A resistance-training program (i.e., lifting weights) is necessary in order to reduce the loss of muscle mass as you age. Inactive adults in their 30s and 40s lose about one-half pound of muscle per year and this may double to one-pound per year for those over the age of 50. Provided your diet does not dramatically change, your bodyweight will not likely change much as you get older. This is due to your body's natural thermostatic set point or homeostasis--your body's weight comfort zone. Bodyweight does tend to decrease in older adults in their seventies and eighties, but not usually in those who are middle-aged. Why? The answer is despite the loss of lean body mass (i.e., muscle), there is a gain of fat mass. Thus, even though bodyweight may not change in sedentary individuals, bodyfat actually increases! The inactive adult therefore may become overfat despite having a healthy body weight and normal body mass index (BMI). Being overfat regardless of bodyweight is what predisposes you to a whole host of metabolic diseases (i.e., heart disease, colon cancer, type-2 diabetes, etc.). Therefore, emphasis should not be on losing bodyweight but instead on losing bodyfat!
The best way to lose bodyfat is to keep your metabolic rate elevated. What's the best way to elevate your metabolic rate? You guessed it--lift weights. Why? Because weight lifting is the best way to lessen the decrease of muscle mass as you get older. Having more lean body mass means preserving your metabolic rate because muscles require a relatively high amount of energy to exist. The key is to train intensely and long enough in order for an appreciable increase in your metabolic rate to occur. Fortunately it's never too late to begin or return to a weight training program. Older adults of any age can increase their muscle mass and metabolic rate.
Brian Danley, CFT
"Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going."
Brian Danley, CFT "Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going." 408-688-1586 (cell) briandanleyfitness.com https://www.linkedin.com/in/briandanleyfitness https://www.facebook.com/BrianDanleyFitness
Subscribe to get the latest blog content:
I'm a personal trainer who loves to help others fulfill their health and fitness goals. I consider myself a bodybuilder in that I live the lifestyle of eating healthy food, working out regularly, and sculpting my body.