I once heard the aging process is being compared to the power loss you would experience moving from an eight cylinder car, to a six, and then finally ending up with a four-cylinder vehicle after all those years. It’s like starting out with a finely tuned race car and ending up with a worn-out clunker.
Muscles serve as the engine of the body, releasing energy, producing power, and performing movement. The loss of muscle and muscle mass reduces our ability to work, play and carry on everyday activities.
Did you know that starting around the age of 30, we lose about half a pound of muscle tissue every year?
Did you know that starting around the age of 30, we lose about half a pound of muscle tissue every year? This is mostly responsible for the gradual reduction in resting metabolism associated with the aging process. And if you are over the age of thirty, and you do not exercise, you can def expect a 3-5 percent decrease per decade in your resting metabolic rate.
Good thing for us, our ability to increase muscle mass and physical ability does not end when we turn 40.
And while it is not possible for a seventy-year-old to function as well as he did when he was twenty, it is encouraging to know that muscle size and strength can be improved at any age though minimal strength training, in as little as twenty minutes, three times a week.
In addition to enhancing our physical appearance and function, muscle mass is closely related to our resting metabolic rate, or the rate at which we burn calories. Muscle has a high energy requirement in order to build and rebuild. Because of this every pound of muscle burn about 50 calories per day at rest.
Because muscle loss and metabolic reduction go hand in hand, if you choose not to work out using resistance exercise, you probably should be cutting back on your caloric intake.
So just like that 4 cylinder – car requires less gas than the V-8, smaller muscles require fewer calories than do larder muscles. Even when we are asleep, our skeletal muscles use up more than one-quarter of our total calories.
So for most of us, the majority of the slowing that occurs after age 40 is not because we are getting older, but instead its because of a lack of activity and poor nutrition.
The answer is not to slow down. Aging doesn’t need to be characterized by poor health and rapidly declining fitness.
Being active, good nutrition and supplementation are strong medicines. Take them on a daily basis. By maintaining an active lifestyle, you will not only burn more calories on a daily basis but also maintain more muscle mass.
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