Frame Magazine


MUSCLE MASS, METABOLISM AND MATURITY

There’s a distinct relationship between muscle mass, metabolism, and aging. Basically, the older we get, the more we lose muscle mass, and the loss of muscle means a slow-down of metabolism. The result is obesity, and numerous health risks abound. Those deleterious risks include high blood pressure, high bad cholesterol, low good cholesterol, type-2 diabetes, poor eye-sight, and higher risk of cancer, heart disease, or stroke. After the age of twenty most individuals lose basic metabolic rate of approximately three percent every ten years. Combine that with the usually muscle loss and you have a toxic cocktail of poor health risks. After the age of forty there’s an average six pounds of muscle loss each decade. And the loss of muscle decreases metabolism. Therefore, the maintenance of muscle mass is the primary key to health fitness. There are numerous symptoms of muscle loss: Back and leg pain; Poor posture and incorrect spinal alignment; Osteoporosis; Low metabolism; Weight cycling or yo-yo dieting; Fatigue, malaise, and general lack of energy; Obesity; Lack of balance and subsequent fall-related. Strength training helps you feel young, keeps your muscles strong, improves balance, strengthens joints, keeps the metabolism high, helps control weight, improves appearance, boosts confidence, and increases self-esteem. People who integrate strength training into their lifestyles have higher BMR that is 10-25 percent higher compared to that of sedentary people. For every pound of muscle added, 50-90 calories more are burned per day when at rest. That means, for ten pounds. of added muscle per year, up to 900 at-rest calories are burned per day. However, if you lose 20 pounds from a weight-loss diet without exercise, up to 30 percent or 6 pounds of the weight loss is from muscle. That reduces metabolism and results in weight gain. Studies show that diet combined with strength training helps maintain almost all the muscle mass, even with a substantial weight loss. Even if you only perform one exercise per week, that is a step in the correct direction. Only ten minutes is needed per session. It’s convenient to set the alarm ten minutes early, three days per week. And exercise before breakfast burns three times the calories as exercises performed after eating. Start out with simple exercises that can be performed easily at home, i.e. sit ups, push-ups, squats. You can do strength training while watching television. Use items around the house for weights, i.e. cans of soup. Or you can use resistance bands. Finally, try to relax and find ways to reduce your daily stress. (By Christopher E Gregory)