What Does Being "Lean" Actually Mean?

How many times have you heard someone refer to someone else as being lean and not known exactly what it means? Being lean means to take your weight and subtract your fat, and what left from that is known as lean body mass. This includes all muscle, bones, and organs in your body. This is important because the more lean muscle mass you have, the higher your metabolic rate and the better you will burn calories. The more muscle power a person has will make it easier to be more active.

One of the keys to getting lean muscle mass is to exercise different parts of your body in different ways so you will reach all your muscle groups. On of the best exercises you can do that actually does a great job at this is to swim. Swimming is a great all around body workout that is easy on your joints and it will work all sorts of muscles that you didn’t probably even know you had.

When you are trying to drop weight you are trying to exercise to lose fat and retain muscle. If you try to lose weight just by eating less, you will lose weight but you will also destroy muscle mass along with some of the fat. Not a good strategy. When you lose muscle, this destroys your ability to burn calories well.

There are three main reasons that people exercise:

– People exercise to increase endurance. Cardiorespitory endurance allows oxygen and nutrients to be delivered to the cells in your body. Long distance running is a great way to build this up. You also need to build muscular endurance. An easy exercise that helps with this is pushups.
– Exercising will increase your strength. Strength is the measurement of what a muscle can do in a single effort. Examples of this include weight lifting or any other exercise that is weight bearing and uses different muscle groups.
– Exercise to become more flexible. In order to use your muscles in a wide range you must become more flexible. If you are flexible you have a decreased chance of hurting yourself. Increased flexibility leads to better posture and a better exercise performance. There are many sports that emphasize flexibility such as yoga, t’ai chi, Pilates, and many others.