Obesity affects about 40 percent of American adults, an estimated 93.3 million adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a serious public health problem, increasing the risk of Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and certain cancers.
One major reason people gain weight as they get older is because they gradually lose muscle mass, about 1 percent every year, according Mayo Clinic College of Medicine. This causes a decrease in basal metabolic rate, the process of burning calories while at rest. The lower the metabolic rate, the fewer calories burned.
Many people admit to moving less overall as they get older. Lifting weights at least two to three days per week slows sarcopenia (age-related muscle loss), along with an additional day or two of cardiovascular exercise, Mayo Clinic doctors suggest.
Walking 10,000 steps per day, taking walks, or doing house or yard work also impacts metabolic rate. Typically, men and women alike gain about a pound or more annually, often between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. This doesn’t seem like much, but it is cumulative and stays on. So, after 20 or 30 years, it adds up.
Experts suggest people keep exercising regularly, monitor calories, lift weights and move throughout the day, avoiding sitting as much as possible.
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