Most of us blame age for our growing waistlines. We assume that it is just part of life that as we grow older, we grow plumper. The truth is that it is a vicious cycle of slowing metabolism, decreased activity, and decreased muscle mass that contributes to weight gain in those who are 35 years of age or older.
As we age, we burn fewer calories per pound of body weight than we did when we were younger. Our lean body mass is also less than when we were younger.
Age and Decreased Muscle Cycle
Plain and simple, the more muscle you have the more calories you will burn. You don’t have to lose muscle as you age. Diet can help control obesity and exercise can help you to maintain your muscle mass. You can increase your muscle size and strength, as you get older, you just have to actively work at it.
Exercise is the solution to aging metabolism. You can age with grace and without getting obese.
Muscle loss as we age is preventable and even reversible. You need to progress slowly, but you can build muscle. Keep a healthy attitude, find a good, qualified trainer and keep your muscle so that you can keep your metabolism at a rate that is healthy.
Don’t Slow Down
Keep in mind that if you don’t let your body slow down, then, your metabolism won’t slow down either.
Most of us fail to understand what metabolism is in regards to our age and our muscles.
Metabolism is the rate at which our bodies burn calories in order to sustain our life. Your body needs energy to repair body cells, to heal and to grow new cells. This energy comes from the foods that we eat and metabolism is the chemical process that breaks down the food we eat into energy that is needed.
There are many things that can affect our rate of metabolism. The biggest single factor in our metabolism is our muscle tissue. Meal frequency also has an affect on our rate of metabolism and so do our activity level, food choices, hydration level, genetics, hormone production and function and our stress level.
Our metabolism slows down when we lose muscle due to lack of exercise, when our body cannibalizes muscle in order to satisfy its need for energy because we have been dieting or skipping meals, and when our activity levels fall short of where they should be.
In order to break the cycle of slowing metabolism we need to:
• Stop the storage of fat (fat is made by eating more than we need)
• Decrease the existing fat by stable blood sugar/energy levels, and progressive cardiovascular/aerobic exercise and strength training.
• A combination of strength training and cardiovascular training
• Eating Sensibly
• Staying well hydrated
• Getting at least 8 hours of sleep each night