How many times have you heard your friends say that they could once eat anything they want, but now, they always have to watch what they eat?
Also, you may have heard your friends claim that they have to put in more effort at the gym just to maintain their figure, strength and muscle form. Why do these changes happen? Read on to learn more.
How do our hormones change as we age?
The American Council on Exercise claims that as each decade passes, our basal metabolic rate goes down by about 1-2%. If you want to offset this decrease, there are some steps you can take.
First, you can increase movement so that your body burns more calories. You can also reduce the amount of food you consume to make up for the lower basal metabolic rate. Finally, you can do strength training that's focused on building lean muscles.
One of the hormones that undergo a change in our bodies as we age is DHEA or dehydroepiandrosterone. Our adrenal glands produce this hormone, which reaches its peak when we're in our 20s and then starts to decrease when we reach our 30s. Because of this change, we become more prone to a slower recovery time as well as an increase in our body fat.
Also, lower levels of DHEA can have a negative effect on your mood, sex drive and energy. Another hormone that lessens when you reach your 30s is HGH or the human growth hormone, which has a huge effect on our metabolism.
What about fitness levels?
As we grow older, fitness levels don't really change abruptly or dramatically. One of the major factors that affect the change is the natural decrease in our muscle mass. Because of this, we may lose strength and our metabolism starts to decrease.
As you reach your 30s, you may start to notice a decrease in your energy levels too. This means that you might not be physically able to perform as many high-impact exercises as you could when you were in your 20s.
When it comes to working out as you age, it's important to become more aware. You can't keep doing exercises that strain your heart.
Remember that your heart is also a muscle that needs rest to recover and become more efficient. Changing your fitness routine is essential if you don’t want to experience burnout, muscle imbalances or diminishing returns.
One benefit of growing older is our mind-body connection becoming stronger. As we age, we learn more about our body and start to understand it better. Because of this, it's easier to focus more on what your body needs and start working toward your fitness goals.
Fortunately, there's hope!
Even if you feel like the odds are all against you, it's still possible to stay fit. Here are some tips for you:
- Try to focus more on proprioceptive exercises, as these can improve your balance.
- Work on your posture, alignment and training your weak muscles.
- Start strength training.
- Listen to your body more and do the things that you genuinely enjoy.
The bottom line is that you should try to make movement part of your life even as you age. You might not be able to perform "official workouts" daily, but try to move as much as you can throughout the day.