Starting at around age 40, unless a woman is strength training, she begins to lose approximately ½ pound of muscle per year—replacing that muscle loss with 2.6 pounds of fat per year. Strength training helps to avoid this from taking place by developing muscle—and 1 pound of muscle burns about 50 extra calories per day. Muscle increases metabolism so that calories are burned at a faster rate at all times. So you don’t have to get fatter just because you’re getting older—as long as you weight train 2-3 times per week.
Safe, Long Term Weight Loss
The recommendation for safe, long term weight loss of body fat is to lose no more that ½ to 2 pounds per week. There are a couple of options available to choose from to achieve this goal.
One pound of body weight is equal to 3,500 calories, so if you subtract 250 calories per day from your diet, you will lose ½ pound per week. If you subtract 500 calories per day, weight loss will equal 1 pound per week.
If you don’t wish to decrease the number of food calories from your diet, choose to engage in an activity that burns 250-500 calories daily. For example, walking briskly for 2 ½ miles for 37 minutes will expend 250 calories.
Sticking with an Exercise Routine
50% of adults who begin exercising quit within the first year – here’s how to NOT be among that 50%.
Have reasonable expectations.
Begin at a comfortable level, and then progressively increase time and intensity.
Choose methods of exercise that you enjoy—it will be much easier to stick with it.
Schedule regular times for your exercise sessions, just as you would other appointments.
Have a routine time and place for exercise, and talk frequently with friends who also exercise—it’s infectious!
Last, use reinforcement to increase the probability of continuing your exercise routine by finding ways to reward yourself for your efforts.
Exercise & Depression
The effects of exercise on depression can last longer than those of antidepressants—without the unwanted or harmful side effects or the expense associated with drugs. Exercise causes your body to release endorphins—those “good” chemicals that circulate throughout the body. Endorphins do so many good things for us; in addition to improving natural immunity and reducing the perception of pain, they also serve to improve mood. Endorphins trigger positive feelings in the body which can be accompanied by a positive outlook on life.
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