Thou Shall Expand
Adult men and women begin to lose muscle mass naturally at about age 40. At this age, many people experience a steady weight gain of 1-2 lbs. each year. In men and women, higher estrogen levels predispose the body to store fat around the abdomen. Researchers have found that changing patterns of hormone production including estrogen causes the average person and woman to add 1-2 lbs. around their middle every year from the ages of 35 to 55. The good news is that as we as we move through our 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s the expanding waistline can be trimmed by following some very simple tips.
Eat Less Move More
By eating less food, caloric intake is reduced which helps to compensate for loss of muscle mass. Lean muscle requires a lot of energy to maintain and consuming fewer calories reduces fat. There is nothing very mysterious about calories. Thirty five hundred calories equals about one pound. If you take in 3,500 calories fewer than what you burn, you lose a pound. If you take in 3,500 more than you burn, you gain a pound. Eating less food, especially processed foods high in fat calories and exercising more reduces fat. Start by walking at least half an hour a day, five to seven times a week. Walking exercise can be accomplished on the lunch break, and following dinner in ten-minute increments. To increase stamina, introduce interval training by two minutes of fast walking followed by two minutes of slow walking. Health, endurance, nutrition and general well-being are all dependent on a common denominator—circulatory fitness. The only way to get it is by a systematic method of exercise.
Fitness is Free
According to a study from Johns Hopkins University, adults who engage in moderate exercise significantly lower their risk of heart disease and diabetes by reducing their abdominal fat. The sedentary and couch potato lifestyles can speed up age related changes in metabolism, as does overeating. As with other habits that change health, management of weight begins with recognizing that it is a problem. Engaging in a regular routine of strength training will help counteract muscle loss and help in the development of toned muscles. This is easily achieved in your home or office and without the use of equipment. For example, push-ups, sit-ups, squats, and stationary jogging do not require the use of weights or a gym membership. The exercises are free and you do not have to leave your home or office.
Shrink Your Plate
At mealtime, use of a smaller plate makes portions appear larger. Eat more slowly and enjoy what you are eating. Instead of a second helping of food, take a 10-minute walk or get develop a quality time habit. Work toward replacing food consumption with exercise. Instead of chowing down, trade in the food habit with a mindset toward fitness. Your waistline will thank you!
Inadequate sleep leads to an increase in obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Research consistently shows that getting less than seven hours sleep per night increases the risk of obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. Break your chain of thought before bedtime. Relax by reading, taking a bath, or listening to soothing music. Adhere to a calming routine that helps to keep your mind from working overtime on life’s stresses.
Stress is a part of life and is here to stay. Stress causes an increase in the secretion of cortisol. It can contribute to memory loss and forms of cognitive changes seen in dementia. Reactions to stress can vary enormously, and some of these reactions are undesirable. An honest attempt to identify the cause of the problem often leads to more effective control of eating habits and desire to exercise. Make the most important plan for your life-the plan for good health!