin your first set.

One of those benefits that scientists are learning more and more about each day are "Myokines," which Simon Shawcross over at HITUNI explains beautifully:

"Myokines are small proteins (with big health benefits) that are secreted by muscle cells during muscular contractions. 

They are signalling cells, meaning that they communicate with other cells and “tell them what to do.”

Their impact goes beyond muscle cells; some myokines enter the bloodstream and communicate with bone, fat, liver, pancreas, heart, immune and brain cells.

The first protein to be labelled as a myokine was myostatin and that was only a decade ago. The science is very new. Since then more than 100 separate myokines have been identified."

In the blogpost linked above, Shawcross examines 17 of the most well-known and well-researched myokines and discusses their positive responses when released during and after exercise. Those include increased insulin sensitivity, muscle growth, anti-inflammatory effects, reversing sarcopenia and osteoperosis, and more. In some studies, myokines have even been shown to reduce tumor growth!

Head on over to Shawcross' blog to learn more, and make sure to watch this video for a succinct explanation on the signalling power of myokines.