HIGH POINT, N.C. -- As you get older, you may feel as though it gets harder to lose weight.
Doctors say it's not just a feeling; it's a fact.
Bob Foreman is the manager of The Fitness Center for High Point Regional Health System.
He says it's not in your head. Aging is directly related to a slower metabolism.
"So up until about the 30 years of age, your third decade, you loose about three to eight percent per decade of your muscle mass. When you hit age fifty, that percentage goes up to five to ten percent of your muscle mass lost per decade. So that's about a pound of muscle a year," he explained.
Foreman says as you lose that muscle, you also lose the ability to burn calories as quickly, resulting in a slower metabolism.
Cardio exercise is helpful, he said, but argued that the real key is strength training.
"Strength training, resistance training is really the key to help regain that muscle you had when you were younger. That's gonna help build your metabolism back up so that you do burn more calories at rest during the day," Foreman said.
Wendy Austin is a working mom who says she's always been active. But she and her friends do notice as they age, it takes more work to stay a healthy weight.
"It's just inevitable. However- we don't have to give into it," Austin pointed out.
She tries to see exercise as a treat rather than another chore.
"Especially young mothers tend to ignore themselves as they're taking care of everyone else so it's really important we think about ourselves, our bodies."
Foreman reminds, the number on the scale might not dramatically reflect how much fat you've lost on a new exercise routine because muscle is weighed, too. But you are still healthier.
"You will see a difference, you'll feel better, you'll look better, and that's really gonna set the tone for permanent weight loss and fat loss so it's the best way to go."