Discover the Truth about Exercise and Metabolism

Your metabolism is the process of everything your body does, to convert the food you eat into energy, keeping you alive. This process may be faster for some than for others and this may be due to a number of uncontrollable factors. For example, gender, genetic makeup, medical predispositions, age etc. Exercise and metabolism is a general concept that most people talk about. This is why once you understand the normal process of metabolism, speeding it up is in your control. You need to redirect your focus on what really gives results: exercise.

Your Muscles, Exercise and Metabolism?

The cells in your muscle require tones of energy. This means they burn a lot of calories. In fact, muscle cells burn more calories than fat cells. This occurs even after you stop exercising. In other words, the time you invested in working out is benefiting you for a period of time after.

As you age, exercise becomes even more important. With age, muscle mass is naturally lost and your metabolism slows down. Exercise helps you take control of this downward slope.

By challenging your muscles, you keep yourself in good health and good shape. In Addition, you reap the benefits of the effects of exercise on your metabolism.

For years now, research has been looking into the benefits and mechanisms behind working out on the body. As much as we clearly understand this effect, there is still a problem that requires attention: There is a large range of the individual response to exercise on the body and weight loss. The entire mechanism is not yet fully understood. On the positive side, however, there is enough understanding for us to call out some of the most popular and dangerous myths out there.

Top 4 Exercise Myths Busted

#1 Exercise Increases Hunger

This is simply not true. A study in 2019 took people who exercised for 90 minutes. The study concluded that the same range of daily calories were consumes both on workout days and non workout days. It doesn’t stop there, a number of studies have demonstrated that vigorous exercise briefly down-regulates ghrelin. Ghrelin is hormone responsible for stimulating appetite. In other words, you actually feel less hungry post exercise.

#2 Exercise won’t help you lose weight

For some this is clearly a myth. However it is still a rumor circulating out there. Often, this myth validates the experiences you hear of that guy who gained weight after training for the marathon.

There are at least 20 genes related to the degree to which you respond to exercise. How these genes score, have an impact on the response of your exercise and metabolism. Nutrition plays a big role in this too. In particular the balance between working out and diet.

Exercise helps weight loss on there levels:

1. Limits Weight Gain

The science is pretty set on this one. An abundance of data has taught us that keeping active is crucial for preventing weight gain. Research shows that more than this, regular exercise has benefits to your mental state and energy. It gears up your metabolism and improves quality of life. Not to mention the decrease in risks of chronic diseases.

2. Weight Loss

Weight loss studies have determined that exercise does indeed assist in at least some weight loss. The more intense the workout, the more you loose (without dietary interventions). When adding suitable nutrition to the mix, the results are greater.

3. Maintains Weight Loss

Losing weight isn’t easy, but this is only half the challenge. Keeping it off is often harder. Your metabolism downshifts. At this point hormonal processes kick in, often meaning you regain at least some of those pounds you lost. By exercising regularly, you ensure to keep those pounds off.

#3 Working out Means you can Reward yourself

Sure, you’ve worked hard, what’s the big deal? Basically those few seconds of indulgence can undo an hour of hard work. Let’s put it this way. You were 1 hour in your Zumba class, you burned 400-500 calories, that’s great. But on you way home you stop by at Starbucks. In one single drink you have almost re-consumed everything you worked hard to burn off.

Studies have looked into people who exercise, but do not loose as they had expected to, or even gained weight. It was found that for these people, they often reward themselves disproportionately to the activity they carried out.

An interesting study in 2010 in the University of Ottawa, found that participants way over estimated calorie expenditure post work , making them much less likely to disproportionately compensate themselves.

But there is a light at the end of the tunnel. New evidence is suggesting that by working out, you rewire your brain in such way that you are less inclined to indulge in unhealthier “rewards”.

#4 We Exercise More, but Society is Fatter

This is just one of those pseudo correlations. It suggests that exercise results in weight gain. This is a myth we have discussed previously. There is no empirical evidence to suggest this. Most importantly, this assumes that a large percentage of society is actually working out. Statistical data is saying otherwise.

Conclusion

Whatever kind of movement you do, it contributes to making a difference. Even walking home from work can make up for the calories we didn’t burn sitting at our desks. We need to focus on the bigger picture and understand what exercise does do, rather than what it does not. The bottom line is, that exercise goes way beyond appetite and weight loss/control. The benefits of working out spill into every aspect of our lives.

About Nathan Dolton

Nathan is a fitness enthusiast and holds a BSc in Sports, Fitness and Coaching. Having participated in 2 IRONMAN competitions and ran 3 marathons, he is at the top of his game. His main interests are in the long term metabolic changes of the body for endurance athletes. He works as a personal trainer and is a keen blogger who is passionate about taking his knowledge and making it accessible to all. He believes in a well rounded approach to a healthy lifestyle of the body and mind.

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