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If you are among the many people who think becoming overweight goes hand in hand with getting older it is time to change your thinking. The truth is you really can not use age as an excuse for gaining weight or being out of shape. The loss of youth does not have to mean the loss of strength and fitness.

Until recently, getting older has been associated with unwelcome weight gain, loss of strength and increased susceptibility to disease and injury. The real culprit largely to blame for these symptoms is not actually aging; however, it is the loss of muscle tissue that occurs because of our increasingly sedentary lifestyles as we grow older.

Those who don’t exercise and use muscle building and maintaining activity lose strength and fitness and often become overweight – adding up to 5 pounds of body fat a year. This is mostly abdominal fat, which increases the risk of the ‘big three’ heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

Not doing enough proper exercise causes an average muscle tissue loss of 5-7 pounds per decade which leads to a metabolic rate (the rate your body burns fuel) reduction of 2-5% per decade. Calories that were previously used for muscle energy and being active are now put into fat storage, resulting in gradual weight gain. Muscle tissue even at rest continuously burns fuel (calories) just like an idling engine.

Less muscle tissue means fewer calories are burned each day. The end result is that you gain unwanted fat more easily and find it difficult to take off once you have it. We often forget the importance of our muscle. Not only does it help us stay slim and trim it is vital for the body’s every movement, for its function and for support of the skeleton holding it upright.

If you don’t believe it is important take a look in any nursing home if you want to see the consequences of the loss of muscle tissue. Many residents are mentally alert and have no illness, but are frail and weak and lack the physical ability to care for themselves. No doubt the loss of 5 pounds of muscle tissue per decade contributes to their frailty and loss of independence.

A firm toned muscle burns a lot more calories than an un-toned flabby muscle. Muscle tissue is the body’s most efficient burner of calories; the more we have, the greater the rate we burn calories, even at rest. The state of your muscles is determined by your activity level and has little to do with your age. Anyone of any age can build and keep strong muscles to help offset the loss of this precious tissue.

Whether you are 20 or 60 years old your muscles will respond to strength training exercise in exactly the same way creating a positive cycle for people to feel better and stay active at any age. Preserving muscle mass can help ward off or withstand illness.

When sick, the body burns protein faster than usual, pulling protein components from muscles for the immune system ? which is needed to fight the invaders and stay healthy.

Often people view exercise narrowly as a way to just lose weight. Although this is a health improving incentive there is a lot more benefits to be gained. Exercise is really about a person taking charge of his or her health, preventing chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer, and living longer and better.

Do not allow inactivity and a sedentary lifestyle to erode the health, mobility and independence that you want to enjoy for as long as possible. You want to keep that for your whole lifespan. So, take it upon yourself and stay or continue your strength training program so you can stay strong and fit throughout your life to protect your future.

Do you want to discover the secret to rejuvenating your body and improving the quality of your life? Download my free ebook “I’ve Found the Fountain of Youth- Let Me Show You Too!” here: Physical Wellness For Free Fitness Report here Fitness Weight Loss Carolyn Hansen is a certified fitness expert and fitness center owner who coaches clients to look and feel younger.

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Category : Alternative Medicine