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Resistance Workouts Will Get You Fit

U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Andrew Smith/Released

It’s never too late to focus on getting fit. Midlife creeps up on you and before you know it, you’ve gained that fat around your middle and lost muscle everywhere. What happened?

As people enter midlife, research shows that men and women lose more than 5 pounds of muscle every decade due to improper diet (lots of fast foods), sedentary work life (desk jobs), sedentary home life (more time on the computer, watching TV, driving short distances instead of walking or biking).

Research also shows that on top of losing muscle, we also tend to gain about 10 pounds every decade. So 10 pounds of additional fat and 5 pounds of lost muscle mass equals 15 pounds of additional fat per decade. You read this information everywhere, it’s on all the talk shows, you know it’s true by just looking at your stomach.

There’s no need to panic, though. Fitness over 40 can be achieved with some resistance.

Stop your body from deteriorating by doing a few simple things to rejuvenate and rebuild  your body from the inside out.

The best way to retain muscle mass is through resistance training. You can start slow and gradually increase resistance, resulting in muscle growth, improving muscle tone, increased metabolism, improved bone density and increased energy levels. This won’t happen overnight but it will happen if it becomes your routine, a way of life, a habit.

You may want to try using resistance bands, dumbbells (start with 2-3 pounders if necessary), or even water aerobics. You need to start with repetitions of 10 sets and work out for 20-30 minutes a day, this can be broken down into two 10-15 minute sessions. Whatever works for you. As an extra bonus, add a couple days of walking (3 miles per hour) into your routine.

Studies show that adding varied routines like alternating walking, resistance training and water aerobics will force the muscles to work harder since they have to work differently for each form of exercise. Plus, you don’t get bored with the same routine.

Midlife changes are a natural course in life. But you don’t have to settle for a deterioration of your muscles. Figure out what works best for you and make it a part of your lifestyle. Choosing to stay fit takes effort but the benefits pay off for years to come.

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