If you are carrying a few extra kilos of excess body fat around your belly ...love handles ...the spare tire...a beer gut... potbelly, call it what you will - you are not alone. Although the number of overweight people has increased dramatically worldwide in recent years, this is one case where following the crowd is not the best idea because extra weight especially if it is stored around the belly can be downright risky.
While being overweight can have negative effects on your health, gaining weight around the abdomen does more harm than simply making your waistband too tight. Health risks such as developing diabetes, heart disease, various forms of cancer and other degenerative diseases increases.
Many people put on more belly fat as they get older starting to notice their increasing waistline in their 30's and 40's and gradually putting on more kilos as the years go by. For many, the eating and exercise habits that kept them slim in their youth are just not enough to keep the weight off as they get older. Add to this the fact that we tend to become less active and more sedentary as the years go by, and you can see why the flab starts to gather around your waist.
Many people assume that as they get older their "middle-age spread" is due to the fact that their metabolism has slowed down. If you think you have put on excess body fat for this reason you may be only half right. It could well be you who has slowed down.
The major cause of your metabolism meltdown is muscle loss. Your metabolism is the rate your body burns fuel - energy - or calories your body uses. It is how fast your motor runs! One of the main factors that determine this daily calorie burn is the amount of muscle tissue you have. We used to think that aging was the cause of muscle loss but we now know that is living a sedentary or inactive lifestyle that is the culprit with an adult losing between 300-500 grams per year of precious muscle tissue.
Both our physical appearance and our physical performance can be improved by muscle gain or hampered by muscle loss. Much of the loss of muscle tissue as we age is preventable, and fortunately, it is possible to recover much of the muscle that has been lost. A proper exercise program is the solution to this problem with strength training being the key component
Only a regular strength training program can maintain (or increase) muscle tissue to shrink a spreading waist. The more muscle tissue you have, the more calories you use round the clock and the more efficient and effective your metabolism. That not only helps you lose excess body fat, it helps you keep the weight off.
The muscle tissue you will gain will not only speed up your sluggish metabolism, it looks better - it's firmer, smoother, and more compact than saggy, flabby fat tissue giving you a much more youthful appearance.
Aerobic exercise (walking, cycling, jogging etc) even though it's extremely beneficial for the cardiovascular (heart / lung) system does not prevent the wasting away of muscle tissue from disuse.
Stop exercising again and your body will turn to flab, your energy levels will drop, your muscle tissue will shrink away along with your ability to burn calories, and your overall sense of wellbeing will drain away. It all comes down to this - your metabolism won't slow down if you don't.
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