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Managing Your Metabolism

Weight control usually involves finding the right balance between calories in and calories out. But research also suggests the way your body burns energy may be just as important.

Metabolism through the ages

The Twenties

You shouldn’t have problems yet. Most people in their twenties have strong bones and a high metabolism. This is the time in life when you should develop a regular exercise regimen. You won’t
regret it.

The Thirties
These are the early warning years. Most people feel their metabolism start to slow down. This is the time when many people begin to add weight, especially if they don’t exercise regularly. The percent
of lean muscle tissue tends to decrease and fat increases. At this point, It's a good idea to measure the amount of lean muscle tissue you have compared to fat (muscle vs. fat) rather than rely on your BMI as an indicator of general health. Watch out as your thirties are critical in maintaining an ideal muscle vs. fat ratio.

The Forties
Women experience a reduction in fertility, hormones and metabolism. Men and women can expect to see a five percent decrease in their metabolic rate or BMR every decade.

The Fifties
Women experience menopause, which may result in hot flashes, mood swings and the risk of osteoporosis as bone density decreases. Metabolic rate continues to decline in men and women. Now is the time to really pay attention to your exercise regimen. According to the National Institutes of Health, exercise is considered to be the most effective antiaging treatment ever discovered.

The Sixties
For most people, weight gain levels off, which is welcome news. But this is the time when some people experience thyroid issues. It’s also important to get your cholesterol checked annually and keep up with your exercise program. The metabolic rate or BMR continues to slow. Regular exercise can mean the difference between an active or sedentary life.

General Tips

  • Don't starve yourself -- it causes your resting metabolic rate to drop.
  • Exercise longer. Only after 30 minutes of intense exercise does your body begin to burn stored fat for energy.
  • Choose high-energy exercise, such as walking, biking, cross country skiing, swimming or step aerobics.
  • Vary your workout. Try changing your routine every six weeks.
  • Eat a good breakfast.
  • Avoid alcohol and smoking. Both inhibit the burning of abdominal fat.


Reference Source 101, 111, 118

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