There’s a lot of talk about enchanted pills, smoothies, and diets that can amp up your metabolism but believe it or not; exercise is the magic bullet for boosting your metabolism. Think of your metabolism as a powerhouse that converts your food into energy and propels from one minute to the next without missing a beat.
Factors that Affect Your Metabolism
Multiple factors may affect how well your metabolism operates. Let’s take a moment to examine a few of the things that may get in the way of our bodies functioning at optimal levels.
Studies show that with age, our metabolism begins to decline. This change often leads to extra pounds that are difficult to shed. We lose anywhere from three to five percent of our muscle mass, and we are less active. These two things combined make it easier for the pounds to begin accumulating, especially around the waistline area. Blame it on a slower metabolism. To counteract the effects of aging, we should burn 30 to 50 percent of our calories through exercise activity.
Females tend to have a lower metabolism than men due to a variety of factors including estrogen levels and a lower resting metabolic rate which helps to determine our overall total daily energy release and plays a vital role in the regulation of our energy balance.
Hormones can wreak havoc on your metabolism. Too much cortisol can lead to weight gain and increase our risk of heart disease and diabetes. Working out before consuming a meal can help to drop those cortisol levels and improve your metabolic functions.
Testosterone levels also decrease and can trigger a bit of weight gain and leave us feeling fatigued. Daily workout regimens can help to keep your testosterone levels at healthy and stable levels and allow for a healthy metabolism.
Estrogen is another hormone that triggers metabolism malfunction. An imbalance in this hormone can cause your weight to increase rapidly, giving testimony to metabolism that may not be operating in a way that is most beneficial to you.
Finally, thyroid hormone imbalances can disrupt the overall effectiveness of your metabolism. Thyroid hormone helps to control metabolic processes in the body that are necessary for growth, development, and metabolism.
Hyperthyroidism or a thyroid that is in a hypermetabolic state can cause your metabolism to go into overdrive, leading to weight loss, excessive use of your resting energy. On the other hand, an underperforming thyroid caused by hypometabolism can create a reduced resting energy expenditure, and cause weight gain.
Exercise and Your Metabolism
Figuring out all the ways to regain control of your metabolism can be overwhelming but there is one thing you can do to move the needle, and that is to exercise. Working out helps your muscles to use a fair amount of energy and burn calories. The great thing about exercise is that even after the workout is over your muscles can continue to burn fat and helps to keep your metabolism functioning at optimal levels.
Which Exercise is Best for Your Metabolism?
Is there one single exercise that works best for a healthy metabolism? The short answer is ‘no,’ but there are a couple of activities that when paired together can do wonders help get to put your metabolism into overdrive.
Lift Weights to Burn Fat
Lifting weights is a fantastic approach to helping you not only build muscles but burn fat as well. Muscles use more calories at rest than fat cells. Don’t worry about becoming a gym rat. You only need two days a week to perform two sets of repetitions (12-15) working on those major muscle groups (back, arms, legs, and abs).
Aerobic activity is another must-have ingredient for boosting your metabolism. Interval training is particularly useful and yields positive results. Walking, swimming, kickboxing, jogging, or even Zumba are excellent options for enhancing your metabolism.
In summary, there may be a few options you cannot control when it comes to your metabolism, but exercise is the magic bullet. Your mind, body, and spirit will thank you.