I think that because your metabolism isn't something that you can see or touch, people aren’t sure that it really exists. Let me tell you, it does exist and revving it up could be the key to reaching your physical and weight management goals.
The problem that most people run into is the hype that 30 to 40 minutes of heart pumping activity 3 to 5 times a week will get them to their peak metabolic performance. Then people get into the trap of thinking if they add more time or increase the frequency of their workouts, they will achieve even better results, faster. I am here to tell you that this approach to increasing your metabolism is actually doing more harm than good. Here's why:
- Longer periods of exercise at a fairly low intensity create more efficient hearts and lungs and can actually reduce the number of calories burned because they get used to your usual routine. This can make your cardiovascular system less apt to dealing with stress and weaken it, making your heart more susceptible to a heart attack.
- Doing your usual aerobic routine of elliptical, treadmill, or rowing can actually encourage your body to create more fat stores so it is ready to handle your next workout. Thus, you are actually being highly counterproductive and doing nothing to increase your metabolism.
I know, I know, this news is very discouraging and you might be second guessing your entire workout routine, BUT, I do have good news! There is a way to actually cut down your workout time and frequency while still increasing your metabolism - resistance training. Here is what resistance training does:
- It increases lean muscle mass
- Lean muscle mass burns more calories and fat - even while at rest
- It can be done in less time and with better results than aerobic training alone - usually 2 to 3 times a week at 20 to 30 minute intervals is sufficient
- It challenges your cardiovascular system and increases its capacity and ability to deal with stress, which can lower your susceptibility to cardiovascular related diseases
- When done correctly, it can call on your body to utilize its stored fat and burn it without encouraging the body to create more in its place
See, there is no need to be on that treadmill path to nowhere or rowing into the sea of nothingness. Add resistance training in the form of weights or bands, use some of my tried and true resistance techniques and you will get your metabolic engine purring and leave that excess weight in the dust.