Ask our feel younger expert: Should I focus on my fitness level or my weight?

Ask our feel younger expert: Should I focus on my fitness level or my weight?
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Julie says: Recent research suggests that being a little bit overweight and fit is better than being thin and unfit. But there are many other things to consider such as BMI (body mass index), waist circumference, cholesterol levels and blood pressure. The answer is to focus on both and enjoy the benefit of maintaining a healthy weight with exercise and sensible eating.

Muscle cells need more energy than fat cells, so people with a higher muscle-to-fat ratio tend to have a higher metabolic rate (BMR) which means they burn fat faster.

As we get older, we gain fat and lose muscle, which is why metabolism decreases with age. Increase your metabolic rate with muscle strengthening activities such as lifting weights or working against resistance (there’s a free guide on www.moveitorloseit.co.uk).

Aerobic exercise can burn calories and help you lose weight, as long as you feel your heart and breathing rate go up and get warmer. Brisk walking, heavy gardening or climbing stairs count.

  • Julie Robinson is a specialist fitness instructor with a range of DVDs available at www.moveitorloseit.co.uk 0800 612 0450. Send your fitness questions to Julie via email at yours@bauermedia.co.uk
  • There's more great advice from Julie in every issue of Yours magazine, out every fortnight on a Tuesday.