7 Metabolism Boosting Facts
What is your metabolism and exactly how can you tweak it so it works with you rather than against you? Boost your metabolism by learning these 7 undeniable facts.
Your metabolism is simply all the processes within your body’s cells which produce energy to keep you alive, breathing, moving and – yes – running. Everything from cell regeneration to your hormonal system, to digestion and walking around contributes to your own personal metabolism. It’s your unique furnace, the way you burn calories, and the way in which your body fuels itself at a cellular level.
Your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) is the rate at which your body uses energy at rest. If you lay in bed all day, your body would still need significant amounts of energy to keep your heart beating, your blood circulating, your food digesting and your cells regenerating. Your internal organs, including your brain, need more energy than you think.
Then there’s your actual activity level, the amount of energy you need to complete daily tasks, regular movement, and dedicated exercise like your running sessions. Whilst most people think about working harder on their activity levels to lose or maintain weight, it’s just as important to optimise your BMR. After all, your BMR is ticking along 24 hours a day, whereas you may only spend a few hours a week out running. What affects your basic metabolic rate?
There are a few factors which undeniably affect your metabolism rate – and plenty you can do about it!
Sorry ladies, but metabolism does slow with age. The great news is that there’s plenty you can do about this. One is to stay active, and not just by running. Extra activity all through the day (standing more, walking more, carrying things, doing chores) will absolutely have a positive effect on metabolism. The other is to be more muscular, lean and sporty than your sedentary sisters.
Another sobering reality is that your genes affect your metabolism. There’s not a lot you can do about this one other than choose your parents wisely!
Unfortunately for us, women do in general terms have slower metabolisms than men. However, a fit, active, lean and sporty woman will have a better optimised metabolism than an overweight, unhealthy and sedentary man, so take heart! By being a female runner, you’re doing all the right things.
4. Muscle Mass
The more muscle you have on your frame, the higher your metabolic rate will be at rest and whilst running. Besides, having a bit of muscle makes your body look firm, healthy and toned. After all, it’s the muscle which gives you shape.
5. Activity Levels
Have you ever noticed how some women manage to stay effortlessly slim? Their secret may simply lie in how active they are. If you’re on the go, walk a lot, do manual chores, don’t shy away from lifting heavy stuff, and like the outdoors lifestyle, chances are you too will have one of those “effortless” slender builds. Small amounts of activity really do add up.
6. Thermic Effect Of Food (TEF).
Surprisingly, the body actually uses a lot of energy digesting your food. That’s one reason to eat smaller meals more frequently, rather than skipping breakfast and underrating all day only to catch up in the evening with large meals. Protein and fibrous foods seem to demand more energy of the body, so prioritise meats, fish, eggs, dairy and other healthy protein sources, along with plenty of leafy green vegetables and other sources of dietary fibre.
7. Intensity Of Your Running
If you don’t already do interval training, hill reps, track sessions or sprints, start now. One or two short but intense running sessions per week will massively ignite your metabolism. The body gets used to exercise, and if all you do is plod around the same route, for the same distance and at the same pace, your body won’t find it a challenge for long.
You’ll no doubt hear about plenty of magic pills, superfoods and weird tips which will boost your metabolism. Don’t fall for it. Fat loss pills, fat burners and overpriced supplements are rarely worth it and often have little to no scientific research behind them. And low calorie, low carb diets are a bad idea for anyone, particularly active female runners. You need to keep your metabolism on side, remember. Nature will always win the battle! So learn how to work with, not against, your metabolic rate and stay fit, healthy and slim whatever your age.