Very few people retain the same weight throughout their lives, and less than 2% weigh the same at 50 as at 25. One research study found that the average gain between the ages of 35 and 65 is about a pound a year. Overeating, in its accepted meaning, isn't the cause. You don't need to increase your food intake for 'age-weight gain' to occur. The main reason for a slow and steady increase in weight is that your metabolic rate - the rate at which you bum calories in food and drink - slows down after your early thirties. If you continue to eat the same amount the extra calories may be converted into pounds of surplus body fat over the years.
One reason why the metabolic rate slows down is that the body's muscle mass decreases by about five pounds a decade after 30. It is muscle activity that is responsible for most of your metabolic rate level, so if there is less muscle, fewer calories will be burnt.
Secondly, most people become less active as they grow older. This is partially natural - energy fades as levels of human growth hormone decline, and with it the desire to exercise - although this is not inevitable. And, lastly, other hormonal changes may influence metabolic rate.
A study published in the USA in 1997 monitored dedicated runners for 20 year starting when they were 50, and they remained very active. It found that, whilst their bodies changed a little over the years, they didn't gain weight and lost 50 per cent less muscle tissue than the average person.
As life expectancy rises across the Western world, so does the degree of infirmity in those last years, or even final decades. So that, what should be a happy retirement becomes plagued by chronic incapacity. Furthermore, the health care systems are under great pressure (see the analysis of the British National Health Service) and, in this case, prevention is infinitely preferable to cure - even if possible.
Whilst our fitness knowledge base won't provide the elixir of eternal youth it will keep you more fit and looking (feeling) good than might otherwise be the case. Prevention is, no matter how good the health care system, better than cure.
Furthermore, should you need to use health care systems, we have advice on that too.
With our personal fitness knowledge base you can be in a position to manage your physical well-being. This enables you to
- Understand what fitness is
- Assess your current fitness level
- Endurance - the ability of the body to continue to perform
- Strength - upper, middle and lower body
- Flexibility - how to prevent injury and keep feeling young
- Manage Cardiovascular fitness - a healthy heart and lungs is paramount
- Understand Nutrition - how to fuel fitness
- Understand problems with joints
- Combat Ageing with Exercise and Nutrition
- Injury - prevention and cure
- Understand sport related fitness
- Understand skin care
- Understand Mental Fitness
- Be an informed consumer of medical processes
- Understand the reliability of medical studies
- Using healthcare in Europe .
As with all our knowledge bases, we provide a feedback system because we recognise that we're not perfect, but we are willing to learn.
If you don't understand something
If there's a hole in our knowledge
If we've simply got it wrong
then you can tell us
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