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Every year after age 25, our body's composition begins to shift quite dramatically. We gain, on average, about one pound of body weight each year and lose a third to a half pound of muscle. As a result, our resting metabolism decreases approximately 0.5 percent annually. So unless you downshift your caloric intake as your metabolism slows down, you'll experience frustrating weight gain, which can then inhibit optimal energy metabolism.
Although losing a fraction of muscle mass each year may seem minuscule, it adds up to be quite significant -- translating to about a 1 to 2 percent loss of strength each year. With this loss of muscle strength, we tend to spontaneously become less active because daily activities become more difficult and exhausting to perform. We, in effect, lose energy more easily just like an old car that hasn't been serviced in a while will use up more gas than a new, efficient model.
According to a survey developed by Abbott Labs and the AGS Foundation for Health in Aging, nine out of 10 people think that feeling weaker is the worst part of aging. Despite this, many people are not taking the critical steps to ensure their more than 650 muscles remain strong and healthy. Clinical research shows that starting at age 40, we begin to lose 8 percent of our muscle mass per decade. This loss rises to 15 percent by our seventh decade, which can lead to weakness, falls, low energy, and fat accumulation.
As we age, we lose muscle quickly -- so building and maintaining your muscles is very important for staying strong. In this video, I will explain the best ways to maintain strong muscles as we get older.
This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.