Getting Fatter With Age?

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” Getting Fatter With Age? “

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Regardless of whether you have gained weight, you are likely “fatter” now than you were when you were younger.

Between age 20 and 50, most Americans percent body fat doubles. Slower metabolism has a lot to do with it. So, what can you do?

Training with weights becomes more important with increased age. It is well documented that muscle tissue is more metabolically active than fat tissue.

This means that as you sit there reading this article, you would be burning more calories with nice tone muscles than you would if your percent body fat was high.

As you age, your activity level tends to decrease. With decreased activity, muscle tissue is lost. To preserve this precious tissue, you need to start placing emphasis on strength training. You should be training with weights a minimum of four times per week.

Now, this does not mean you need to be lifting heavy weights. Focus on lots of repetitions using light weights. The key is being active using resistance to maintain your body ideal weight – not trying to body build.

You should be sure to work all the major muscle groups. This includes the biceps (front of your arm), triceps (back of your arm), abdominal muscles stomach), lower back, gluts (buttocks muscles), quadriceps (front of thigh), hamstrings (back of thigh), and calf muscles. It is best not to work the same groups of muscles on consecutive days.

Instead, alternate days. For example, focus on upper body and back on Monday, on Tuesday work on lower body and abs, then repeat Monday´s workout on Wednesday and Tuesday´s workout on Thursday.

You might want to skip strength training on Wednesday instead doing some form of aerobic exercise. You would then strength train on Thursday and Friday.

This is important: Always, always schedule a day off – no aerobic exercise or strength exercises. You need to let your body recover.

From a nutrition perspective, some interesting research has been published. The study involved women – an older group and a younger group. The researchers documented the number of calories burned by each group after eating a large meal and after eating a small meal.

What they found is that after eating a large meal, the older group of women burned far fewer fat calories than the younger women. BUT, after eating a small meal, the number of fat calories burned was about the same.

You have probably heard that it is important to eat, small, frequent meals throughout the day. This will help speed up metabolism for any age person.

Based on the study above, this becomes even more important as we age in order to prevent packing on extra fat calories.

Bottom line: As you age, you do not have to accept a “fatter” body. Take action by incorporating strength exercises into your weekly routine and eat smaller meals spreading your calories over the course of the day.

Written by Laura S. Garrett, RD, Registered Dietitian, Fitness Trainer, & Owner of www.NutrActive.com – Serving your Complete Nutrition & Active Lifestyle Needs

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Updated: January 30, 2014 — 2:54 pm

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