Pound the pounds.

Anna wrote:

Sean,
I am a fellow Minnesotan and long time fan with a question. I am never up early on Saturday or Sunday morning, but I was today and happened to catch the end of a news bit talking about metabolism as we age. The doctor in it said our metabolism only drops a little bit each decade and can’t really be blamed for weight gain as we age. I am 41 and am childless, yet have gained about 50lbs from my 20’s. I walk regularly, but don’t like being sore, so I don’t workout. What do you think about all of this? Should I be working out? My friends said I should try running. I’d love to know what you think.

Anna

Anna,

I think you and I were watching the same station this morning! I caught the same news piece and I feel Dr. Chris was absolutely right. He said metabolism only drops 2% every decade, which doesn’t mean much when attributed to weight gain. What he ALSO said was that becoming less active and losing muscle mass, coupled with unhealthy eating habits (he didn’t mention the danger of eating over 2000 calories per day and I wish he would have) is usually the cause of weight gain. He recommended weight training. Why? As we age, we need to work harder to keep our muscle mass. Muscle burns fat, and without dense (not big, necessarily) muscle, we won’t burn fat as well. Hormone changes in men and women can also add to muscle mass changes and weight gain. I know you said you don’t like being sore, but a little soreness is to be expected when getting back into a good weight and cardio routine. Hit the weights and don’t hit them lightly. Start with a solid amount and work your way up from there. Keep your repetitions high as well (3-4 sets of 15/16 reps. Take plenty of glutamine and protein, stretch, and take a little Advil if you’re more sore than expected. Get some harder cardio too and run or jog for at least 10-20 minutes at least 3 times per week and you will be on the way to burning more fat. Any exercise is good, so I am not saying walking is bad, but I AM saying you also need to build your muscle mass for long term benefits.

Sean

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