Tips for Managing Muscle Mass
As we age, our bodies gradually lose muscle mass, making our metabolism – our ability to burn the calories we take in – slower and less effective. Luckily, we can stop or reverse this trend by building muscle that will burn calories more effectively and make us leaner, stronger and improve our overall health.
Whether at rest or running a marathon, your body is always burning calories. One way you can help your body burn even more calories is to increase your muscle mass. It’s important to keep some form of cardio in your exercise routine, but to really start shedding fat, you should incorporate strength or weight training a few times a week. Why? Even though cardio burns more calories while you’re working out, the muscles you build when weight training keep the calories burning for hours after you’ve completed your workout.
If you’re just starting out, go slowly and gradually increase your activity as you become stronger. Here are a few of the best metabolism burning exercises you can do at home or at the gym:
• Planking. It was a fun Internet craze, but it really does strengthen your core and build important muscle groups.
• Lifting weights. This is also good for your bones, your heart and your physique.
• Squats and Lunges. You’ll build every single muscle in your legs and improve balance.
• Yoga and Pilates. These resistance/stretching exercises strengthen your core and encourage whole-body muscle growth.
It’s easy to get hurt when you start using weights or machines, and people often mistakenly believe that if they can lift something, it’s a sign that they should do it. Muscle and disc injuries often show up later, so make sure to learn how to use all exercise machines properly before starting out. Always ask a trainer to help if you’re unsure about anything. As your body grows stronger and leaner, strength and weight training will become easier. You’ll start burning more fat and will feel healthier as your whole body reaps the benefits of increasing your muscle mass.