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Missing link to weight loss success

If weight loss is your goal, then you’ve got to get a grip on more than just your love handles. For many individuals who are dieting to lose weight, there’s one element that is often overlooked that can make or break your goal of keeping those extra pounds off for good.

That element is exercise. Dieting without exercise is a surefire way to lose muscle mass, and, since muscle burns more calories than fat, even when you’re just lazing around, it makes good sense to hold on to your muscle. In fact, one pound of muscle burns about six calories a day when the body is resting, versus one pound of fat that only burns about two calories a day while resting, according to the National Council on Strength and Fitness.

Add to that the fact that even if you are normal weight at present, inactive, and in your 30s, expect to lose up to eight pounds of muscle per decade, according to a 2004 review – Muscle Tissue Changes with Aging – in the journal Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care. By the time you hit your 60s, you’ve potentially lost about 24 pounds of muscle. Despite the fact muscle weighs more than fat, most people won’t notice the number on the scale going down. Why? Because they’ve replaced the muscle loss with fat, hence the middle age bulge. The increase in fat mass is tied to an increase in insulin resistance, which is the path to developing Type 2 diabetes, according to the journal article.

Exercise is the top anti-aging medicine, not just for healthy weight loss and weight maintenance, but for prevention of chronic disease and illness, and perhaps even more importantly, to hold on to muscle and balance necessary to prevent falls, and disability as we age.

You needn’t sign up for a marathon, or flip tractor tires in a bootcamp to hold on to your muscle. Think easy exercise, like rebounding, which is simply jumping on a mini trampoline. We’re not talking about jumping jacks and backflips on a trampoline; in fact, your feet don’t even need to leave the platform to gain benefits of rebounding. It’s called the “health bounce” and it’s easy, and fun for all ages, and can be done even while watching your favourite movie. And its benefits extend well beyond increasing muscle tone, as the motion of acceleration and deceleration works every cell of your body to help maintain good health.

For those who like to pump up their fitness routine, the rebounder offers the flexibility to do some serious aerobics too.

Tried a rebounder before and felt discomfort from the bounce? Cheap rebounders will leave a sour taste in your mouth, and potentially turn you off rebounding for good, but quality rebounders are like a non-exercisers dream. True rebounders are made to absorb the impact of each bounce, creating the right resistance, without risking injury. If physical movement is a challenge, know that your feet don’t even need to leave the rebounder mat to benefit. A stabilizing bar is also available for you to hold onto while exercising.

In an era where, according to StatsCan, 84 per cent of Canadians don’t get enough daily physical activity to maintain health, maybe adding a little bounce to your step is just what the doctor ordered..

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