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August 12, 2020

A deeper dive into metabolism and aging

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In our last two posts, we discussed 4 factors that affect your metabolism, how maintaining muscle mass can “boost” your metabolism and help with aging. 

In this post, we will dive further into how metabolism changes over time and what you can do to stay feeling younger and more independent for longer! Let’s jump in!

One morning you wake up and seemingly out of the blue, BAM! Your favorite pants don’t button up as easily, or you notice that the number on the scale is starting to creep up.  AND to boot … it’s much harder than it used to be to get those pants to fit the way they once did or return the scale to its former spot.


It’s a part of aging and It’s not your imagination! The truth is your metabolism naturally slows down as you get older.


It happens at different paces and different times for each of us, however, there is some good news. There are things you can do to help it.


And frankly, the sooner you start, the better outcome you will have!


Here are some of the top reasons your metabolism begins to slow:


●  You’re less active

●  You’ve lost muscle

●  Your body’s metabolic processes have slowed down because of age


Here are a few key things that can help with aging metabolism: 


1) Your activity level. You might not actually notice you’re moving less each day!


How active you are each day (including your workouts and your normal activities of daily living) makes up about 10% to 30% of your daily calorie burn. Very active people can actually burn up to half their daily calories from activity!


BUT ... studies show that as we get older, we tend to move less, both in terms of exercise AND our general daily living.


More than 25% of people over 50 don’t exercise, and by the time we reach 75, that number jumps to more than 35%.


Plus, studies show we also move less in general, burning almost 30% fewer calories through non-exercise activity.

A study comparing women aged 21-35 with women ages 50-72 showed that when the older women engaged in regular exercise, they avoided the dreaded age-related metabolic slowdown.

 Check that study out here!

→ The takeaway: Start a regular exercise habit you enjoy NOW, and find active hobbies! Having these habits in place will set a strong foundation for continued movement as you get older.


2) Muscle loss. This next major cause of a slower metabolism is age-related muscle loss! It can be tied in with your activity level - since being less active is one reason you can lose muscle.


On average, adults lose between 3% and 8% of their muscle mass each decade after the age of 30.


One reason this matters – beyond your general strength and ability to move easily – is because muscle burns slightly more calories (even at rest) than fat. Recall, we talked about that in the last blog here!


You can help maintain and build muscle as you age with consistent strength-training workouts: free weights, machines, and even water fitness classes can help! 

We have a wide range of fitness classes at Like Water - FitClub and Barre are just two great offerings that can help you!


The most important part is to create some resistance for your muscles to work against.


Your Goal: Get in at least 2 strength-training workouts a week that work all of your body’s major muscle groups.


3) The aging process. As you get older, the actual process of metabolism in your cells slows down or becomes less efficient.


There isn’t a lot you can do about this – but here’s some good news. While these slowdowns do happen, studies show they have a minor impact compared with lower activity and muscle mass!


Key Takeaway: Concentrate on living a healthy lifestyle and on more activities to offset the metabolic slowdown.

Actions you take today can have a BIG impact on your life in the future. If you’d like some guidance about putting these takeaways into action, we can help! Check out Like Water Crossfit for your fitness and nutrition goals!

Questions? Comments? Give us a shout!

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