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Physical Activity And Metabolism: A Quick Look For Beginners

Apr 26, 2021Metabolism0 comments

Anyone wishes to be healthier. That includes building muscle, losing weight, or merely working out enough to feel motivated. Everyone knows that physical activity is great to shed extra weight and keep a healthy life.

What many don’t quite understand is how your metabolism reacts to physical activity. Most people have a rough understanding of metabolism. It helps us turn food into nutrients and controls our weight.

But does exercise changes your metabolism? That’s what we’ll find out.

Understanding different metabolic rates

Your metabolism encompasses multiple reactions and processes. It’s in charge of turning food into energy or more complicated nutrients. Most experts categorize our metabolism in three ways:

  1. Basal metabolic rate.
  2. Thermogenesis.
  3. Energy generation for physical activity.

Basal metabolic rate

Your BMR takes care of generating energy for homeostasis. In other words, it refers to your resting metabolism. It supports your basic biological functions: circulation, breathing, cell growth, and more.

Your BMR is responsible for the majority of your energy usage. For many, you can’t control your BMR.

The metabolic rate during physical activity

Physical activity requires more energy on top of your BMR. Walking, hanging your clothes, playing with your dog or kids, and other daily activities burn extra energy.

Naturally, adding a workout routine boosts your metabolic rate during exercise. You must keep in mind that your metabolism will solely remain “boosted” during your exercise routine.

That said, it can provide a nice increase to your BMR.

Physical activity can change your BMR

As we mentioned, many people believe you don’t have control over your BMR; that’s right to a degree. You can’t control how your body functions normally, yet you can alter its resting energy consumption.

Your body size, lean muscle tissue, body fat, nutrition, and overall health alter your BMR. As you build muscle, your metabolism will increase to maintain this increase in energy requirements.

Repairing muscle tear—which is common during exercise—also consumes additional energy while you rest.

Complementing your exercise routine

Increasing your physical activity is an excellent start. However, your BMR also depends on your nutrition, drug usage, and more. Therefore, you shouldn’t rely solely on a workout routine—even if you work out every day.

If you want to optimize your metabolism, this article by Mayo Clinic offers excellent insight. You’d be surprised by the difference you can make with a few lifestyle changes. You might benefit more from exercising less and improving your diet or programming your routines better.

Furthermore, you don’t have to enslave yourself to exercise every day. These three tips can give you “more bang for your buck” so that you can remain motivated.


Your metabolism converts food into crucial nutrients and energy for your body. It primarily burns calories, so getting rid of them isn’t a good choice.

You must ensure you’re ingesting the necessary nutrients to support your current and desired lifestyle. Realistically, your main goal is to burn more calories than your consumption.

However, you also need to keep your energy intake to include workout routines. Additionally, make sure to include healthy fats and protein to support your growing muscle mass.

Aerobics vs. strength training

Aerobic activity burns more calories than resistance training while you exercise. However, it’s not as straightforward as saying that you should focus on aerobic routines to burn more calories.

Walking, swimming, jogging, and other aerobic practices burn more calories. You can begin with 30-minute walks every day—likely to and from work. It also burns more calories than strength training during the activity.

However, strength training is still a fantastic addition to losing weight. Muscle tissue consumes more calories than fat. While individual routines burn fewer calories, it’s a better investment for the long-term.


Finally, resting is just as important as exercise if you want to build muscle. Resistance training builds muscle from tearing and repairing your muscle tissue. It allows it to expand.

Resting allows your muscle to repair. That’s why it’s better not to exercise every day, especially if you’re starting. If certain days are more packed than others, you might want to move your training schedule so that you can get your 6-8 hours of sleep.

The holistic takeaway

Physical activity boosts your metabolism mostly while you exercise. Experts still debate on whether these benefits stay for a while after you exercise. Both sides are right and wrong in some ways.

You only increase your metabolism noticeably during a workout. However, the muscle you build from these routines burns more calories in the long run. You ought to include varied routines into your exercise schedule.

Additionally, make sure to create a diet according to your needs. Crash diets and cutting calories aren’t as effective as adding protein and healthy fats to your nutrition.


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