Spring is less than six weeks away. The thought of warm days, flowers blooming and birds chirping is exciting to most. What some people dread about the warm weather is the thought of not having sweaters, pants and hoodies to hide behind.
Now is a great time to think about eating better and starting some healthy habits. I’m not talking about going on a diet because, we all know, diets don’t work. What works is lifestyle changes.
When I hit my 50s, I started gaining weight without eating more, especially around my middle. I started to believe that middle age meant middle fat! I did some research to understand why and what I could do to change it. It turns out there are many reasons. The turnover in our fat tissue decreases, which makes it easier to gain weight. That, combined with muscle loss, a lower metabolism and the fact that we get more sedentary as we age are all contributing factors.
For women, a significant drop in estrogen encourages extra pounds to settle around the middle. For men, it’s a drop in testosterone. Testosterone regulates fat distribution and muscle strength and mass. The pituitary gland’s production of growth hormone (GH) declines in middle age. One of GH’s functions is to build and maintain muscle mass. So, as GH decreases, it’s harder for your body to make and maintain muscle. Muscle helps you burn fat. It’s a snowball effect. You start accumulating more fat, less lean body mass, you burn less calories.
Here are some tips to combat middle age weight gain.
Focus on healthy foods. The less processed the foods are, the better. Downsize your portions. Just trimming 100 to 200 calories a day will add up. Drink lots of water. This ramps up metabolism, increasing the breakdown of fat. Give your major muscle groups a workout. You can do this by adding strength training to your exercise routine.
Having more muscle, burns more calories efficiently and this will help you be more active and have more stamina and balance. A good place to start is with the National Institute on Aging, easy at home strengthening GO4Life exercise program.
Try to get 30 minutes a day of aerobic exercise in. Walking, swimming or biking are all good. Join me and my Rocky Point Pacers every Tuesday morning at 9 a.m. or Thursday evenings at 4 p.m. Thursday’s time will change with Daylight Saving Time. We meet at the gate and one lap around the park is about 30 minutes and two miles. Get a good night’s sleep. You will have more energy and move more.
Finally, I suggest doing a cellular cleanse twice a month. This process purges potentially harmful impurities or toxins that fill up your cells. There are many scientifically backed benefits including higher energy, greater clarity of thoughts, giving your liver a break, boosting your immune system, vibrant skin and, of course, weight loss. I will talk more about cleansing next week and give you some tips on how to do it and what products I use. Until then, smile and count down the days until spring!
Contact me at SixtiesAndSexy@gmail.com and follow my blog at SintiesAndSexy.net.