Ophelia's Guides to Shaping Your Future

Ophelia's Guides to Shaping Your Future

Finding it harder to lose those extra pounds as you get older?

Ophelia Hogan - Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Less Muscle means more fat - the facts:

Maintaining our muscle tone during adult life is essential if we want to lose or maintain our body weight. 

Research indicates that adults who do no strength training lose about half a pound of muscle a year during their 30s and 40s. The rate of loss may double to 1lb in people past 50 years.The muscle loss is masked by a gain in fat - typically adults who lose 5lbs of muscle, gain 15 pounds of fat each decade during the midlife years. This can equate to an adult in their 50s having 15 pounds less muscle and 45 pounds more fat than they had in their 20s.

More emphasis should be placed on muscle gain as a 5lb per decade loss of muscle is largely responsible for up to a 5% per decade reduction in metabolic rate. A pound of muscle requires 35-50 calories a day for tissue maintenance - a 10lb muscle loss may reduce resting metabolism by 350-500 calories a day.

So if you ever needed another reason to start doing some strength training - here it is. Strength training (which does need masses of equipment or time & can specifically designed for each individual - see my new Smartphone app) is the only type of exercise that can maintain muscle and metabolism as we age and should therefore be an essential component of every fitness programme.

The other health benefits of strength training include; reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, colon cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, low back pain, and depression.


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