What is Metabolism?
The above diagram is what many believe metabolism is all about – turning food into energy. This is only one aspect of MANY. In my E-book you will learn that your attitude, stress, food ratios, history of activity and much more are just as influential on metabolism as food.
What most people don’t understand is how powerful the organs are at utilizing energy compared to muscles. In fact, the metabolic rate of the heart, lungs, brain, kidney and liver is 15-40 times greater than their equivalent weight of muscle, and 50-100 times greater fat tissue (Elia 1992). This means that if your organs are struggling, your metabolism will suffer.
Another thing to think about is how metabolism slows with age, around a 2-3% decline each decade after age 18. Since a lot of this is related to a more sedentary lifestyle and less muscle mass, these #’s can be improved with resistance training throughout the aging process (Paige Kinucan and Len Kravitz).
The key to resetting or boosting metabolism is to figure out where yours went wrong. Many times it’s from too much exercise and not enough food, or too much stress and not enough rest, either way, it can be reversed by manipulating the right components, i.e. more rest or more food can improve a person’s resting metabolic rate, if that is their key.
As you are about to learn here, metabolism is more than just calorie burning, nutrition and exercise, and if you can learn to master its variables, then you will be in the driver’s seat of your own body fat %, vitality and longevity. So from now on, please forget about metabolism as being a simple calorie machine…
What is Metabolism?
Here are some of the “definitions” I have read;
- Metabolism is the amount of energy (calories) your body burns to maintain itself.
- Webster’s Dictionary: the sum of the processes in the buildup and destruction of protoplasm; specifically: the chemical changes in living cells by which energy is provided for vital processes and activities and new material is assimilated.
- Metabolism is the physical process of changing the nutrients in food into the body’s cells and tissues and into energy.
- Wikipedia; Metabolism is the set of chemical reactions that happen in living organisms to maintain life. Metabolism is usually divided into two categories: Catabolism breaks down organic matter, for example to harvest energy in cellular respiration. Anabolism uses energy to construct components of cells such as proteins and nucleic acids.
- The chemical changes that take place in a cell or an organism that produce energy and basic materials needed for important life processes.
I like all of those, but let’s try to simplify and specify a little more, while keeping all of those in mind and just say that;
Let’s talk about pulse for a second. Yes I know, athletes routinely have low pulse rates, which is seen as a measure of high fitness and related to a higher stroke volume by the heart, because it is “so strong and efficient.” Most people brag about their low pulse and wear it like a badge of honor. I know I used to think my stuff didn’t stink when my pulse got below 40 in my prime fitness days.
Here’s another thought, since the low pulse rate associated with high fitness is not related to living longer or improved health, maybe the heart rate slows down in this population because it needs a freakin’ break! Ancient wisdom and medicine has led us to believe that a healthy pulse is between 70-85 beats per minute – so are these new types of low-pulse athletes an exception to this guideline, i.e. are they healthy and fit? You can read the E-book to find out.
Why is a Healthy Metabolism Important?
There are plenty of reasons why a finely tuned metabolism is desirable, so I will just name a few. But take my word for it, good metabolism will soon be recognized as an essential factor in optimal health and disease prevention, rather than six pack abs and fitness.
Here are 10 reasons why you want your metabolism to idle with power:
- The human body gets energy and vitality from food through metabolism.
- If metabolism is sluggish, then waste products and toxins build up and accelerate the aging process.
- Without proper metabolism, the body cannot break down all of its food into nutrients and therefore ends up with deficiencies in mineral, vitamins and more, all of which lead to poor health and eventually disease.
- An apt metabolism promotes healthy sleep quality, sex life, digestion, mood, attitude, blood sugar regulation, hypertension, skin health, hair quality, and many more desirable qualities in life.
- A strong metabolism makes you virtually invincible to little things, such as changes in weather, being around sick people, travel, etc.
- Good metabolism keeps you at a healthy weight and fights obesity.
- Boosting your metabolism can improve many diseases and dysfunctions you may already have, such as type II diabetes, chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic pain, hypothyroidism, and many more.
- Healthy metabolism promotes a normal body temperature, which helps to fight off disease and infections.
- A proper metabolism helps fight and prevent allergies and inflammation.
- One of my favorite benefits of a good metabolism is the fact that you can eat a lot of good, healthy foods, maintain ideal body weight and energy, and not have to go hungry doing it.