How Does Exercising Boost Metabolism?

Give your metabolism a boost with weight lifting and cardio.

Give your metabolism a boost with weight lifting and cardio.

You might have had the metabolism of a hummingbird when you were a child, but now that you’re getting older, it seems impossible to lose weight with the metabolism you’ve been given. But don’t lose hope! While there are unchangeable factors influencing your metabolic rate, there are ways to help your metabolism reach its full potential. Exercise is the best way to boost your metabolism. To increase your metabolic rate, make aerobic and weight-training workouts a part of your daily routine.

The Metabolism

How your body converts food and fluid you take in into energy for everyday living is metabolism, according to MayoClinic.com. A term that is often used in place of metabolism is metabolic rate. Your basal metabolic rate is the number of calories required by your body to carry out basic, day-to-day functions. The factors that determine your particular basal metabolic rate are your sex, your age and the composition and size of your body.

Short Term

Exercise is a short-term remedy that immediately increases your metabolic rate. The concept that your body continues to burn an increased number of calories after you have finished your workout is called afterburn. The number of additional calories you burn after you’ve finish exercising depends on the intensity and length of your workout. Any type of exercise will cause a short-range afterburn, but the type of workout with the greatest afterburn is weight training. This is due to the extra demand put on your body during weight-training sessions.

Long Term

The afterburn effect is a pleasant short-term reward of exercise, but exercise also boosts your metabolism in the long run. Exercise, particularly weight training, can increase your basal metabolic rate by changing your body composition. The more muscle mass you have, the more calories your body will burn while at rest. Adding strength training to your workout routine can increase your muscle mass and reduce fat, which increases the number of calories your body burns while at rest. Reducing the fat on your body is good not only for your self-esteem, but also for your overall health. Extra fat, especially the visceral kind, which surrounds your internal organs, increases your risk of cardiovascular disease and insulin resistance, as well as other chronic health conditions, according to The Harvard Medical School.

Importance of Exercise

The importance of using exercise to boost your metabolism increases with age. Between the ages of 30 and 70, sedentary people tend to lose at least 30 percent of their muscle mass. This means that even if you have a fast metabolism at the age of 20, the changes in your body composition as you age will decrease your basal metabolic rate. In order to prevent weight gain, you need to decrease your caloric intake as your basal metabolic rate decreases. The good news is that consistent weight training can prevent most of this decrease in muscle mass, making it feasible to maintain and even increase your metabolism.

 

About the Author

Danielle Clark has been a writer since 2009, specializing in environmental and health and fitness topics. She has contributed to magazines and several online publications. Clark holds a Bachelor of Science in ecology and environmental science.

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