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Hard Exercise and Metabolism
You've probably heard the phrase “I have a fast metabolism.” uttered by a skinny person. You may have also heard “I have a slow metabolism.” uttered by a heavy set person. In fact, you may have even said, or at least thought, such a thing about yourself. Here are three big questions that you should ask yourself, though.
What is metabolism?
There are a couple ways to describe metabolism. The most in-depth way is that it's the series of chemical reactions within the human body. Those reactions are necessary for all aspects of our lives. They help with things like energy conversion and growth.
Metabolism takes place when a series of enzymes are used to convert chemicals into other chemicals. By using these enzymes, along with spontaneous releases of energy, the body can do one of two major things, depending on the type of metabolism.
You see, metabolism can be divided into two types. There's Anabolism, which can help to create nucleic acids and proteins. There's also Catabolism, though. Catabolism is a process of cellular respiration. Essentially, it breaks down organic components into energy that the body can use to function.
Another, and perhaps easier, way to define metabolism is that it is the rate at which your body burns calories. For example, your resting metabolic rate is known as the RMR. Everybody's RMR is different, but your RMR makes up about sixty-five to seventy-five percent of the calories that you're going to burn each day. Now this brings me to the second question that you should be asking.
Can a person actually have a particularly slow or particularly fast metabolism?
The answer to that question is definitely, yes. A person can indeed be predisposed to having either a slow metabolism or a fast one. For some people that means they can seemingly eat anything and never gain weight. For others, though, it sometimes feels as though they can pack on the pounds by just looking at a cookie or cupcake the wrong way.
Of course, that's not really true. You do have to actually eat to gain weight. For some people, though, it's a lot easier to keep the pounds off than for others. The good news is, though, that you aren't necessarily stuck with a slow metabolism, if you happen to be one of those people. The third big question is, how do you control your metabolism instead of it controlling you?
Metabolism and Exercise:
Well, as mentioned above, RMR only accounts for up to three quarters of your calorie expenditure in a day. There are two things that make up the rest. The first is calorie burning related to food digestion, which makes up no more than about ten percent of the daily expenditure. The second is energy expended from the physical activities of daily life.
Can hard exercise elevate your metabolic rate? Well, yes, it certainly can. If you're taking in less calories than your body needs during exercise it will start to metabolize existing energy sources in your body. In other words, it will raid your fat deposits. That can be a great way to lose some weight and temporarily increase your metabolism.
What you need to understand, though, is that the benefits may not work exactly as you intend them to. For example, many people think that their metabolism will continue on at a faster rate after they stop exercising. Well, if you're just doing a medium sort of workout, that's true, but not really worth it. Your metabolism should return to its normal rate within an hour after you stop exercising and you're only likely to burn around thirty extra calories.
The Irony of the Situation:
The irony of the situation is that, if you exercise at a much higher intensity, your metabolism should stay boosted for a longer time after you stop. However, people who do high-intensity workouts tend to be professional athletes, or, at least, people who are already in great shape. If you're looking to lose a few pounds, you probably aren't in the condition you need to be in to do a routine that would help you in that way. As mentioned earlier, though, some exercise is certainly better than none, as far as metabolism boosting goes.
Other Metabolism Boosters:
Of course, exercise isn't the only way to boost your metabolism. Changing your diet and staying properly hydrated, for example, can each play a large part in weight gain or loss and energy conversion, in general. So, it's a good idea to talk to your doctor about a diet and exercise routine that will work best to boost your metabolism, based on your personal issues, such as age, weight and general health.
What It All Comes Down To:
It all comes down to one thing. Exercise is good for you and it will increase your metabolism. It's not going to make you thinner over night, though. However, provided you have realistic goals in mind, you can increase your metabolism through exercise and other factors and help yourself to meet those goals faster.
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