Raising Metabolism to Burn More Calories

Vigorous exercise is one of the best ways to lose weight and keep it off. A study from University of Alabama in Birmingham shows that your body burns calories at an increased rate for up to 24 hours after you finish exercising vigorously for 40 minutes. (Obesity, November 2006). Less than 20 percent of the energy you burn during exercise drives your muscles; more than 80 percent is lost as heat. You can tell if you are exercising vigorously enough to raise your metabolism because your rising temperature usually will make you sweat. If your exercise causes you to sweat, it will keeps your metabolism elevated for several hours after you finish and you will burn more calories all day long. Exercising at a casual pace does not cause you to sweat and does not boost your metabolism.

Another study in the same issue of Obesity, from the University of California at Berkeley, shows that body fat is directly proportionate to the amount of exercise. The seven-year study followed 5417 runners who stopped running at various times during the study, 416 non-exercisers who began a running program, and 573 subjects who remained sedentary throughout the study. The researchers measured weekly running distance, weight, BMI and waistlines, and found that the gains and losses mirrored the changes in amount of exercise. If you are out of shape and want to lose weight, get a stress cardiogram and ask your doctor to clear you for an exercise program. Start slowly and then gradually increase the intensity of your exercise over several months.


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