3/06/2006

Slow Burn: How Aging Affects Metabolism

by Marin Gazzaniga for MSN Health & Fitness
If you think you’ve put on a few extra pounds because your metabolism has slowed down, you may be only half right. Barry Stein of Wake Forest University School of Medicine is writing a book about staying fit after 50. As he explains, “As we age, we are subject to sarcopenia—muscle wasting. Since muscle burns more energy than fat, this means the metabolic load goes down and metabolism reflects that.” That is, if you do nothing about your loss of muscle with age, it will take you longer to burn off a candy bar at age 60 than at 20.

Twins Tammy and Lyssie Lakotos, authors of Fire Up Your Metabolism, recommend both cardiovascular activity and weight training. “Cardiovascular activity burns calories while you do it. Additionally, you could burn about 20-30 additional calories afterwards, which may not seem like a big amount daily, but adds up over a lifetime,” says Tammy Lakotos. Strength training is effective long after you’ve put down the barbells because muscle burns more calories than fat while you’re at rest.

For more information on how to burn more calories at any age, click here for the full story.