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Getting Fatter with Age

Regardless of whether you have gained weight, you are
likely "fatter" now than you were when you were younger.
Between age 20 and 50, most Americans percent body fat
doubles. Slower metabolism has a lot to do with it. So,
what can you do?

Training with weights becomes more important with increased
age. It is well documented that muscle tissue is more
metabolically active than fat tissue. This means that as
you sit there reading this article, you would be burning
more calories with nice tone muscles than you would if your
percent body fat was high.

As you age, your activity level tends to decrease. With
decreased activity, muscle tissue is lost. To preserve
this precious tissue, you need to start placing emphasis
on strength training. You should be training with weights
a minimum of four times per week. Now, this does not mean
you need to be lifting heavy weights. Focus on lots of
repetitions using light weights. The key is being active
using resistance - not trying to body build.

You should be sure to work all the major muscle groups.
This includes the biceps (front of your arm), triceps
(back of your arm), abdominal muscles stomach), lower
back, glutes (buttocks muscles), quadriceps (front of
thigh), hamstrings (back of thigh), and calf muscles.
It is best not to work the same groups of muscles on
consecutive days. Instead, alternate days. For example,
focus on upper body and back on Monday, on Tuesday work
on lower body and abs, then repeat Monday´s workout on
Wednesday and Tuesday´s workout on Thursday. You might
want to skip strength training on Wednesday instead doing
some form of aerobic exercise. You would then strength
train on Thursday and Friday.

This is important: Always, always schedule a day off -
no aerobic exercise or strength exercises. You need to
let your body recover.

From a nutrition perspective, some interesting research
has been published. The study involved women - an older
group and a younger group. The researchers documented
the number of calories burned by each group after eating
a large meal and after eating a small meal. What they
found is that after eating a large meal, the older group
of women burned far fewer fat calories than the younger
women. BUT, after eating a small meal, the number of fat
calories burned was about the same.

You have probably heard that it is important to eat, small,
frequent meals throughout the day. This will help speed
up metabolism for any age person. Based on the study
above, this becomes even more important as we age in order
to prevent packing on extra fat calories.

Bottom line: As you age, you do not have to accept
a "fatter" body. Take action by incorporating strength
exercises into your weekly routine and eat smaller meals
spreading your calories over the course of the day.

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