A fact of life: as we age, our metabolism slows, and the rate at that we break down food decreases significantly with each passing decade. There are many factors to metabolism and how it affects the body. Age, weight, diet, exercise, illness, disease, physiology and many more factors define how the body metabolizes energy from the food it receives. There are fast metabolisms and there are metabolisms that slow over time and at different age groups. With so much going on with our bodies daily, understanding your personal metabolic function is important considering your overall health and wellness.
Let’s break down the metabolism meaning as you age. First, the body experiences a loss of muscle mass. This affects metabolism because as you age, your metabolism slows, and you burn calories at a lower rate. Secondly, most people are less active as they age. Physical activity starts to come at a higher price when you age. Bones hurt, muscles are sore, and it’s more challenging to maintain the exercises you did at a younger age. Not getting enough exercise leads to weight gain, loss of energy, and cardiovascular diseases. These elements all contribute to slowing your metabolism and the metabolism’s meaning.
Having a fast metabolism can affect the aging process but we must first understand the metabolism. Metabolism reaches its peak much earlier in life and slows down much later than we previously thought. So, what is metabolism and its role in our lives? Metabolism is a process that everybody needs to understand, especially as you travel through your 30s and beyond your 40s. This is where the metabolism meaning starts to become more apparent.
When discussing metabolic types associated with gender, sex hormones are usually the first topic addressed. The differences in muscle mass can be attributable to higher testosterone levels in men. Although, women’s estrogen levels naturally explain the difference in metabolic characteristics and types. This gives women an advantage because muscles have estrogen receptors, and when activated, they increase the rate of glucose uptake into the muscle. Men, over women, have a faster metabolism because they have more muscle mass, heavier bones, and less body fa. Genes also play a factor in defining the metabolism meaning. Genes determine a person’s muscle size and ability to grow muscle mass. The fewer amounts you have (muscles), the slower your metabolism becomes.
There are other factors as well including the speed of your metabolism. This can influence the aging process. In fact, a recent study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM) found that higher metabolic rates predict early natural mortality, indicating that higher energy turnover may accelerate aging in humans. Higher energy turnover is associated with shorter lifespan in animals, but evidence for this association in humans is limited. To investigate whether higher metabolic rate is associated with aging in humans, this study examined whether energy expenditure, measured in a metabolic chamber over 24 hours and during rest predicts natural mortality.
Weight gain as a part of the metabolism meaning can be incredibly frustrating. Of course, you do not have to sit by and let your metabolism control your life (even if it does). There is a way to help combat a slowing metabolism through the different decades of your life. First and foremost, it is vital to implement a balanced, responsible diet. Eat breakfast, consume lean proteins, and drink plenty of water. These are just a few things, not a complete diet’s elements. Time to consult a nutritionist or metabolism specialist to learn more. Lastly, the flip side of dieting is exercise. Get plenty of it and switch up between aerobic workouts and strength training. Soon you can learn to alter the metabolic meaning and what it means to you.