How to Really Master Your Metabolism.
Metabolism is the term used to describe the chemical reactions used in our bodies to keep us alive. The formation of energy is one of the most vital components of metabolism.
There are two types of metabolism. Catabolism, which is the breakdown of molecules to obtain energy & Anabolism, which is the synthesis of compounds needed by our cells.
What you eat is the key to effective metabolism and overall good health because you can only supply the energy you need by breaking down the nutrients in food.
Foods supply either:
- Carbohydrate from starch, sugar and cellulose that provide the main source of energy and fibre
- Proteins which are the main tissue builders in the body and a part of every cell. Vital for energy production and a myriad of other functions.
- Fat which helps keep cells intact, provides cushioning for internal organs and is an energy reserve. Some fat is needed to help us absorb fat soluble vitamins as well.
Which is why just restricting calorie or kilojoule intake does not work on its own without taking into consideration the kind of calories you are eating. Different foods do different things in your body, and some foods require more or less energy as well to be broken down.
Over the last few years there has been a reduced emphasis on low fat, low calorie diets; and an increased emphasis on including fat, particularly good fat, in your diet every day.
The other thing that affects your metabolism, and therefore your ability to maintain a healthy weight, is your body composition. Muscle and fat work differently in your body with muscle burning more energy even in a resting state. So building muscle particularly as an older woman is extremely beneficial particularly if you are wanting to maintain a healthy weight.
So what are the best ways to build muscle? Firstly building muscle does not mean you need to look like an Olympic weightlifter. That is unless that is one of your life goals.
It means putting stress on all of your major muscle groups over the course of a week to enable them to be used effectively and therefore get stronger.
If you have never done any weight training before then it is best to start off using your body weight as a starting point. Exercises like push ups, even starting out on the wall, squats and lunges are great things to add to your routines. You can slowly up the ante by doing more of them, doing more in a given time and then adding some hand weights. Incrementally this will improve your muscle tone and increase your resting metabolism.
You can listen in to Dominique Williams Personal Trainer to learn more about women and lifting weights Click Here
As a woman over 50 you need to be doing weights at least twice a week, even if it is in a chair. 30 – 45 minutes a session.
The same rules apply to weight training as to other exercise
- Warm up first by walking briskly, skipping, and exercise bike etc. for 5 – 10 minutes
- Start out slowly. If you are unsure then ask someone who knows to show you the correct moves. There are also lots of you tube clips or book a session with a trainer, or even go to a pump class and ask the teacher. These people always want to help you.
- Consistency beats all out effort every time. Just keep on going and you will notice a difference.
Lastly a little word about Cardio or aerobic exercise. The days of going for long slow cardio sessions are fast disappearing. The latest research is indicating you really need to go faster for a shorter period of time at least once if not twice a week. Commonly known as Interval or High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
This requires you to really push yourself so you are really puffing for short bursts followed by short recovery sessions eg. If you are walking then for one session walk flat out for 30 seconds and then recover for 30 seconds. Try to do this 6 times at first, then gradually lengthen the fast bursts, but keep the recovery at 30 seconds, until you are doing 1 minute bursts. You can apply this method to any kind of exercise, riding, running, rowing etc. the important thing is that you really push yourself.
There are also High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) programs and classes. Unless you are already fit then you need to start off slowly with these. But if you already have a reasonable level of fitness give them a go. They will certainly push your limit but as they are only short it doesn’t seem too hard.
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