Understanding and fighting middle-aged spread

Understanding and fighting middle-aged spread

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file8221346229050We all know that a healthy diet and exercise are the keys to a healthy body; but, what causes the dreaded middle aged spread and can it be avoided? There are some easy steps to take to avoid middle aged spread but the first step is to understand what causes us to put on weight as we get older.

Physical signs of aging

Firstly, as we age our metabolism slows down. Almost imperceptibly on a day to day basis, but over a decade the 50 calorie per day or so decline in our daily calorie usage allows us to pack on an extra 1-2 kilograms. Equally, muscle mass starts to naturally decline as we get older.

Scientists now think that as we age the fullness signalling process in our brain also becomes less efficient, leading us to have an easier time over eating.

Stress Levels

As our stress levels build the stress hormone cortisol builds up in our body. This hormone specifically encourages the build up of fat around the abdomen. As we well know this is a particularly dangerous type of fat to hold in our middle age as it increases our risk of heart disease and heart attack.

Many times as we get older and the commitments in our life increase we spend more time at our desk and give away some of the more active pursuits we enjoyed in our teens and twenties, such as team sports. Equally small injuries that we accumulated in our youth can limit our movement as we age, especially if not managed correctly.

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What can we do to prevent middle-aged spread?

Aerobic exercise can help us with heart health and increasing our metabolism, as well as burning away those pesky excess calories. Picking up the weights can also help delay the loss of muscle mass and increase our metabolism. Finding ways to incorporate more physical exercise into your day to day life can also help manage your weight, especially if your job is relatively sedentary.

Meditation and stress management can help reduce your stress and cortisol levels, helping to manage your levels of abdominal fat (as well as reducing the chance of stress eating providing lots of extra calories!). Incorporating a group yoga class into your exercise routine is a great way of managing both stress levels and increasing your flexibility and mobility.

Anna Reich, of  www.annareichpt.co.uk, explains that “a suitably balanced diet also helps reduce the tendency to put on weight, with an emphasis on lean protein and healthy unprocessed foods, like green 00851vegetables. Incorporating enough water can help stave off false hunger pains and keep your diet on track.”

The important reality to understand is that there are real physiological changes that happen in our bodies as a result of lifestyle changes and directly related to age. They mean we need to work that bit harder to stay in shape, stay strong, and stay healthy.

t4w in collaboration with Anna Reich