We often hear about metabolism and the role it plays in our daily living and especially in terms of weight loss. To understand every thing related to our body's metabolism, we first need to understand what metabolism is.
What is meant by metabolism?
Metabolism is all about a number of biochemical reactions that take place within the cells of our body. All these reactions are important for proper functioning of our cells and also to maintain the living state of our body. Metabolic reactions in our body result in two conditions, the synthesis of a substance and molecule breakdown. Thus, metabolism is about energy production in our body and the method in which calories are consumed and then broken down. Once broken down these are converted to energy.
The entire process of metabolism in some people is quite natural and very efficient, while there are many other people who suffer from slow metabolism.
Is it possible to increase metabolism - How?
Metabolism is about the speed at which our body metabolizes food into energy. Though this is a natural process, metabolic rate can be increased. The speed depends on three factors:
- The number of calories consumed
- Number of calories burned
- Genetics. As we know genetics is not in our hands but the consumption and utilization of calories is in our control.
Metabolism can be increased by an active lifestyle. Exercises help in keeping our metabolism active so that our body meets the increased need. A balanced diet and healthy eating habits also help in boosting metabolism as our body uses energy to digest and then absorb all healthy nutrients which are consumed.
A common question which often comes in our mind is - does metabolism actually decrease with age? Well, yes! The reason is simple. As we grow older our physical activities decrease and we are no longer involved in intense exercises. Hence the need for energy in our body declines and with it our metabolism too slows down. Thus, no matter how old you are, it is always good to stay active and exercise regularly so that our metabolism does not slow down.
More muscles mean higher metabolism rate - Is this true?
Yes, this is true. Muscles burn much more calories than fat. As you increase your lean muscle mass, it will increase your metabolism rate and you will have a healthier and fitter life. To build muscles and increase metabolism rate, strength training exercises, resistance training and exercises involving weight lifting are much more effective. Cardiovascular exercises such as running, swimming or brisk walking also help in keeping your heart healthy and will help in burning excess fat from your body.
What If there is no time to exercise? Is there no way to increase metabolism? If you do not have time to hit the gym, it is good to engage in exercises like rock climbing or stair climbing or walking in your office corridors. Doing household work like cleaning, gardening and washing will also help in increasing metabolism. It is all about keeping your body active, staying fit and healthy.
No one wants a slow metabolism because this would mean weight gain and other difficult conditions related to digestion. Moreover, it will be responsible for several ailments too.