We spoke to Head of Group Exercise, Israel Rivera, from Virgin Active to gain an insight on how to kick start your all-important metabolic rate.
1) How does your metabolism work?
Metabolism is the process by which our body converts food into energy. The body takes calories from what we eat and drink and uses oxygen to release the energy we need to function.
2) Is it actually possible to change your metabolism?
Yes! Exercise is the best way to increase your metabolic rate. High-intensity workouts have a long-lasting effect on revving the metabolism, mixing up your exercise routine with more intense sessions (such as Virgin Active’s HEAT, GRID , PUNCH classes) can fire up the metabolism and burn fat. If looking to increase your metabolism, adding resistance training to your workout routines to build muscle is also key, as muscle is much more metabolically active than fat and someone with a higher volume of lean muscle mass has a more efficient metabolic rate.
Other tips to help increase your metabolism include:
- Take a daily supplement with breakfast that has a quality mix of minerals and micronutrients to make sure to help your metabolism function properly.
- Eat plenty of protein at every meal – the components of protein (amino acids) go towards building lean muscle mass
- Drink more water – people who drink more water have a higher metabolic rate and higher success rate for achieving their fitness goals
- Get more sleep – sleep deprivation can have a negative effect on achieving your fitness goals as being tired increases stress hormones. Lack of sleep has also been linked to an increase in blood sugar levels which makes you feel hungry or sluggish which can slow the metabolism.
3) Why do metabolisms vary from person to person?
The metabolism is personal to each individual. The volume of lean muscle mass on your body, for example, impacts your metabolic rate. A professional athlete would have a much higher metabolism than that of a sedentary office worker. Age, gender and personal medical considerations sometimes also impact our metabolism.
4) Do our metabolisms slow down as we age?
Exercise helps us keep our metabolic rate high and strength training helps maintain our lean muscle mass. The more sedentary we are, the slower our metabolism. It is important to stay active no matter what age bracket we fall into. At the end of the day, exercise will always have a positive impact on our metabolic rate and overall wellness. Good nutrition and regular exercise are gateways to overall health and successfully meeting your fitness goals.