Your metabolism is the process in your body which converts the food that you consume into energy. This energy is used to keep you warm, fuel your respiratory processes, allow you to move, and generally keep you alive. The amount of energy that you burn per day is based on how fast your metabolism works. The best way to ensure that your metabolism is working properly is to exercise. Exercise helps your metabolism in a number of ways.
Resistance training such as weight lifting helps to increase the amount of lean body mass you are carrying. Lean body mass includes bone and muscle. Muscle is metabolically very active, and this means that if you have more of you will burn more calories per day. Your base metabolic rate accounts for the majority of the calories that you burn per day. So, exercising to build more muscle will ensure that even when you are sitting around doing nothing you will burn more calories. A pound of muscle burns 14 calories per day while a pound of fat burns only around one-fifth of that. Resistance training has other health benefits too, preventing age-related loss of muscle, and also helping to improve bone density.
Cardiovascular exercise has a lot of health and metabolic benefits, too. Exercising can increase your metabolic rate for several hours after it is completed. Vigorous, high-intensity exercise that pushes you to work at 85% of your maximum heart rate for a short period of time is an efficient way of causing after-burn, especially if it is combined with longer periods of moderate-intensity cardio. In addition, high-intensity interval training of this type can promote fat burning.
Exercise can increase the number of, and the rate of activity of, the mitochondria in our body. These mitochondria burn fat, and the more you have the greater your metabolic rate will be. Any form of physical activity will promote the growth of mitochondria, but HIT is a particularly efficient way of increasing their activity.
Aerobic activity is also good for managing insulin levels and preventing insulin resistance. Insulin is a hormone that is involved in the regulation of blood sugar. Many people who are overweight are in danger of developing insulin resistance or other metabolic disorders. Exercise and a healthy diet can help with that.