Exercises That Speed Up Your Metabolism
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February 20, 2009,last updated December 13, 2012

By Susan M. Callahan, Health Editor and Featured Columnist

Ladies and gentlemen, in the battle to lose weight, you are up
against it. You are in a war.  You have two formidable enemies.
Time and gravity. First time, your first opponent, attacks.  

As time goes on, you lose muscle. Then gravity takes over and
you start to sag. Even if you're only 25, you need to know that
you don't have as much muscle as you did when you were 20.
And for those of us who are north of 40, forget it.

By the time you are 40, you have lost nearly 20% of the muscle
mass you had when were 20. Over the course of our adult
lives, we lose between 25 and 30% of our metabolism due to
loss of muscle mass, according to Dr. Miriam Nelson, director of
the John Hancock Center for Physical Activity and Nutrition at
Tufts University. (Read more about the
process of losing
muscle as you age.)

Update:

After age 50, you start to lose muscle even faster, according to
a 2012 study from Charité Medical School in Berlin, Germany.  
At age 50, your rate of muscle loss can accelerate to 2% a
year. And after age 60, you lose about 3% a year in muscle a
year.

Ever try running up the "down" escalator?  Sure, it can be
done. But it's hard.  That's what it's like when you try to lose
weight by just dieting. Sure, it can be done. But it's hard.
Harder than it has to be.

To lose weight, you have to stop fighting nature.  You have to
start riding down on the "down" escalator. That's what this
article is about. It's about using your body as your ally and not
as your enemy in your quest to lose weight.

The simple truth is, you need muscles to lose weight easily. Not
those bulging Arnold Schwartzeneggar Mr. Olympus-type
muscles. Now, what we're talking about is muscle
tone.  Not
too bulky but just as effective as the Mr. Olympus kind of
muscle when it comes to weight loss. These type of muscles
raise your "basal" or "resting" metabolism, which usually is
about 10 times your body weight. In other words, a 160 pound
woman has a resting metabolism of 1600 calories. If she eats,
1600 calories, she gains no weight. If she eats 1800 calories a
day, she starts to balloon.

Muscles can change all that.  Muscle mass raises your resting
metabolism, the amount of calories you burn doing nothing.

Muscles burn calories. In fact, muscles burn
8 to 12 times more
calories than any other type of cell in your body.
A single
pound of muscle burns 50 to 70 calories per day. That's 1500
to 2100 calories per month.  

Five pounds of muscle burns 250 to 350 calories per day. That
7,500 to 10,500 calories per month. Every 3500 calories equals
a pound of weight loss.  So, by just adding a pound of overall
muscle to your frame, you can speed up your metabolism a
little.

Add 5 pounds of muscle and you become a fat-burning
machine. You can lose over 3 pounds a month, 36 pounds a
year.
And that's before you diet.




























What's wrong with a treadmill?, you may be asking. Some of
you are treadmill addicts. But you're not losing weight. I used
to get up every morning at 6 AM, trudge to a gym, and do 1
hour at 3.5 miles an hour. I never lost a pound. The problem
with the treadmill is that your body gets used to it. You have to
challenge your body to lose weight. Get out  of a pattern. There
are people who know that little secret so they use the treadmill
the right way. They warm up but then they alternate a
comfortable walk with a sprint or 2.   

That's the secret, folks. Jar your body. Get it out of its comfort
zone. Do something that's hard. Doing what's easy --what's
comfortable-- is what got us to look the way we do. Use
weight-bearing exercises like the ones below in this article
Alternate walking at your normal speed on the treadmill with a
minute or 2 of running. Get uncomfortable. This will help to
speed up your metabolism.

Here are the exercises that personal experience and research
have shown me are the best ones you can do either at home or
at the gym to help you build up a little muscle on your frame.


1.
Squats. King-of-the-hill of all exercises when it comes to
building muscle. The reason squats are so good at building
muscle is that they have an unfair advantage-- they work on
the biggest muscle group in the body, your quadriceps.  Your
thigh muscles are the single biggest muscles you have. They
carry your body weight all day, so they have to be sturdy.

Aim for 3 sets of 12 squats. Do your squats every other day,
not every day, that's too  much.

Other ways to get in your squats? Climb stairs. You use the
same muscles. Aim for 10 flights of stairs every other  day, 5 in
the morning and 5 in the evening.  Work those quads and you'll
see quick results on your scales.

Remember Cary Grant? He was fabulously fit throughout his
life. He's reported to have hated exercise but he always did one
thing every day, and it was the key to his trim physique. He
always took the stairs. He rarely used elevators.

2.
Push-ups. Ugh.  You know why you hate them? Because
they're hard. You know why they're hard?  Because almost all
of us are weaker in the upper body than we should be.

When we were 10 or 12, we could bang these out 25 at a time.
Then, gravity and sedentary lifestyles take over, and you know
the rest.

Get back to it.  Reverse the clock.  Get out of the easy chair. Get
out from behind that desk. Get
uncomfortable.  And, the use
that chair to lean against to do 20 push-ups in the morning and
20 at night. Or use that desk.  With every push, you are
pushing away age. With every push, you are pushing toward a
newer, younger body. Push back.

There are really 2 kinds of push-ups. The "half push-up"
sometimes called the "girl push-up" and the "full push-up". You
can start out with the half push-ups. But, make no mistake
about it, our goal is to get you to a full push-up. Even if you
can only do 1 this week. Fine. Next week, do 2.  20 half
push-ups and 2 full push-ups. Eventually, shoot for 25 full
push-ups every other day.

3.
Crunches. Hate 'em.  I really do. But I do them.  I do them
because I hate being fat more than I hate them. So, every day
(almost), I get on the floor, curse, and get going. I try for 30
to 50 a day.  If you read the stories of many well-known
athletes or people whose bodies you admire, you'll see a
common thread. They all do around 100 sit-ups a day.

Also, do
leg raises to reach your lower abs.  I hate these so
much I know some awful Cold War fascists must have used
them as torture. But they work. So I do them.

4.
Yoga. Remember way back when you were a kid? Children
naturally like yoga. Babies love to show off by touching their
noses with their toes and doing the "downward dog".  When
we finish lunch, we'd run outside and do back stretches or
flips. Those were the days. But our bodies don't lose their love
of yoga. We do.

We betray our bodies by cramming them behind desks and
forcing them to stay put, sitting for hours and hours.  There is
a better way to treat ourselves, and yoga is a part of treating
yourself better. Start with simple stretches and "holds", such as
the
downward dog and the warrior poise. Then, add a plank
hold and go from there.  

Get down on the floor again. Enjoy your body again. It'll build
muscle, speed up your metabolism and make you feel years
younger!

How to do the Downward Dog --- Get on your knees like you're
trying to crawl. Now, stretch your legs back and raise your
behind, so that you form a "V". Look at the picture of the
baby
doing the downward dog here.  

So, please, fight back. Regain some of your lost muscle. Go the
Exercise Center, choose a different muscle group to work on  
each day, but please, don't let time and gravity win.

Here are the links to help you fight the good fight:
The Only Type of Exercise That Reduces Your Waist
Top 10 Health Benefits of Yoga / Exercise Center  / Foods That
Shrink Your Waist/  Exercise at Home to Lose Weight  / Six
Pack Abs-Step by Step Guide /Fat-It's Alive!/

More Related Links:
Your Waist Size Determines Your Health
Drink Cold Water to Burn Calories
Bowels -3 Keys to Normal Bowels

Quinoa-The New Superfood?
Fish Oil Benefits-Let Me Count the Ways
My Heart Attack
Foods That Reduce Your Blood Pressure
Americans Are Dangerously Sleep Deprived

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Squats --The Right Way to Do Squats


What is the right way to do squats?

Many people do squats improperly.
The thing to remember is that you
should never dip down too low.
When your derriere is level with your
knees, stop. Do not let your derriere
dip below your knees.

Think of it as sitting down in an
imaginary chair. Your derriere never
goes below your knees because the
chair's seat stops it. That's how low
--and no further--you should go
when you do squats properly. Any
lower strains your knees.

To heal, you must rest the knees.
Glucosomine/chondriatin also helps
sometimes but mostly the knees need
rest once they are strained.


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The incomparably suave and fit actor Cary
Grant is said to have disliked exercise. But
he always took the stairs.
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