There’s a myth that our metabolism completely shuts down as we get old. It’s not uncommon to hear people say that “it’s all downhill after 30” or we “can’t eat much for long”. While there’s some truth to this belief, it’s not as simple as counting down the days until you hit the big 3-0. Our ability to burn energy is effected by natural aging changes, remaining physically active, maintaining muscle mass, and eating well. Take care of these things and you can save your metabolic rate and waistline!
What’s Age Got to Do With It?
Our body burns energy for everything we do, whether it’s for exercise, repairing cells, or breathing. While the energy we burn each day can vary, our basal metabolism is the calories we burn at rest. This amount is pretty consistent from being managed by hormones, but can go down as our bodies go through aging hormonal changes. These changes happen gradually and effects the way we store fat overall. It’s especially apparent in woman thanks to menopause. As a woman turns around 50 on average, her body produces less estrogen which makes her burn through what she consumes less efficiently.
Another way age effects metabolism is having less growth hormone and going through lifestyle changes. When we’re young, our body makes enough for our daily activites, build muscle mass, use up fat, and fire up protein production. When we don’t have enough, we can’t form and maintain muscle as well as before. Since muscles need more calories to maintain itself, having less means we’ll be burning less calories at rest. Meanwhile, as we hit our 30s and 40s, our habits tend to change and most people have trouble keeping up with metabolic engines like exercise, healthy eating, and rest with full time jobs, bills, and families to balance.
The Good News
There’s no way to get past aging, but you can take steps now to make a healthy difference. Making sure you feed on good nutrition, stay active, and recovering well is essential for slowing down the process. Start by doing cardio, interval, and weight training to increase your muscle mass. Many activities can accomplish this like running, biking, competitive sports, and even yoga or dance. If you need help you can check out a trainer in your local area. Ones like Ted Hale Fitness will create a program for your goals and make sure it fits into your hectic schedule. For fuel, eating lean protein, complex carbs, and leafy greens are great for calories that aren’t processed or loaded with sugar. Eating within an hour of waking up and drinking enough water is also a trusted method to kick-start your metabolism throughout the day. Lastly, getting plenty of sleep will not only provide enough energy to be active, but will aid your body’s restorative process to create new cells and keep your body revved up.
It’s never too late to change up your lifestyle and put your health first. Once you build up the habit to be mindful of your activity and nutrition, it’ll be easier to make better decisions and you’ll see the difference down the road!