How Exercise Affects Your Metabolism and How You Can Boost It

You might not think that exercising has a huge impact on your metabolism. 

If you are someone who doesn't like to exercise, this is probably even less of an incentive for you, however, there's no denying that when we workout, our bodies release endorphins and other hormones that are known to promote fat burning! How Exercise Affects Your Metabolism

When it comes to dieting, many people are aware of how difficult it can be to lose weight. 

This is where exercise comes in as it can really help to boost your metabolism meaning you will start to burn more calories throughout the day.

Firstly, though..:

What is "metabolism"?

If you're not sure what metabolism means, it's the process by which our bodies turn food and drink into energy. This can happen in two ways: aerobic or anaerobic.

Aerobic respiration takes place when oxygen gets to your cells and releases carbon dioxide as a waste product - this happens during long periods of exercise like running, biking, swimming laps, etc.

Anaerobic respiration goes through glycolysis which is where glucose is broken down without using up any oxygen so that ATP (energy) can be released. 

When we are at rest - while watching TV or reading a book; you get the idea - our bodies rely primarily on resting metabolic rate for fuel production. 

The faster our hearts beat from exercising aerobically, the more oxygen will get to our cells which gives you an increased metabolism.

What can you do to Boost your Metabolism?

If you're doing all the right things, but not seeing the results you want, it might be because your engine is running on half gas. 

We've got a fix for that: use these 7 shortcuts to shift your metabolism into high gear and squash those stubborn pounds.

Get set...ready... GO!

Get more ZZZ's

It’s not just lack of sleep that affects your appetite; a disturbed circadian rhythm can also disrupt normal hormone production which in turn will affect what you eat.

Research has indicated that adults who slept for only five hours a night had significantly more ghrelin than those who slept at least seven hours while also having lower levels of leptin.

This is a double-whammy for your body's fat cells; once hormones are affected, you wind up consuming more than your body needs and voilà... your clothes feel a little tighter and the scale starts to creep upward.

How to prevent this from happening:

Experts recommend 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night, a consistent wake-up time, and darkening your bedroom for at least thirty minutes before you go to bed.

If this is difficult to achieve on your own there are natural sleep aids like melatonin or chamomile that can help regulate the body's circadian rhythm.

Wake up, sleepyhead

What does your current morning routine consist of? Showering? Brushing your teeth then getting dressed?

If the answer is yes, then you are skipping perhaps two of the most important things you could do to help boost your metabolism:

Have breakfast – and no, coffee alone won't cut it...

Over the years, most of us have rolled our eyes at this statement at one point or another - surely, if a meal is skipped, you're consuming less calories, so job done!

Not so fast, my friend...

Dodging the first meal of the day because you just can't face it, is also a great opportunity to kickstart your metabolism and give it a huge helping hand.

Your metabolism can be initiated by eating breakfast, which literally means breaking the overnight fasting mode your body has been in to maintain calories.

Eating a balanced breakfast every day will stimulate your metabolism.

Move it or lose it

To some, this may sound like their worst nightmare, however, exercising in the morning is another awesome way to boost your metabolism and get your morning off to a much better start.

If you are able to get past the earlier starts, the boost that your metabolism receives sets you up for the rest of the day, meaning doing the same things that you would ordinarily do every day will burn more calories, even if all you manage is 20 minutes of walking...

Get moving 2.0

Although not everyone would be willing to admit it, working out (in some form) every day is an amazing habit to get into.

Cardiovascular exercise can significantly improve your metabolic rate and help you burn more calories, however, it is not the only way - from a weight perspective alone, adding lean muscle tissue to your frame through high-intensity resistance training will enable daily calorie burn.

The "how" is not necessarily as important as actually getting in exercise - if the idea of spending an hour in the gym every day leaves you cold, you could break it up into smaller chunks and vary the type(s) of workout you're getting. 

Some research would indicate that, along with being more convenient, it may also be more efficient when it comes to burning fat.

Remember, the "how" is not as important as actually doing the thing!

Three squares vs. all-day buffet?

Controversially, some would say you might not need three square meals a day. A far more sustainable idea is to graze on healthy snacks or eat smaller meals throughout the day.

Eating a diet consisting of five to six small healthy meals throughout the day helps boost your metabolism and overall energy levels, thus increasing fat burning.

Skipping meals may seem like a better solution, however, this is slightly counterproductive; it forces your metabolism to slam on the brakes in order to preserve the status quo, ie. hanging onto calories because your body is no longer certain when it will be allowed to feed again. 

When you do eventually eat, your body will think it went too long without food and is likely to store more calories to prepare for the next time you "starve" it, thus the vicious circle is completed.

Chug, chug, chug

Drinking enough water does not only hydrate our bodies, but it also helps you lose weight. When we are properly hydrated, the brain is tricked into thinking that your stomach is full and you won't be as hungry. 

Exercising can help boost this effect by burning more calories and increasing metabolism.

Spice up your life

A temporary increase in body temperature may increase your metabolism, which can, in turn, help with weight loss.

Hot/spicy foods like chili peppers, jalapeños and garlic have been shown to raise body temperature that is related to increased weight loss via burning stored fat.

Eating spicy foods can increase feelings of satisfaction, which might lead you to stop eating sooner and eat less for the day.

Save calories by adding hot sauce or other fiery spices to your food!

Increase calcium intake

Calcium provides a big boost in metabolism, which means it has the potential to make weight loss easier .

The most important role of calcium in metabolism is to regulate the conversion of stored energy into usable forms. 

It also aids with muscle function and bone growth, which are beneficial for those looking to keep muscles when building up a healthy body composition.

Calcium may be found naturally in milk or other dairy products like yogurt, cheese and even some types of tofu.

For those who are vegan, soy milk and cereal can also be a good source for calcium.

If you're not able to find any other way to boost the amount of calcium in your diet, then try investing in supplements!

Calcium carbonate is one possible option which can provide 600 mg per dose .

Wrapping up:

Your metabolism is the key to getting more energy and burning fat. It’s important for your overall health, but it also affects how you feel throughout the day.

The good news is that there are many ways to boost your metabolism naturally – some of which we’ve just discussed! Start with these simple lifestyle changes today and see if they help you get on track towards a healthier future.

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