Staying Fit After 40 with Resistance Exercise
By Muscle Media
Have you ever noticed how people who don’t exercise still have a look of “fullness” in their arms, legs and chests when they’re less than 30 years old? Have you also noticed that this look of fullness starts to slowly become a look of sagginess when they’re over 30? Typically, our bodies are at their peak at between 25 and 30 years of age. After that, our bodies slowly start to decline, and we tend to put on weight a little faster than before. It’s time to try resistance exercise.
After 30, we begin to lose muscle due to atrophy, which is muscle shrinkage due to disuse. We also begin to lose bone density very slowly leading to eventual osteoporosis. Muscle is active tissue and burns calories. When we start to lose muscle to atrophy, our metabolism begins to slow down. This results in more fat storage and weight gain. Over 50% of this is due to inactivity. However, there is something you can do to help reverse this process.
You’ve probably seen two women standing together. One is around 35 years old while the other is around 50. Yet the older women looks firmer and more vigorous than the younger women. You might ask yourself how she does it. The short answer is she exercises. Period! At almost any age, you can stay in great shape, but you have to exercise. You have to make exercise a regular part of your day.
A good exercise program should contain both aerobic and resistance exercise with some added stretching. Many prefer to do aerobics and resistance exercises separately. But, people have been finding that the best work out is circuit training. It utilizes all three types of exercise in one session, and is very effective and time saving.
Many people think that aerobic exercise is the best way to loose and maintain optimal weight. However, since you burn 75% of the calories while at rest, this is not the case. Aerobic exercise only burns calories during the activity. Within two hours after finishing, you burn no more calories than before.
By contrast, resistance exercise builds and maintains muscle. Since muscle is active tissue, you burn more calories, even at rest. One pound of fat burns around 4 calories per day while one pound of muscle burns around 50 calories per day. After 30 years of age, an inactive person will lose ½ to 1 pound of muscle every year. That means that ten years of muscle loss due to inactivity equates to a metabolism slowdown of around 450 calories per day!
If you want to lose fat and gain muscle, you must include exercise in your daily activities. That means including resistance training into your exercise routine. Men and women who include resistance training lose around 44% more fat than those who don’t. Adding resistance training to a regular exercise routine will also slow down many of the effects of aging. Even in their 80s and 90s, people have seen as much as a 200% improvement in their strength levels within 3-4 weeks of starting to exercise.
You can stay fit and trim after 40, but the message is clear. Resistance exercise is the best way to stay in peak condition and feel young and alive. You can do it, even well past 40!