We all know exercise is important, Everyone has told you from your friends and family to your doctors, but why?
Not only is exercise beneficial for your muscles and your heart, it is a major regulator of metabolism. Our metabolism is the amount of energy your body uses throughout the day, whether that is sitting up, going for a walk, or chewing your food. Everything requires energy and metabolism is the chemical reactions which turns our food into fuel
As we get older I’m sorry to tell you but our metabolism declines. It goes down by about 2-4% per decade after the age of 25. So often it doesn’t go down by as much as people think! But here’s the thing, as we get older we start moving less! If we move less, then we burn less calories each day.
Since muscle mass is one of the biggest drivers of metabolism then our metabolism goes down if our muscle mass goes down. Lower metabolism and lower muscle mass both result in a decrease need for calories.
For a long time, this was all just considered part of the normal aging process that not matter what we will lose muscle mass, lower metabolism, and have a general decline in activity level.
New research has shown that although to some extent this will be true, a big part of these declines are actually due to lifestyle factors. What this means is that a decline in metabolism and muscle mass doesn’t have to be a normal part of aging, it’s actually a byproduct of living a more sedentary life. Many researchers have shown that metabolism and muscle mass can actually be increased with resistance exercises.
So what does this mean?
We need to keep moving!
Not only will exercise keep our bodies and our minds healthy, it’ll definitely help with our waistline (especially if we couple that with eating a generally healthy diet). Or you can be like me and exercise so that I don’t feel guilty about the nachos I eat with football on Sundays!
Although we generally need a few less calories as we get older, the amount we need to cut isn’t as much as you think if you stay active and don’t sit too much!