Middle Aged Spread
For many of us, reaching our mid 30’s can be considered a milestone. Along with the feelings of being a proper adult, come the problems, namely the slowly increasing size of your stomach and weight or "Middle Age Spread”. This physical change happens as our bodies get older and our lifestyles becomes more sedentary to match.
Why does it happen?
As we get older our bodies will start to reduced the amount of testosterone and progesterone it produces relative to oestrogen.
Testosterones role in the body is vital, as it helps to build muscle, speed up the metabolism and maintain insulin sensitivity (preventing diabetes). Fat is also known to bind to testosterone, reducing the build up around the waste.
The fall in our natural levels of testosterone matched with our slowing metabolism, provide the perfect breeding ground that encourages the body to increase its store of fat, generally around the stomach.
The production of oestrogen is essential to help maintain a healthy brain, libido and bones.
The appearance of a few pounds due to age can be very demoralising and can easy undermine ones confidence and self-esteem.
Addressing the spread.
For some, the increase in girth may suit them, the majority will probably disagree. The appearance of the “spread” will only deteriorate unless appropriate action is take right away.
Eat more protein: key to building more muscle is protein, increasing your intake will assist in this process. Great sources of protein are fish, nuts, lean mean and seeds.
Avoid carbs, especially white breads and pasta and substitute with the wholegrain varieties like rye and sourdough breads for bread.
Cut down on sugary snacks/refined foods and replace with nuts and fruit.
Eat fatty fish: Omega 3 fatty acids help delay ageing and fight degenerative diseases, that are also great for weigh loss when included in a balanced diet.
Drink plenty of water and cut down on all forms of alcohol and sugary drinks.
Sleep, try to establish a routine and get between 7-8 hours per night. Tiredness can often lead to eating more and gaining weigh.
Work your muscles. The more muscles you have, the more calories you burn, even when stationary. The average male will have lost 2/3rds of his muscle mass by the time they reach 75 yrs old.
Change you routine to fit in both resistance (weight lifting or strength training ) and aerobic (running)each week.
Shorter burst of high impact exercise tends to have more affect. Beyond 45 minutes of exercise, the benefits are reduced.
Swimming. Not only is swimming great for your torso, it’s great fr the whole body with zero impact on the joints.
Standing up. Long periods sitting down will lead to the decreased production of the enzyme Lipoprotein, which helps burn fat around the stomach. Use every opportunity to stand up and walk around which will also bur calories. Try to stand up every 40 minutes for at least 10 minutes, 40/10 rule.
Walk. If possible, replace all short journeys by walking, great for the body and environment.
High levels of stress can lead to higher levels of the hormone Cortisol, which is known to increase your appertite.
Whether we like it or not, more work will be required to stay in shape, unless you want that shape to be oval. It’s inevitable that the natural test of time will slowly wear us down, the challenge is to see if you can change that.
It’s important to enjoy what you do, there’s no point doing something if it makes you miserable. Ultimately, having a few extra pounds, never hurt the wallet!.
Fighting the middle aged spread is a constant battle, but making a few changes to our lifestyles and a bit of routine is one that can be overcome. Especially, if the outcome is a longer healthier life.