In my last few posts I have been revisiting the topic of boosting your metabolism. I began by explaining exactly what metabolism is and then moved on to explain how eating affects your metabolism. Today I am going to discuss how exercise affects your metabolism.
As I mentioned in previous articles metabolism is influenced by three main factors:
– Your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) (the number of calories you burn performing the basic functions that keep you alive).
– Your level of Physical Activity.
– The Thermic Effect of Foods that you Eat (the number of calories it takes to digest and absorb the foods you eat).
Exercise can have an impact on two of these factors; your BMR and (fairly obviously) your level of Physical Activity. There are two main types of exercise that can affect your metabolism; Cardiovascular Exercise and Resistance Training and I will be discussing both of them below.
HOW DOES CARDIOVASCULAR EXERCISE BOOST YOUR METABOLISM?
Cardiovascular exercise (also known as aerobic exercise) is anything that involves or improves your body’s oxygen consumption. Examples include cycling, jogging, sprinting, skipping, rowing and walking. These types of exercise boost your metabolism quite simply because they require additional calories to perform. Even something as simple as walking for 30 minutes a day will boost your metabolism slightly as this requires more calories than sitting still and not moving.
Cardiovascular exercises also slightly increase your metabolism for a few hours after exercising. According to this article you can burn up to 15% more calories than normal in the 48 hours following a cardiovascular workout. So if you normally burn 2000 calories per day and you do a cardiovascular workout three times per week which burns 500 calories a session then you could potentially burn an extra 3600 calories per week (1500 calories from the three cardiovascular workouts and an additional 300 calories per day from the 15% post workout increase).
HOW DOES RESISTANCE TRAINING BOOST YOUR METABOLISM?
Resistance training (also known as strength training or weight lifting) is anything that involves using resistance to build strength and muscle mass. Examples include bodyweight training, using weight machines and lifting free weights. Resistance training also burns additional calories during the workout but the main way it boosts your metabolism is by increasing your muscle mass. Muscle requires more calories to maintain than fat. The difference is not huge but according to About.com a pound of muscle requires 6 calories per day to maintain whilst a pound of fat requires 2 calories per day to maintain. Therefore, by performing regular resistance training and building muscle mass you can increase your BMR and the overall amount of calories you burn on a day to day basis.
WHICH EXERCISES SHOULD I PERFORM TO MAXIMISE MY METABOLISM?
Both types of exercise are useful for boosting your metabolism. Regular cardiovascular exercise increases the amount of calories you burn through physical activity whilst regular resistance training will increase your lean muscle mass and therefore increase the number of calories you burn whilst resting. In combination the two types of exercise can give your metabolism quite a boost.
I hope this article has fully outlined how exercise influences your metabolism. A good exercise routine can boost your metabolism and burn quite a few calories. However, you need to remember that exercise alone cannot compensate for a poor diet. If you are eating too much then you will not be able to remedy this with exercise (unless you exercise A LOT). Exercise can boost your metabolism but you need to get your diet right too.
Do you guys agree? Do you think diet is more important than exercise when it comes to controlling your weight? Are there any other ways that exercise can boost your metabolism? Let me now your thoughts by leaving a comment.