Are We Destined to Be Fat as We Age?

Woman with WeightsIf we do nothing to stop the natural progression of our aging process, then yes, we are. According to fitness experts, for each decade we reach after the age of 20, we lose up to five pounds of muscle and our metabolism slows by 5%. That combination is a recipe for weight gain unless we recognize what is taking place in our bodies and start doing something to stop or reverse these effects of aging.

In order to retain and build muscle, strength-training exercises are crucial. Cardio is still very important, try to get in at least 30-45 minutes three days a week, but our muscles need serious attention. It is recommended that we add workouts with 40-60 minutes of strength training with resistance or weights to our fitness schedules. If you have never worked out with weights before, you should consult a personal trainer or take an introductory level class to prevent injuries (even using lightweight dumbbells can cause them). In addition to weight training, yoga and pilates are great programs to support the prevention of muscle loss.

Exercising throughout our lives can have tremendous benefits, and studies have shown that life expectancy increases as sitting decreases. For females, a BMI (body mass index) of 25 is considered the highest you can go while still exhibiting a healthy weight. BMIs of 30 or more indicate obesity, which leads to higher levels of inflammation in the body and increased risk of disease.