get moving, get active

junping rope is fun

We hear all these stories about our metabolism: I’ve got a slow metabolism, I’ve got a fast metabolism, my metabolism is completely stopped or be sure to eat breakfast to get your metabolism started.

Hopefully I can straighten all this out for you.  Let’s start with a basic definition of what metabolism is. It is the sum total of energy required to maintain the basic processes of the human body at rest. Included here are processes like breathing, brain function and heartbeat. In short, BMR or basal metabolic rate is represented by the calories you would burn lying flat on your back, awake and not moving for 24 hours.

Now let’s assume you are an average female and your calorie maintenance level (body weight divided by 2.2 x .9 x 24) is 1800 cal a day. Your BMR is usually about 30% less than your maintenance level or about 1260 calories in this example.

 Let’s look at this from this fictitious female’s  perspective in a day to day life scenario. Tomorrow she wakes up and doesn’t move, yes just lies in her bed, awake of course for 24 hours. She will burn about 1260 cal.(BMR). Now, the next day she does exactly the same thing except she gets up one time to go to the bathroom then it”s back to bed. This particular day she would burn 1260 cal plus about 30 more to get up and go to the  bathroom for a total of 1290 cal. The next day she does the same thing except that she gets up twice to go to the bathroom, burning 60 extra calories for a total of 1350 cal for the day. That’s how works.

You start with your BMR (30% less than your maintenance level) and every movement you make layers on this BMR number.

I’ve always used UPS drivers as an example of a vocation that burns a lot of calories. The typical driver steps in and out of the truck over 100 times per day. That’s four steps up and down 100 times per day. The driver will burn an extra 800 to 1000 cal per day and it wasn’t even intentional, just part of the job and the equivalent of about two hours of hard exercise in the gym.

Now, there are many physical benefits this person would not receive burning 900 cal in this way that they would receive in a compact 1 to 2 hour well-designed exercise session but nevertheless the caloric burn is as stated.

This is why experts urge you to just get moving in some way because every movement you make, you’re burning more calories and your caloric need for the day is higher. The higher your caloric need today the harder it is to eat more than your need which is the pattern that adds body fat. It’s certainly easier and more fun to eat 2000 cal than it is to eat 1500 cal. We all know that..

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