Unfortunately, as we age our metabolism does slow down naturally. We might be aware of gaining weight and not being able to lose it like we once did.
But all is not lost.
From being more careful about what we eat, getting the right amount of sleep, and drinking enough water, moving more will help us positively with the speed of our metabolism.
So, what movement will help me?
Firstly, there is the general idea of moving more.
How much we move each day has a significant impact on our metabolism. Research has shown that older adults burn roughly 29% fewer calories due to reduced activity levels. According to Age UK, 29% of people aged 65 to 74 are physically inactive. This number jumps to 47% for people aged 75 to 84, and 70% for those over 85.
By incorporating more exercise into your daily routine, you can make a significant difference in helping to prevent a drop in your metabolism. This movement could be in the form of doing more of a hobby that you enjoy or taking up a different form of exercise. Even doing more household chores, manually, will increase activity levels.
Secondly, find more time in the day to stand.
We now hear regularly that too much sitting is not good for our overall health, and it does burn fewer calories. Research from 2013 (PubMed) suggests that an afternoon of standing up at work can burn an extra 174 calories compared to sitting down.
If you are still working and find that you sit a lot during the day, there might be the option of a standing desk or raising your laptop to eye level so that you can stand for some of the working day.
Thirdly, consider spending time on strength or resistance training.
This is one of the best ways to increase and maintain our metabolism as we get older.
We naturally start to lose muscle after the age of 30 and by the age of 50 our muscle mass decreases at about 1-2% annually. Muscles use more energy at rest than fat does.
The great advantage of strength training is that it gives us a way to keep and increase our muscle mass. When you increase muscle mass, the metabolism is boosted, and more calories are burned. And if you are on a weight loss plan, doing strength training can help to retain muscle mass which will impact metabolic speed.Learn More