Exercise and the Science of Metabolism

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Regardless the kind of exercise or activity you do, you will always require some sort of energy to complete the task at hand.

Without our metabolic processes’ we would not be able to convert the food we eat into usable fuel.

Around 60% of the energy we get from our food is used for keeping the body alive and its organs working correctly. The other 40% can be used for walking, exercise and other daily activities.

If the energy does not get used, a big part of it will be stored in the body as fat.

Extensive dieting reduces our metabolic rate, cuts down your energy levels and is not the best way to lose weight.

Exercise can help to increase your resting metabolic rate, meaning you’ll start to burn more calories even while your body is in its resting mode.

High intensity exercise or vigorous resistance training can cause you to burn calories for hours after the training has been completed.

This is due to your elevated heart rate and breathing rate and continues until your body returns to its normal resting state. During the time after one of these sessions, it’s very important to get the right nutrients into your system.

Protein in a liquid form (Protein shake) is ideal within the first hour of finishing training. This format is processed quicker as your body does not have to break down any solid food.

You should drink plenty of water to help all the nutrients travel around your body, crucial to repairing your body.

Getting to bed on time is also vital, as most of this repairing is done when you are fast asleep.

To back up my points, I found this research study:

Two groups of middle aged to older women were gathered, to see if adding a strict 35 grams of whey protein to their daily diet would help with skeletal muscle mass percentage and overall body composition.

The group of females that were given the whey protein, as well as resistance training, had significantly better results than the group without the monitored protein intake.

Exercising “properly” for thirty minutes, three to four times a week is all it takes to start improving the rate of your metabolism.

In a study done for a ten-week period, using obese rats, they looked to determine if moderate intensity exercise verses high intensity exercise had more benefits for improvement in glucose metabolism and overall fat loss.

The rats that only did the moderate exercise routine had almost the same results in speeding up their metabolism but did not decrease their overall fat percentage over the time of the study.

So the high intensity exercise was observed to be more proper!

Diet and lifestyle obviously play a huge part in an individual’s energy output.

Simple adjustments can make a big difference, such as standing instead of sitting at work or when you’re at the gym try working out multiple muscle groups in an exercise, such as in a back squat or deadlift compared to a basic biceps curl, where you are only isolating one muscle group.

Age does play a part in the slowing down of your metabolism, which is said to decrease in speed by 5% every decade past the age of thirty.

When you reach 45 years old you will likely be burning up to 200 calories less than you were when you were 25 years of age.

This means diet and exercise is that much more vital to your health and wellbeing. Older age also increases your chance of getting metabolic syndrome.
Metabolic syndrome is multiple conditions that band together, increasing your chances of a stroke, heart problems and type II diabetes.

Conditions could include, high blood pressure, excess of body fat around the waist, high blood sugar, high cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Metabolic syndrome is very closely linked to obesity and being inactive.

The signs of these conditions can sometimes be hard to notice, you may experience symptoms of diabetes such as, increased thirst and urination, chronic fatigue and blurry vision.

The best way to prevent any of these things happening is to maintain a healthy diet and regular exercise throughout your week.

If you are going through anything like this, make sure you are eating plenty of green and vibrant colored fruits and vegetables, as these hold plenty of good antioxidants that will help lower blood pressure, improve insulin resistance and lower your cholesterol.

Even if your body composition doesn’t change initially, this will be helping you in ways you cannot physically see.

Carbohydrates are the body’s primary and preferred source of energy.

Through our metabolism we process these carbohydrates and turn them into energy for exercise and maintaining our body’s overall function and health. Carbohydrate intake is also important to help with processing fat.

Great sources of good carbohydrates are grains, beans, fruits and vegetables.

Try to stay away from anything that your body does not recognize as “real” food, such as bread, white rice and ice cream.

These foods might give you a little kick of energy for five minutes but if too many of these types of food are eaten without exercise, you will be more likely to store unwanted body fat and therefore not do any favors to the speed of your body’s metabolism.

If you overload your body on these bad carbs or high sugar foods it will increase your risk of insulin resistance, meaning your body will not be able to properly process the food you are eating, this can lead to pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes. 

The nutrient protein not only helps you repair damaged muscle cells but also slows the breakdown of carbohydrates.

This means that the carbohydrate you’ve consumed can be slowly released as energy throughout your day, with little to none of the energy wasted or stored as fat.

At the end of the day we all need energy to survive. Without these metabolic process’s we would have no way of converting our food to the energy that we require.

Diet can have a huge impact on weight loss but accompanied by regular exercise, is without a doubt the most effective way to improve and maintain a healthy life and preventing any of these unnecessary road bumps from getting in your way.

Metabolic syndrome is scary and is growing more and more common to see.

The good news is you can do a lot to help prevent it from happening.

Making poor quality food choices and not spending too much time being inactive, both of which could push you down the road of having some of the highlighted issues, later in life.

Making the right choices for food and committing to your exercise now, will take you in the right direction. 

If you struggle to train by yourself for any reason, why not try out a moderate to high intensity group fitness class like Spinning or FCT. Or if you would prefer a more one to one session, see what a Habit personal trainer could put you through in a thirty-minute session.

Habit also has dieticians available if you would like to discuss your food choices further.

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Let's go on this journey together and change your life as always, “Practice with Purpose and Live with Passion!”




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