Jump-start Your Metabolism
The single most effective way to burn more calories is to become more physically active. Sedentary people burn as few as 100 calories a day in activities, while active people, like competition athletes, burn over 1,000 extra calories a day.
Physically active people burn more calories, even when at rest, because they have more muscle. Muscle is "active", which means it burns calories; fat is "inactive", because it burns almost no calories. You can maximize the number of calories you burn by building more muscle.
Slow but Steady Wins the Race
Strength training builds muscle tissue. With slow movements, more muscle fibers are needed to perform the exercise, creating more muscle tissue. This process happens in just a few weeks.
To build muscle, you need to "max out", or find the maximum weight you can lift to complete 12 to 15 repetitions. Start with 80 percent of your perceived maximum weight, and do as many reps as you can. Increase the size of the weight until you "max out" at 8 reps.
Once a strength training routine becomes comfortable, you need to introduce different movements and/or add more weight. Weights should not be so light that they don't challenge your body to build muscle. If you can do 20 reps with your weights, then they are too light and you need to switch to heavier ones.
Exercise at Any Time of Day
It was once believed that it was better to exercise in the morning rather than later since the early workout keeps your metabolism running faster all day. Newer research shows that it's best to exercise in the late afternoon because the body has warmed up and muscle strength is at its peak. But these differences, while still unsettled, are relatively slight. The bottom line is that any exercise will help burn more calories and maintain muscle. The key is to find a time that best fits into your lifestyle and stick with it.
Being physically active, especially when you include regular strength training, boosts your metabolism as it increases your lean muscle mass. The time to start moving is now.
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