Understanding Metabolism to Boost your Workout

Finding the right workout routine takes time. After you determine your goals, you must strategize an action plan and find ways to stay motivated as the weeks go on.

Several new workout trends have popped up over the last few years that focus on metabolic conditioning. Routines such as Tabata and Crossfit claim that high-intensity workout sessions are the best way to lose weight, effectively build muscle, and increase cardiovascular strength.

But how does metabolic conditioning actually work? While there are a series of complicated biochemical reactions going on during a workout, these high-intensity interval routines work on different energetic pathways in your body.

Overview of Aerobic Metabolism

The Mayo Clinic defines metabolism simply as the ability to convert what you eat and drink into energy your body can use. So increasing your body’s metabolism increases your ability to turn unwanted fat and glucose into usable energy. Physical activities and aerobic exercises are one way to efficiently increase your metabolic activity.

Aerobic exercises fall within the category of moderate-to-lightly strenuous types of activities. These pinpoint larger muscle groups for a prolonged period of time, such a running, swimming or cycling, and are used to convert fat into energy.

Overview of Anaerobic Metabolism

On the other hand, anaerobic exercises are short burst routines where your body’s cells are deprived of oxygen for a time. Some popular anaerobic exercises include sprints, isometrics, jumping  rope, and heavy weight-lifting. With this lack of oxygen, your body lacks the appropriate about of energy and begins to breakdown both fat and sugars (glucose) to keep your cells going.

According to Greg Mauer, a fitness consultant from Delaware, high-intensity interval training activates both aerobic and anaerobic pathways in your body for optimal energy conversion. In between aerobic intervals, your “ body temperature and metabolic rate is increased,’ forcing your body to work anaerobically in order to get more oxygen to your cells and convert more energy.

How this Applies to High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

Many elite athletes will use some sort of HIIT routine to boost metabolism while increasing muscle growth. However, HIIT should not be limited to just bodybuilders and intense gym-goers. In fact, a 2013 study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine suggest that HIIT significantly increased the cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) of chronically ill patients.

Regardless of your workout goals, creating a healthy, holistic workout routine is key to staying motivated and keeping you on track. Incorporates both aerobic and anaerobic exercises – like the ones found in HIIT – can increase cardiovascular strength and jump start your weight loss.



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