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August 1, 2020

Working out regularly: Why it’s important to your metabolic health


Last month, we talked about 4 major factors that play a role in your metabolism. Check that out here!

This post we’ll dive even further into your metabolism and I’ve got some pretty cool human facts to share with you - because SCIENCE. I hope at least one of them leaves you feeling empowered and ready to get after your goals! 

P.S. Like Water Crossfit can help you with setting and reaching your nutrition and fitness goals! 

It’s tempting to think of your metabolism as something you can “turn up” or “turn down” or say it is really slow or observe others and say “wow, they must have a great metabolism”... but the fact is, metabolism is a series of complicated processes that happen in your cells – and the more cells you have, the faster your metabolism will work and function.

Random fact: the average person has 30 trillion cells! That’s a lot of cells … and a lot of metabolism is going on!

BMR, what does it stand for? What is it?...and why is it important?

The biggest chunk of your calorie burn (aka your metabolism) happens just to keep you alive – it’s known as your BMR, your basal metabolic rate. BMR can vary a LOT between people.

Some functions of your BMR are: breathing, blood circulation, controlling body temperature, cell growth, brain and nerve function, and contraction of muscles. Some things that impact your BMR are things you can’t control – genetics, gender, and your activity level among other things.

But there’s actually a lot you CAN do to turn up your metabolism, and it has to do with your body composition.

I like to think of these ‘metabolic boosters’ like compound interest ... it’s not going to make you rich overnight, but over time, it adds up in a big way!

Here it is …

Add more muscle to your body through your workouts. And I’m not talking about giant Hulk muscles, by the way. I simply mean strong, flexible, and supple muscle! 

Our muscle mass decreases as we age, and this contributes to a slower metabolic rate. But you can counteract this process by picking up the weights to help lessen this decline. 

Scientists estimate that every pound of muscle you have burns about 6 calories a day while you’re resting. That’s triple the amount of a pound of fat, which comes in at about 2 calories a day. So if you have less muscle - like when we age - then you're ultimately burning less calories.

So, 10 pounds of fat would burn 20 calories a day, while 10 pounds of muscle would burn 60. Not that impressive, you would think? But over a year, 10 pounds of muscle burns 21,900 calories (a little over 6 pounds), while 10 pounds of fat burns 7,300 calories in a year (around 2 pounds). 

That means workouts that build your muscles – whether it’s old-school bodybuilding workouts, or fitness workouts that include weights – have a double-whammy effect!

Not only are you burning calories WHILE you’re doing them, but you get a BONUS burn in the future as you build muscle! Pretty cool, right?

 Beyond your workouts, it’s important to get enough protein depending on your activity that can be between 10% and 35% of your daily calories - to help build, repair, and maintain your muscle.


Want to get even MORE SCIENCY?


The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that if you want to build muscle, on top of adding resistance training to your workouts, you should eat 1.2 to 1.7 grams of protein per kg of body weight per day – which equals 0.5 to 0.8 grams per pound of body weight and other sources say it should be in the range of 1.4 to 2.0 g/kg for muscle synthesis. For a hypothetical 150 lb (68 kg) person the protein needs would be between 95-135 g of protein per day. 

Check out this article for more information on protein! 

Age, activity level, calories consumed, genetics and hormones – all can affect our metabolism. With healthy, balanced eating habits and regular activity, you can sustain a healthy life.

We all have different metabolisms and we are all very different genetically speaking  ­– hair color, eye color, shapes and sizes. Many factors can affect metabolism. The main thing is don’t compare yourself to someone else. 

Focus on you and your health, at Like Water Crossfit - we can help you dial in your exercise and nutrition! It is for all ages and walks of life! Check us out today!


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