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Saturday, January 7, 2012

Muscle-Fat Ratios and Aging

It's when men and women, some of whom have maintained their normal weight, find their hips, thighs and stomachs out of control.

These changes result from a gradual shift in body composition. A person's shape is determined by several factors: bone structure, internal organs, body fat, and skeletal muscle tissue. Only two of these components can be changed - body fat and skeletal muscle tissue.

Consider that the average woman reaches full maturity after the age of 20. Her body composition includes a maximum of lean muscle tissue and a minimum body fat ratio of 16 percent to 20 percent. As the average woman ages, she loses muscles tissue and adds body fat. Research indicates about one half pound of muscle is lost per year after the age of 20. Therefore, even if she is able to maintain her normal weight, she has added 10 pounds of bulky body fat by the age of 40.

Even more devastating than the addition of fat, is the lost of 10 pounds of firm, shapely lean muscle. Judging by her bathroom scales she may feel secure, but judging how she looks in her bathing suit, there's a drastic change.

This is an age when a large majority of women attribute these changes to the natural aging process and gravity. Nothing could be further from the truth. In as little as six weeks most women can turn this whole process around by losing fat and revitalizing the muscle.

It sounds simple, but most weight loss programs are counterproductive. Dieting alone can promote indiscriminate weight loss. This means you'll lose fat as well as lean muscle tissue, blood, and internal organ tissue. So the real issue isn't weight loss, it's fat loss and long term fat loss is not assured unless your lean muscle tissue is maintained.

A legitimate fat-loss program is impossible without a proper exercise program which spares lean muscle tissue. The most productive exercise not only prevents you from losing more muscle, but actual replaces the lean muscle that has been lost because of aging or indiscriminate weight loss diets. Although very popular, walking, running, and aerobic exercise are not the most efficient exercises to achieve lean muscle replacement. A proper strength training program is the fastest most productive exercise to achieve this.

Therefore, it's important to remember that total fitness is made up of five very important components: muscle strength, endurance, cardio-respiratory efficiency, flexibility, and acceptable body fat levels.

It is recommended that anyone beginning an exercise program for example circuit training exercises, seek competent instruction from a credible source.

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