If we simply maintain our muscles, then we can better maintain our metabolism, bone mass, physical ability, joint integrity and physical appearance throughout our lives.
The average American adds about 2 lbs of body weight every year according to the bathroom scale. The typical adult periodically addresses this problem by following some fad or restricted calorie diet. Many also try various forms of endurance exercises (walking, jogging, aerobics…and the list goes on) to help reduce their weight by burning additional calories. For some reason, many of these same adults overlook and ignore strength training because they believe they will become larger rather than smaller.
Unfortunately, most adults misunderstand the basic facts regarding bodyweight and body composition. While it is true that we add an average of 2 lbs of body weight on a yearly basis, the fact is inactive people lose about 1 pound of muscle every year as well. That means it is worse than it even seems to be. Our body weight changes by 2 lbs, but more importantly, our body composition changes by 3 pounds in the wrong direction.
What is even less understood is that muscle loss is largely responsible for the fat gain. You see, muscle is very active tissue, both during exercise and at rest. One pound of muscle uses about 45 calories per day for maintenance processes. So a loss of muscle tissue means a lower caloric utilization and reduced resting metabolism. Assuming we eat about the same number of daily calories, those that were previously used for muscle maintenance now go into fat storage. That is why reclaiming that muscle is vital to the success of your fitness goal. Think of your muscles as the engine of a car. Losing muscle tissue is much like going from an 8-cylinder engine to a 6-cylinder or 4-cylinder cylinder engine. You have less power (strength) and use less fuel (calories), and that's a recipe for fat gain.
The fact is, our resting metabolic rate decreases about 1 percent per year in response to our diminished muscle mass. This is just one of the degenerative processes associated with aging that is actually related to muscle loss. If we simply maintain our muscles, then we can better maintain our metabolism, bone mass, physical ability, joint integrity and physical appearance throughout our lives.
"Even regular endurance exercise, like the popular
walking and jogging does not prevent muscle loss."
Unfortunately, in our modernized and mechanized society, our daily activities involve too little muscular effort to maintain our muscles. Even regular endurance exercise, like the popular walking and jogging, does not prevent muscle loss. A 10-year study of America's best masters distance runners showed a 5-pound muscle loss between their mid 40's and mid 50's despite their regimented running program.
Bottom line, the only way to maintain your muscle is to take part in a regular resistance training program. You will feel better than ever and begin to shed some of that unwanted fat.
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