Strength training and metabolic activity

Metabolism refers to the constant change occurring within our bodies. The food that we consume on a daily basis reaches our intestines where it is broken down into its several components that are carried to various target organs where they are transformed, re-processed or absorbed.

Metabolism is a permanent flow of energy and results in the creation of new cells. Each cell contains 1,000-2,000 mitochondria, which are tiny power stations that generate energy for a cell. Training muscles can double the number of mitochondria in a cell resulting in double the energy. Our bodies consume 1,500-2,000 calories a day when at rest and our muscles consume a significant amount of that energy.

Strength training helps us in numerous ways apart from enabling us to manage pain and injury. In our last post we looked at how it can improve our mental health (click here for more). As it turns out, another benefit of regular strength training is improved metabolism.

Strength training and energy consumption.

Research shows that 30 minutes of muscle training can improve calorie burn rate by up to 200 kilocalories in women and 300 kilocalories in men. Furthermore, there is evidence that energy is consumed even post training, as the body needs energy during the regeneration period as well. This is known as after-burn.

The effect of strength training on blood fat levels and body fat.

Studies indicate that calories burned due to a higher metabolic rate, training and after-burn result in a reduced percentage of body fat. Those with metabolic syndrome (disturbed metabolism) are also known to have benefited from muscle training. The reason behind this is that strength training has a positive effect on obesity, blood sugar levels, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Training can also reduce the risk of strokes, diabetes and heart attacks.

All in all, regular training is highly recommended in order to lead a healthy lifestyle.

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