Junk in the Trunk

Which weighs more:  a pound of muscle or a pound of fat? How about a pound of gold or a pound of feathers?

If you guessed they weigh the same you are right. It was a trick question. Obviously, a pound is a pound:  16 ounces, no more – no less. But which would you rather have? Given the choice I am going to pick a pound of gold and a pound of muscle, thank you very much.

We know gold is much more valuable than feathers. The same can be said about muscle and fat:  each has its purpose. Feathers make a great pillow but gold will pay for a great house to put that pillow in.

It is a little more complicated when we compare muscle and fat. We need both to be healthy and each are important. The problem arises when things get out of control. In the case of muscle, more is better. With fat, less is best.

Now we know muscle and fat weigh the same, but which takes up more room? A pound of feathers takes up a lot more space than a pound of gold. It is the same with fat and muscle. A pound of fat takes up 18% more space than a pound of muscle. This is what happens when you realize you weigh the same as you did 5 years ago but you have to buy bigger pants because your waist is two inches larger. We have lost some muscle and we have gained some fat.

A study done at the University of Connecticut determined that men, on average, gain about a pound of body weight annually from ages 25 to 45. The average woman gains about 24 pounds between the ages of 25 and 65. To make matters worse, the average male loses 6 pounds of muscle between the ages of 30 and 50.

This means that as we age we get fatter, bigger and weaker. This has serious ramifications for our quality of life. Muscle is the engine that moves our body. Fat is just the junk we stuff in our trunk. Each year we lose a little muscle which means we are not as strong, our engine has less horsepower and we are hauling bigger loads around.

Take a look at where you are right now in terms of your physical capabilities. Are you still doing the things you did last year, 5 years ago, 10 years ago? Now, fast forward. Do you see yourself physically capable of continuing doing what you are able to do right now?

I am talking about quality of life issues here. You deserve to enjoy life to its fullest potential:  being active, vibrant, healthy and happy is essential. So, get rid of that fat and gain muscle. Building muscle is the key to stemming the march of time. Resistance training on a regular, consistent basis is the best way to maintain muscle and grow stronger. It really is the Fountain of Youth. The solution to body pollution is movement. Get up, get out and start moving. Preserve and protect your engine and get rid of that junk in your trunk.


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