The understanding of exercise science is always advancing and I am elated to pass on to you some 'hot off the press' research. You may have heard the ever popular theory that metabolism inevitably slows down with age and particularly with women in menopausal years. New science has debunked this myth! It’s very inspiring to know that, if it is your goal to improve your metabolism and change your body shape, there is no expiry date! This recent paper published in Science studied over 6,500 people ranging in age from early infancy to the elderly. The results were staggering, showing that metabolism holds steady from 20-60 years of age before a minor decrease of 1% annually after 60. These results showed in women no matter their stage of menopause.
The conclusion was that changes in weight and body composition are dependent on lifestyle choices. The less movement you incorporate in the day the more stagnant your metabolism becomes. Metabolic rate is the rate at which your body burns calories to keep you alive and functioning. Committing to increasing your daily movement may seem like a daunting task but this hopeful information might be the inspiration you need to take charge and know that your personal goals can actually be met!
Finding the right kind of exercise to add to your routines is key to increasing your fat burning metabolism. Fat metabolism refers to the type of fuel you are burning during resting metabolism. Muscle gain boosts the resting metabolic rate, and therefore, the more muscle mass you have, the faster you will burn calories while at rest - watching Netflix or at your desk at work! Strength training is a perfect tool to increase muscle mass and increase your fat burning potential.
Strength and weight training is the magic bullet to increase metabolism, according to Katie Heimburger, an exercise physiologist in Atlanta. The amount of calories you burn at rest increases with muscle mass. An increased metabolism may be a huge incentive for you but so should a long list of health benefits that come with gaining muscle. This list includes a release of endorphins for a mood boost, decreased risk of many diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and breast cancer, reduced symptoms of PMS, decreased colds and the prevention of other illnesses such as osteoporosis, arthritis, depression, stroke, heart disease, and diabetes.
Not only will you boost your metabolism but sculpted muscles will also be motivating and can appear pretty early on in your strength training journey. Some women are concerned that using weights in their routines will lead to a bulky look. However, it actually does the opposite. As your body becomes more toned and, since your muscle takes up less space than fat, your clothes will begin to feel looser as your body firms up.
When I created the Glow Fit class structure I decided to create a format that focuses solely on women - focusing on the areas ladies want toned - through strength training and body resistance. The Glow Fit Circuit style class is a circuit/ HIIT approach so it's a one stop shop, meaning cardio bursts are in-between the strength training moves. HIIT stands for high intensity interval training - meaning we have short bursts of both cardio and strength moves alternated with recovery periods. The cardio can be done high or low impact and the weights can be light or heavy! Very doable for all levels but the measurable benefits are the same! Studies have show that this style of HIIT coupled with strength training shifts the body's metabolism toward using fat for energy rather than carbs.
Often life becomes so busy and we are too tired to put regular workouts in our schedules. But it's undeniable that, once you settle into the workout cycle, incredible benefits are soon to follow. The cycle is magical. The more exercise, the more your energy levels will increase - the more energy you have, the more consistently happier you will be - the happier you are, the more motivated you will be to continue and, in the end, the more revved your metabolism will become. The bottom line ladies is that age doesn't have to impact our ability to reach our fitness goals and our ability to truly glow in good health!