Can exercise boost your metabolism?
To answer this question, let’s first describe what metabolism actually is. Metabolism is a term that is used to describe all chemical reactions involved in maintaining the living state of the cells and the organism. Metabolism can be divided into two categories:
- Catabolism – the breakdown of molecules to obtain energy
- Anabolism – the synthesis of all compounds needed by the cells
The simpler explanation would be, metabolism is a sum of all the processes from your body function using food supplies as energy. The faster your metabolism, the more efficient you are at burning the food you eat. The more efficient your metabolism is, the less likely you are to gain weight. Naturally, as we get older our metabolism slows down. The more overweight you are, the slower your metabolism.
To boost your metabolism and burn more fat efficiently we need to think about both, correct nutrition and an exercise program. Let’s talk here about exercise and your metabolic rate (The speed of your metabolism).
What is exercise? Exercise is activity requiring physical effort, carried out specifically to sustain or improve health and fitness. When you exercise, your body needs energy.
Where does this energy come from? It comes from the food you eat. Your body uses part of the energy taken from your food right away if needed and stores the rest of it in muscles and liver in the form of glycogen and as fat in your fat cells.
Later on, if you do not have energy directly coming from a food supply, your body can use stored glycogen or triglycerides (fat) as energy for your workout or other physical activities.
Why is this important to know? Well, the more you exercise, the more energy you need to spend. Every time you exercise, you turn your body’s burning machine on. Additionally, the more aggressive you train the more energy you’ll need. But it does not stop here. When you do aggressive high intensity training, you damage your muscles and have by-products of your working muscles, like lactic acid. It takes time and lots of effort for your body to recover after this type of training. Sometimes it may take a couple of days. And since your body is constantly working, so is your metabolism.
Combine both, high intensity training and low steady intensity training. They both have their own benefits and work the best in conjunction with each other. For high intensity training chose very hard routines where you need to push yourself at 100%. Use more exercises that utilize your entire body, something similar to burpees. If you add weights to your wrists and ankles, that would be even better! In addition, make sure to do resistance training, especially for bigger muscle groups, like your quads, hamstrings and back. The bigger the muscle group, the more your body has to work to recover. In addition, working your legs will help you increase the production of your GH and testosterone levels.
However, do not disregard low intensity cardio training as well if you want to lose weight. Look at marathon runners. Have you seen how they look? Skinny, very skinny. Low intensity training for 45-90 minutes will be using your fat as the energy source (as long as you train on empty stomach) instead of using glycogen.
You can increase your metabolic rate at home without going to any gym. You can easily do high intensity training, using your own body weight exercises. You can go for a 45-90-minute run around the block to do your low intensity training. Keep it simple. The biggest trick to improving your metabolism is consistency. You need to be consistent for at least a few months to see long term improvements. Get on it and stick to it! After all, it is your life, you can enjoy it being healthy or suffer being sick. The choice is up to you!