This blog chronicles my life as I try to balance healthy lifestyle habits with my husband's penchant for pizza rolls and my daughter's desire to watch iCarly 8 hours a day. It contains a mostly humorous, kind, and somewhat spiritual look at everyday life and the people who live it.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Metabolism Myths

I was talking to my sister yesterday and listening to her worry that her slower metabolism  is due to aging.  I set her straight about metabolism and thought perhaps there were others out there thinking that their metabolic rate is dependant upon their age.  Not so, my friends, not so.  Your metabolic rate is determined by your muscle mass.   Build more muscle, burn more calories.  Lose muscle, your metabolism will slow down. 

Lift weights to lose weight

Recently one of my blog buddies, Karen, wrote on her blog Fitness A Journey Not a Destination about this very topic.  I learned a lot about metabolism when I was enrolled at the University of Toledo taking kinesiology classes.  My instructor emphasized that three exercise components are necessary to ensure overall health: weight training, cardio, and gaining flexibility.  Focusing on only one of those 3 may give you the appearance of good health but as you age the deficits will become more apparent.  Since metabolism is the topic of the day, I'll focus on that and cover the other topics later.

How to rev up your metabolism?  Follow these steps:
1.  Eat 4-6 small meals a day to keep your blood sugar levels constant
2.  Weight train 3 times a week, increasing the difficulty level as reps become easier
3.  Drink plenty of water, dehydration decreases metabolism
4.  Limit consumption of alcohol, OTC drug, and prescription drugs (when possible)
5.  Sleep and wake at regular hours, preferably for 7-8 hours a night.

Have you ever heard of your Real Age?   Your body doesn't know how old it is, only how well it is maintained.

I'm sure there are many other ways to increase metabolism, if you have any other tips I'd love to hear them.


AB HOME Interiors said...

Wow great advice. I had no idea. ALMOST motivates me more to get to the gym,LOL!

karen@fitnessjourney said...

Thanks for the mention Beth. Great information! I never thought about the effect of dehydration on metabolism.

Beth said...

Hello AB HOME, thank you for commenting because your comment linked me to your gorgeous blog - I loved the pictures and felt the advice was practical and do-able.

I especially liked the advice about dressing your windows because mine have been woefully neglected since we moved to our new house.

Beth said...

Karen I am notorious for forgetting my water bottle on the kitchen island as I walk out the door so unfortunately I am all too familiar with the effects of dehydration on muscle performance, aerobic energy, and metabolism.

My next Green Tip Tuesday will talk about this very problem, so stay tuned!