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How Strength Training Affects Metabolism in Seniors

written by: KJ Fitness,Ink • edited by: KJ Fitness,Ink • updated: 6/29/2011

Seniors can expect to see a boost in their metabolism by as much as 15% as a result of a consistent strength training program. These benefits can be realized by doing these exercises as little as a few times per week in the comfort of their own homes.

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    Strength Training Boosts Metabolism During & After Workouts

    Seniors that strength train may have heard how it affects their metabolism, but they may not know how this happens or how much of an effect there will be. It happens that building muscle significantly impacts a senior's metabolsim during, immediately following and beyond a strength training workout.

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    Breaking Down the Numbers, Breaking Down the Fat

    A senior's body will burn about 8 to 10 calories during each minute they do strength training exercises. That means that after doing strength training for 25 minutes, back to back with little rest between exercises will burn anywhere from 200 to 250 extra calories. After a strength training session, the resting metabolsim will increase and remain 7% higher than usual for a full day or more which use an additional 50 to 75 calories.

    Every pound of muscle added during strength training will burn about 50 calories every day. Seniors can add up to four pounds of extra muscle after only two months of doing strength training. If each pound is burning 50 extra calories each day, that means their improved metabolic rate will yield an extra burn to the tune of 200 calories.

    On an exercise day, a senior can burn as much as 425 extra calories. This means that on days of doing strength training, seniors may need to eat an extra 425 calories, unless their goal is to lose weight. Then they wouldn't need to replace all of the extra calories burned, but they should have at least an extra snack. This extra calorie boost is especially important for seniors that need to lose weight to manage heart disease, blood pressure or diabetes symptoms.

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    How to Start Burning More Calories Now

    You can start to realize these benefits of strength training for seniors by doing simple exercises at home just twice a week. If you don't have weights, don't worry because you don't necessarily need them. You can do exercises using your own body weight such as squats, lunges, calf raises, and push-ups. Use a stable chair for balance or enlist a partner to help you if you need to for safety's sake.

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    Resource

    Strength Training for Seniors: An Instructor Guide for Developing Safe and Effective Programs. Wayne L. Westcott, Thomas R. Baechle. 1999.

    How to Boost Your Metabolism