Have you experienced this? You're buttoning up your pants, but they don't button up as easily. Weird, huh? Maybe you've noticed that the number on your bathroom scale keeps creeping, but your diet hasn't changed.
Yes, I know. It's a bummer. What it's not, however, is your imagination! Instead, the culprit to your dilemma is probably your aging metabolism. It slows down naturally as we get older.
But I've got good news for you. You can offset a sluggish metabolism, and the sooner you begin, the better!
So, let's review with the leading causes of our "mysterious" metabolic slowdown:
You move less
You've got less muscle mass
Now let me outline some of the things you can do to rev up your metabolism and keep it primed.
1) Your physical activity level. This one is sneaky because you might not have noticed how you've gradually become more sedentary over the years!
Being active daily (meaning your workouts and normal daily living activities combined) can account for up to 30% of your daily calorie burn. And if you're a very active individual, you could possibly burn up to half of your daily calories from physical activity!
As we age, however, priorities tend to change. Responsibilities compound and make less time for both recreational exercise AND our general daily living.
Statistics suggest that up to 25% of the population over 50 don't exercise. And that number climbs to more than 35% by the age of 75.
These studies also confirm how we also move less in general as we age—thereby reducing our prior abilities to burn calories by almost 30% daily.
There is one way to evade that particular metabolic slowdown!
A comparative study between women aged 50-72 and women aged 21-35 confirmed that the older women who engaged in regular exercise were able to avoid general metabolic slowdown related to aging.
→ To the point: NOW is the time to begin a proper fitness program you enjoy, and to find active hobbies, you can continue into the future! Establishing these habits will become the cornerstone for continued activity as you age.
2) Your loss of muscle. Officially, it's called sarcopenia. And age-related muscle loss plays a huge role in metabolic degradation.
Not surprisingly, our physical activity level connects directly to this process because the less active one is, the less likely they will be able to build and maintain muscle tone and mass.
In fact, adults statistically lose between 3% and 8% of their muscle mass for each decade of life after 30.
Why this affects you – beyond your general loss of strength and ability to move with ease – is because muscle is metabolically active. It burns calories even while you rest!
Building and maintaining muscle as you age is possible with regular strength-training exercises. The use of free weights, resistive bands, body-weight calisthenics,even yoga, and aquatic workout classes can benefit you!
The primary goal is to challenge your muscles to the point of fatigue via some type of physical resistance in which they can work against.
→ To the point: You should strive to complete a minimum of two strength-training sessions per week (more if you are able). These workouts should address all major muscle groups of your body, like chest, back, legs, and glutes.
3) Getting older. Time gradually slows the metabolic process down at a cellular level, and it progressively begins to weaken.
Short of a miracle, nothing can be done about this – however, there's some good news for active individuals. Although the cellular decline isn't preventable, studies support the notion that the cellular decline itself can be slowed with proper nutrition, physical activity, and muscle maintenance!
→ To the point: Sustaining a healthy lifestyle should be the overarching goal. This should include social and mental health, in addition to physical activities meant to offset metabolic apathy.
→ BONUS point to takeaway: It's important to eat enough protein daily. Oftentimes we tend to eat less protein as we get older. So make it a point to make protein account for somewhere between 10% and 35% of your total daily caloric consumption.
Coaching Tip: Protein can sometimes be difficult to digest. Especially if your diet is low in fiber or you regularly eat a large amount of it at one time. However, you can improve protein absorption by spreading your intake out over the day. Studies suggest this to be more efficient and beneficial to our system.
As I close out this post, I'll repeat: the actions (or inactions) you take today will impact your life in the future. It's best to make lifestyle adjustments for the better now. If you'd like some guidance on putting these takeaways to work for you, I can help …
If you're ready to feel fitter, leaner and lighter on your feet, Join my FREE 5-Day Metabolic Jumpstart Challenge!
I give you a step-by-step map of what you can do to improve the way your body and metabolism works. Plus, you get coaching (from ME!) that will help you accelerate those results.
You'll learn the few simple shifts you can apply toward your workouts, nutrition, and lifestyle to help you naturally increase your energy (and burn more calories) every day. Don't miss out! Take me up on my FREE offer by clicking here to join now!