If you are trying to lose weight, your metabolism will be one of the main focuses of your weight loss journey. So how does exercise affect metabolic rate? Let’s read on to discover more about how your body works and how you can lose more weight with less effort.
What is Metabolism?
Your metabolism is how much energy your body burns to give it the energy you need. On average, about 75% of the energy you use daily is burned by your resting metabolic rate (RMR) – this includes the energy you would spend eating, sleeping or doing vigorous activities. Another 10% of the energy you use daily is burned by your body in order to process and break down food into energy or store it for later.
The rest is called physical activity energy expenditure (PAEE or sometimes TEA), which is what your body uses whenever you are moving about, whether the activity is very easy or very laborious. This means that the most energy will be consumed resting, by your resting metabolic rate, RMR.
How does Metabolic Rate (MBR) affect you?
How much energy your body has affects the rest of your body as a connected, complex system. Too little energy from a slow metabolism:
- Always feeling tired – your metabolism is too slow for what your body needs
- Gaining weight and not being able to take it off – because your metabolism is slow, it’s too easy to stockpile energy and very difficult to burn it
- Feeling cold a lot – if your hands or feet are cold often
- Hormonal imbalances – women can also suffer if their metabolism is too low by hormone imbalances, affecting hair and menstrual cycles
Why you should care about Metabolic Rate?
While you can’t control how many calories your body needs to continue its functions, you actually can control your metabolic rate – most people don’t realize this. Around age 25, your metabolic rate starts to slow by 5% to 10% every 10 years. But, if you are physically active, that decline drops to around 0.3%, which is less than 1%.
Since metabolic rate basically is how fast you burn energy it’s a crucial factor in losing weight and keeping it off. Many people who gain weight easily and have trouble losing it are that way because of an extremely metabolic rate, such as from a sedentary, sitting down lifestyle.
Did you know that your metabolic rate plays a part in how long you will live? Mammals with a lower heart rate lived quite longer than their counterparts, including humans.
To lower your heart rate, you simply need to exercise more so your heart is stronger and doesn’t need to beat as often, and along with all of this, your metabolic rate will increase due to the exercise. In the text below you will see how does exercise affect metabolic rate.
Other Factors that affect your Metabolic Rate
Your metabolism is like a formula between many things. We know that your metabolism is affected by the following things:
- Lifestyle – are you active or sedentary?
- Body size – the more skin surface you have, the harder your metabolism has to work
- Muscle – each muscle requires more energy than fat, making your metabolism speed up to work harder
- Genetics – good and bad genes travel through your lineage
- Diet – what you eat plays a part as well, like not getting enough vitamins or minerals, or drinking caffeine to increase your metabolic rate
Metabolic Rate versus Dieting
Surprisingly, a low calorie diet actually causes your metabolism to fall, since there isn’t as much food for the body to process. A popular dieting methodology, called intermittent fasting (IF) encourages a low calorie diet through skipping meals, or perhaps even several. Science shows that this also slows your metabolism way down, as there is less food to process.
With a newly lowered metabolism, this means that as soon as you stop the diet, you’ll gain that weight back as your metabolism, the rate you burn food, has dropped. This makes perfect sense with new study findings that the biggest indicator of weight gain is whether a person considers themselves on a diet.
How to increase your Metabolic Rate?
There is really only one way to easily boost your metabolism – by making sure that all your body’s needs are met, getting enough sleep, water, and vitamins and minerals. If you’re on a vegan or vegetarian diet, that will also include making sure that you’re getting enough protein. Stimulants like the caffeine in coffee or tea can also help, but they only last a few hours.
The rest of increasing your metabolic rate lies in the hard work of exercise. Unfortunately, there aren’t any scientific studies that say the minimum amount of minutes to exercise for the maximum metabolic effect. That is, you’ll never find a study that says you only need to work out ten minutes a day to boost your metabolism to its maximum. To further complicate things, everyone’s body is a little bit different, so studies can conclude generalities.
What science does know is that your metabolism is definitely affected by any kind of aerobic exercises, cardio exercises, and lifting weights to burn fat and create muscles in their stead.
In one study, participants who did resistance training elevated their metabolism enough to burn an extra 100 calories per day after only 6 months of training.
In another study, intense cardio workout participants worked out 60 minutes to 4 hours per week for a year and a half and increased their metabolism to burn an extra 129 calories a day.
A good rule of thumb might be that every 10 to 15 minutes of moderate to hard exercise increases your energy expenditure up to 20% higher.
How does Exercise affect Metabolic Rate?
As you can see, exercise and meeting one’s bodily needs both play a primary role in determining your metabolic rate, and this has a big impact on your weight loss and exercise goals as well. Now you go and share your knowledge of how exercise affects metabolic rate with your neighbor or friend.