Your next workout can set you up for a faster metabolism.
What is "Metabolism"?
Now you might be thinking what metabolism is. Some of you might already know and can surely skip the few lines below but others should read further to get a clear thought on how this term greatly defines the energy you get from what you eat and how it gets converted to energy.
According to wikipedia,
"Metabolism is the set of life-sustaining chemical reactions in organisms.
The three main purposes of metabolism are:
1. The conversion of food to energy to run cellular processes
2. The conversion of food/fuel to building blocks for proteins, lipids, nucleic acids, and some carbohydrates
3. The elimination of nitrogenous wastes.
These enzyme-catalyzed reactions allow organisms to grow and reproduce, maintain their structures, and respond to their environments."
To put it down simply, "Metabolism is the process by which your body converts the food and water you consume into energy for immediate use or to be stored for later. And this process of metablism can vary among everyone as some people can have faster metabolism."
(photo credits - ghanalive.tv)
Some things you can't control that affect whether your metabolism is speedy or sluggish includes things like your age, sex, and genes. But once you get to know that it is normal, then speeding it up is up to you. You should focus on what really does make a difference: EXERCISE.
Muscle cells need a lot of energy, which in turn means they burn a lot of calories. In fact, they burn more calories than fat cells, and that too even when you're not exercising. So the time you spend working out reps benefits long after you stop sweating.
Exercising becomes even more important as you get older. You start to naturally lose muscle mass with age, which in turn slows down your metabolism. Working out can stop that coast of slide.
So, What's the Solution?
(photo credits - samadimd.com)
It's simple. You need to challenge your muscles often in the following ways:
1. Amp up your workout. Aerobic exercise of any kind, whether it's running or doing Zumba, burns calories. The more intense it gets, the more calories you burn.
Try intervals. It can be combined with any type of cardio. The basic idea is to shift back and forth between higher and lower intensity. You make it more challenging, and then back down your pace, and repeat.
For example, you can do as many jumping jacks as you can for 1 minute, and then walk in place for 2 minutes. Repeat this for 15 minutes and you just made through your intervals.
2. Lift weights. Because muscle uses a lot of calories than fat, strengthening your muscles will make you into a more efficient calorie-burning machine, even when you're resting.
Twice a week, do 1 or 2 sets of 12 to 15 reps on each major muscle group (abs, biceps, glutes, quads).
You'll be doing way more than just helping your metabolism. Your heart, bones, and even your mood will get benefit. It's a win-win all around.