Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Prevent Muscle Loss With Strength Training

I believe strength training is the best thing you can do to improve your health and fitness level as you age. Strength training is so important because around age 40 you start to experience muscle loss. “If you don’t do anything to replace the lean muscle you lose, you’ll increase the percentage of fat in your body, “says Dr. Edward Laskowski, a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Left unabated you can lose up to 10 lbs of muscle each decade starting at age 40.

The reason that loosing muscle is so detrimental to your fitness is because muscle is the component of your body that burns the majority of the calories you consume each day. Therefore, when you lose muscle your body requires less calories to function and consequently those extra calories you consume are stored as fat around your waist ,hips, and other places.

Your body constantly burn calories, even when we’re doing nothing. This resting metabolic rate is much higher in people with more muscle. Every pound of muscle uses about 6 calories a day just to sustain itself, while each pound of fat burns only 2 calories daily. That small difference can add up over time. In addition, after a bout of resistance training, muscles are activated all over your body, increasing your average daily metabolic rate.

Fortunately strength training can mitigate and even reverse the loss of muscle at any age. Thus, increasing the amount of calories you need to function. That’s why you hear some people say that after they have been strength training for awhile their appetites increase. This is a sign that they are starting to build muscle.

I recommend that you build your fitness program around strength training by doing 3 weight lifting sessions each week in which you target all your major muscle groups. Always allow at least one day of recovery between sessions to prevent injuries and over-training.  If you are new to weight lifting, find a qualified fitness professional to help you design your program and to show you the proper lifting techniques.  Also, click on the My Publications link above where you can find my personally designed strength training programs that you can download.