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Rejuvenate Your Muscle Mass

Rejuvenate Your Muscle Mass

Rejuvenate Your Muscle Mass

Although exercise can increase muscle size and endurance, as we age, we lose muscle without working at it. As you lie quietly in bed, your muscles use energy. Every pound of muscle uses 50 to 60 calories every day.It takes that much calorie energy for muscles to function. This calorie use has been termed passive metabolism. 

Somewhere in their third or fourth decade, adults start to lose muscle mass at the rate of about a pound of muscle mass every year. Small wonder, then, that we find that bags of groceries or dog food feel heavier as the years go by. Of course, one pound per year is hardly noticeable. So, if you lose a pound of muscle mass a year over 10 years, does that mean you will weigh ten pounds less when you are 45 years old than you did at 35? Probably not. We seem to gain weight as time goes on. Most of us have battled the creeping fat syndrome over the years. But even if your weight stays pretty much the same over ten years, the pound-a-year muscle loss means that ten of those pounds that were muscle mass are now fat.

Fat doesn’t burn calories. So now you have ten pounds less of muscle mass to burn the calories you take in. At the lower estimate of 50 passive-metabolism calories per pound per day, if you are eating the same as you always have, 500 of those calories each day must be used for exercise or will probably be stored as fat. There are weight-control advantages as well as strength, endurance, and flexibility advantages to retaining or rejuvenating your muscle mass.

Muscles need to be exercised through their full range of motion to either retain or rejuvenate muscle mass. We need at least moderate exercise or movement to keep joints flexible and muscles supple (if not strong). The best way to maintain mobility, physical strength, and muscle mass is to allow your muscles to work to their full capacity through full range of motion exercise. Full range of motion exercise allows major muscles and their antagonists to alternately fully contract and fully extend. Walking generally doesn’t fit the full range of motion category. However, walking with an exaggerated stride and arm swing does. To the observer, full-range-of-motion walking may look a bit peculiar, but it also gives your cardiovascular system a good workout, reintegrates your neuromuscular communication, and improves muscle tone. And that’s why we recommend the Morter March as part of your everyday exercise routine. 

Exercise is more than a muscle-builder. It affects your whole body. Metabolism increases. Acid is produced. Energy is expended. Even your attitude is affected. Exercise affects the energy level of the body. That’s a very important concept. The bottom line of fitness, health, wealth, and happiness is the grand total of your energy level.

To learn about Morter March, visit or join us every Monday morning at 9:00 Central on the Morter HealthSystem page of Facebook for Dr. Ted’s LIVE Morter March Monday presentation.