The Link Between Muscle and Your Metabolism


I am sure you have all heard  the myth surrounding women and weight training, that it can make you bulky and is unattractive. The opposite is actually true. Muscle gives your body shapely curves, keeps your metabolism humming and keeps you trim. Resistance training may help keep your weight at a healthy level according to studies that have shown that having more muscle on your frame may burn more calories than fat.  Your metabolism,  which is the amount of energy your body converts or uses for breathing, digestion, etc. is revved up even at rest, so in simple terms weight training can offer an important role in your fat loss and weight maintenance efforts. A survey by the Calorie Control Council concluded that 60 percent of Americans blame their sluggish metabolism for excess pounds they have gained. Your resting metabolic rate (RMR) or the number of calories you burn at rest may slow due to hormonal changes,  and aging.  Additionally, genetics can play a huge role as to whether you have been blessed with a fast metabolism. It just doesn’t seem fair that some people don’t have to watch whatever they eat, not exercise and still maintain a normal weight.

Unfortunately only nineteen percent of women weight train two times a week, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Women who do not weight train can lose 5 to 10 percent of their lean muscle per decade, starting at age 35.  That could mean that even if you weigh the same, you may start replacing the muscle with the same amount of fat, explains Michele S. Olson, PHD. That factor alone can mean a decrease in your RMR, thus leading to a few extra pounds. You should definitely include weight training into your weekly regimen, combining with cardiovascular exercise at a moderate to somewhat hard intensity. Aim for eight to 12 reps of a weight that feels moderately heavy. Start with two times a week and aim to work the major muscle groups. You can gradually add on additional days and exercise as you gain strength. You have nothing to lose but fat and nothing to gain but muscle!

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