What is your metabolism and why is it important?
Your metabolism is the body’s way of converting the food and drink you consume into energy your body can use to move, maintain itself, grow healthy hair, skin, bones and teeth, or repair itself. Simply put, the higher your metabolic rate, the more food and drink you can eat without gaining weight.
Even when you are peacefully resting on a comfortable bed, or sleeping, your body is using energy. Experts call this your basal metabolic rate.
The amount of energy you need to do ‘nothing’ is dependent on a number of factors such as your age, your height, weight and gender. The composition of your body (the percentage of lean muscle mass compared to body fat) affects your metabolic rate too: the more lean muscle mass you have, the more energy you need to sustain it, so the higher your basal metabolic rate will be. In general, men tend to have more muscle mass than women.
You’ll perhaps have heard people saying that they gain weight easily because they have a sluggish metabolism. So can hot yoga set your metabolism on fire, or is it a total myth?
The final part of the calories in > calories expended equation is exercise. Physical activity of any form, hot yoga included, bumps up your body’s need for calories. The more active you are, the more energy you’ll use. The less you do, the less energy you need. This can create a vicious circle, where a lack of basic fitness causes you to feel less able or inclined to get out and do things.
It’s important to break this cycle, because physical activity levels are the most influential factor in determining how many calories you use each day. Don’t move enough, consume more calories than you need and your body will have to store the energy somewhere. Move more and your body will call upon those energy reserves and use them.
Use more calories than you take in and you will lose weight; take in too many calories and they will be stored, usually just where you don’t want them to be stored!
In your heart of hearts, you know how hard you’ve worked. You know when you’ve had an inactive day: you don’t need a Fitbit to tell you. Physical activity is the one thing you can control. Upping your exercise regime can help you lose weight, even if your food intake remains the same.
And this is where we can help. Come to us and we can help motivate and inspire you to up those activity levels. Our classes will help build that lean muscle mass that will raise your basal metabolic rate – remember, this affects the energy you need even when resting.
There is no magic to it. It doesn’t need to be a process of denial, counting every calorie and going without the things you like to eat. You’ll notice the difference quite quickly – our class members say they get a much improved quality of sleep after classes. We’ve recently been hearing more and more scientists saying that we need a good 8-9 hours of sleep for our bodies to be at their best.
Class members also notice and comment on the difference in their balance, coordination and ability to carry out every day movements and activities. So, yes, we believe it’s true. Adding hot yoga to your lifestyle really will make a difference and help set your metabolism on fire.
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