Fitness, Food, 04.10.2016

Frame-O-Pedia Friday: Metabolism

If you’re not familiar with the Frame-O-Pedia – top right in the website navigation – it’s the Frame-specific answer to all your burning health and fitness related jargon. Our own experts and friends of Frame have cut to the chase with straightforward, concise explanations about anything from Acidophilus to Yin Yoga…

But, just like the Oxford English Dictionary, Frame-O-Pedia is growing, and on the first Friday of every month we will be adding new entries and digging into terms we’ve already included. So if you want to expand your workout lingo, don’t miss our Frame-O-Pedia Friday posts.

Last month saw the launch of our new Lift class at Frame and the chat in the studios is all about how great it is for increasing metabolism… it is common knowledge that a fast metabolism is basically good – it means you can eat more! But have you ever really thought about why this might be the case and how exactly you can influence your metabolism?

Put simply, metabolism is the process of converting fuel (ie. food and drink) into usable energy. Your basal metabolic rate (BMR), or what is usually referred to as your metabolism, is the amount of energy your body needs just to sustain itself – ie. the amount of energy you would need to lie still in bed all day – and it varies from person to person. Of course, the more active you are, the more energy you will burn, but that energy is over and above, and largely unrelated to your BMR. So why do some people have a higher metabolism than others? (What we really mean is, why do some people get to pig out all the time and never gain a pound?)

Genetics, no doubt, play a role, and sadly there is not much you can do about that. But muscle cells burn around three times as much energy as fat cells, so it stands to reason that people with more muscle will naturally have a higher BMR. Also, your metabolism can remain increased for hours, even days, after doing exercise as your body is working hard to restore it’s pre-exercise state. This afterburn is particularly significant following high intensity training.

So, back to the Frame Lift class, the combination of weights and movement in high intensity intervals helps to increase muscle density and prolongs afterburn, thus raising your BMR… Ka-ching!

If you’re struggling to get your head around a particular word or expression, just tweet it to us and we’ll do our expert best to enlighten (without confusing) you.