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Michael TorchiaOperation Fitness
By
Michael Torchia

The Metabolism

Many people think of metabolism as how many calories a body burns in one day.  In reality, metabolism is also involved with chemical and physical reactions that take place within the body.  Everything from using proteins to build muscle to breaking food down to the basic fats, carbohydrates and proteins it needs to run efficiently is a metabolic process.

You need a good combination of eating well, daily exercise and an overall healthy lifestyle to keep your metabolism running at its peak.  Stress and lack of sleep are enemies of this process and diseases such as diabetes and thyroid disorders can wreak havoc on a healthy metabolism.

Cardiovascular training is one of the best metabolism boosters there is, especially when you vary your intensity zones every time you exercise.  However, weight training and other resistance training help build muscle, which, in turn, help burns calories.  According to a report published in the Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care, even when resting, muscle burns 3 times as many calories as fat.   Muscle burns about 6 calories per pound per day while fat burns around 2.  A difference of 4 calories per pound doesn’t seem like a lot, but an extra 5 pounds of muscle will burn about 30 extra calories a day.   That’s 10,950 calories a year---a 3-pound fat loss that will mean a higher, faster metabolism.

The best way to exercise is to have a combination of cardiovascular and weight training.  They both will give you a metabolic boost for up to two hours after your workout is over.  The bottom line is this, keep up your cardio exercise and muscle building and you’ll have an easier time keeping your weight down.

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