How to boost your metabolism for the long run

It’s surprising how many people believe that their metabolism is beyond their control…

Nothing could be further from the truth. Here’s how it works…

Your resting metabolism determines how much energy you expend over the course of a day. And the higher your metabolism, the more calories you’ll burn — even while you sit at your desk.

But it comes down to whether you’re packing lean muscle mass or fat. Lean muscle tissue is metabolically active, and the more you have the higher your metabolism. Fat is not metabolically active tissue so it’s a drain on your metabolism.

Exercise, naturally boosts metabolism, at least temporarily, by burning more calories while you’re active. So, which type boosts metabolism best?

At first glance, a comparison of strength training exercise to cardiovascular exercise might seem like the most energy is expended with the latter exercise. Yet, the real metabolism boost comes not from the calories burned during activity — but from the amount of lean muscle tissue created from strength training exercise.

Your metabolism is higher for 2-24 hours after strength training exercise. It might also be elevated for hours after cardio exercise — but not nearly as high. But it’s the long-term increase in lean muscle from strength training exercise that elevates your metabolism continuously.

To really over simplify this: Metabolic benefits of cardiovascular exercise wear off, while those from strength training accumulate.

So are you ready to create some lean muscle and boost your metabolism? Hit play below…

Three key characteristics of a short strength training circuit you can complete in 10 -15 minutes depending on how many sets you do:

  1. Circuit Training – complete one exercise after another with little rest between the exercises.
  2. Major Muscle Groups – focus on muscles of your legs and torso, namely the chest and back, for the biggest increase in metabolism.
  3. Alternating Upper and Lower Body Exercises – referred to as peripheral heart action, this requires your heart to pump blood to the upper body then the lower body which increases the overall energy expenditure.

A sample strength training circuit:

  • Kettle Bell Swing (substitute: a squat)
  • Renegade Row (substitute: a bent over row)
  • Push Ups (substitute: a chest press with dumbbells)
  • Lunge Series
Debra Atkinson

By Debra Atkinson

Debra Atkinson Is the founder of the Flipping 50 movement and host of the Flipping 50 podcast and TV show available on your iphone, ipad, and Apple TV. She is the author of four books including You Still Got It, Girl! The After 50 Fitness Formula For Women and Navigating Fitness After 50: Your GPS For Choosing Programs and Professionals You Can Trust.

Debra is a contributing blogger on the Huffington Post, ShareCare, Prime Woman, and Livingbetter50. She provides solutions for women approaching 50 or who have already turned the corner on what to eat, how to move, and the mindset for lifestyle change with hormone balance that will make the next years as the best years. Find her resources here.