REV IT UP!
Vijay Thakkar, Founder and CEO, 48 Fitness, Mumbai, spells out why increasing your metabolism is vital for long term fitness results.
Metabolism is a continuous chemical reaction in the body that converts food and drinks into energy to sustain the body and help it function smoothly. Simply put, it is the rate at which the body and mind expend energy and burn calories.
This function occurs in all living organisms and is carried out tirelessly. The body uses energy not only for intensive activities but also while at rest, for salient functions like breathing, blood circulation, various hormonal and cellular level adjustments. The number of calories your body uses to carry out these basic functions is known as your Basal Metabolic Rate or BMR.
The higher your metabolism, the easier it is for you to shed those kilos. The only true way to increase your metabolism is by increasing the muscle mass and by hydrating yourself.
Although every person’s metabolic rate is different, one can estimate their calorie intake based on their body weight and lifestyle. Unless you are someone who trains and exercises as a professional athlete or sportsperson, around 70% of your daily calorie intake is used by the body to maintain and run its processes – this is your Resting Metabolic Rate or RMR. The remaining 30% is spent on additional activities like movement.
The higher your metabolism, the easier it is for you to shed those kilos. But how do you make your metabolism work harder for you? The only true way to increase your metabolism is by increasing the muscle mass and in some cases, by hydrating yourself. Water, caffeine and other food items are also helpful in improving metabolism, albeit just slightly without long lasting results. Exercising, as you get older, is the key to a healthier and snappier metabolism, and since we naturally lose muscle mass as we age, exercising is the only way to stop that.
Here are some exercises that will definitely boost your metabolism and help you lose or gain weight accordingly:
HIGH INTENSITY WORKOUTS
Aerobic exercises like zumba, jogging and cycling can help you burn calories easily. When you amp up the intensity of these low intensity exercises, you obviously burn more calories. Ideally, you should switch between lower and higher intensity workouts. The idea is to push your limits in a set, then rest and repeat.
Muscles use more calories than fat. So logically, strengthening your muscles will only make you an
You should switch between lower and higher intensity workouts. The idea is to push your limits in a set, then rest and repeat.
efficient calorie burning machine, even improving your RMR. Lifting free weights or even body weight training can significantly boost your metabolism, given the fact that you gain muscle mass in the process.
HIGH INTENSITY INTERVAL TRAINING (HIIT)
HIIT is praised as a fitness phenomenon for its effectiveness in fat burning and weight loss. HIIT routines enable the body to burn fats, even while sedentary. This is made possible because it triggers a bodily reaction called Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption or EPOC. During HIIT, the heart rate increases dramatically and more oxygen is pumped throughout the body; post-workout the body tries to overcompensate for the sudden oxygen deficit. Studies have shown that the effects of EPOC can last for up to 36 hours post-workout. That is a day-and-a-half of burning extra calories even without working out! Studies have also proven that HIIT doubles the amount of calories burned as compared to other aerobic and cardio exercises.
People with a leaner physique and more muscle mass tend to have a higher rate of metabolism, and hence burn more calories even with relatively low physical activity. It also depends on the age and sex of a person. Men find it easier to lose weight as compared to women as they have less fat and more muscle mass. Similarly, younger people have a much higher metabolic rate compared to someone in their 50s. If you have a slow metabolic rate, the body will burn less calories per workout.
So amp up your metabolism and maintain it with a healthy diet and metabolism boosting exercises.