Time marches onward, and we all get older whether we like it or not. It can sneak up on us like a ninja in the night so when we wake up in the morning, it might seem as though we have added ten or fifteen pounds. Well, it might not be so dramatic, but it is unfortunately true that metabolism slows down with age. In fact, it will slow by five percent for each decade after forty, even though many start to see their metabolism begin slowing even earlier, by the mid-thirties in some cases.
What Causes the Metabolism to Slow?
One of the primary reasons for slowed metabolism is the fact that we generally start to lose muscle mass during those years. As the muscle vanishes, our bodies are not able to burn those calories as quickly as they once did. Instead, we hold onto the calories. Even though your appetite might be the same, your ability to burn all of those calories is drastically different. Other things affect metabolism too, such as the amount of activity you do in a given day. Naturally, less activity means fewer burned calories and a slower metabolism. Hormones can come into play as well. Fluctuations in the hormones, such as a drop in oestrogen in women or testosterone in men can cause weight gain.
Should You Roll Over and Give Up?
Sadly, this is what so many people do. They see their age and their weight gain as a lost cause, and they simply give up, preferring to curl up on the couch with their favourite unhealthy snack and let life bowl them over. More weight piles on and they feel less like getting out and enjoying life. It is a rotten cycle, but is one so many people follow. You do not have to be like them though. You do not have to go quietly into that paunchy night! You can take control of your metabolism and live a happy, healthy, and fit life even as you get older. You can put a bit more pep into your metabolism with just a bit of work. Let us look at what you need to do.
Boosting Your Metabolism
One of the best and most important things to do is to stop losing muscle. Yes, we lose muscle mass as we age, but we do not have to. If you add resistance and strength training to your workout routines, you cannot only stave off muscle decline, you can actually build new muscle mass, which can help to boost your metabolism immeasurably. In addition to adding muscle, it also increases your body’s capabilities to burn calories even while you are at rest.
Some people feel that cardio and endurance training is the way to boost their metabolism, but that might be a bad idea. If you are only doing cardio, you are likely breaking down more of the muscles that you have, and this could actually slow your metabolic rate further. Instead, hit the gym and make iron defy gravity repeatedly… start lifting!
Of course, strength training is not the only thing you can do when trying to make your body more efficient and to boost your metabolism. You also want to make sure you change your diet. You need to have enough protein in your day to make up for the lifting so you can pack on more muscle. The body also expends more energy when breaking down protein and using it for fuel. You need to have carbs and fats in your diet too, but make sure you are eating healthy carbohydrates and fats.
You can still do cardio. However, it is a better idea to shorten the sessions and increase the intensity. According to an article by Dr. Kristie Leong, MD, several short sprints can do more for you than a forty-minute walking session on a treadmill.
You Have Hope
It might seem dismal right now, but you do have hope when it comes to dropping those pounds and boosting your metabolism. Just consider the techniques and tips you have read here and put them to use in your own life. They are simple and effective. You just need to be willing to put in the work.