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Basal Metabolic Rate

What is Basal Metabolic Rate?

How does it affect my heart health and weight loss?

Your basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the amount of energy your body requires to live at COMPLETE rest. Basically, the amount of calories you burn laying still just breathing, circulating blood, supporting your nervous functions, and muscles.

Pretty neat, huh?

Even cooler, is that your BMR makes up about 70% of the calories you burn every day!

The methods and restrictions used to determine an accurate Basal metabolic rate are very strict. Gas exchange is measured while awake at complete rest, 8 hours of sleep, and 12 hours of fasting. You should be completely physically, mentally, and emotionally at rest. This is much harder than you would think! That is why Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) is more commonly used, due to less strict condition requirements. RMR is a close measurement to BMR.

There are also equations that determine your BMR based on age, sex, weight, and height. BRM can also be found once you know your amount of lean muscle mass. Average BMR range from 1,200-1,800 kcals per day for adults. It varies widely between individuals, but remains relatively consistent per person. Regular vigorous exercise is one way to increase your individual BMR.

There are many factors that affect your BMR.

  • Age As age increases, BMR decreases. After 20 years, it decreases by about 2% every 10 years. Ever think it was harder to loss weight the older you got? Here is partly why.
  • Genetics Some people are just born with a higher metabolism.
  • Sex Men generally have a higher metabolism compared to women, due to greater muscle mass and lower body fat.
  • Body Surface Area Height and weight greatly contribute to BMR. The greater the body surface area, the greater the BMR. Tall, thin people tend to have higher metabolic rate.
  • Body Composition Muscle is more metabolically active than fat. So the greater lean muscle mass, and lower body fat percentage, the greater the BMR.
  • Exercise BMR increases with regular vigorous exercise. More with anaerobic exercise (weight lifting to build lean muscle mass), than with aerobic exercise. Exercise decreases body fat and increases lean muscle mass.
  • Dieting Weight loss dieting, fasting, malnutrition, and starvation decrease BMR.
  • Pregnancy BMR increases during pregnancy.
  • Breastfeeding women BMR increases while breastfeeding, to help the body produce milk.
  • Glands BMR is regulated by thyroxine, which is secreted from the thyroid gland. If the thyroid is overproducing; BMR increases. If the thyroid is underactive; BMR decreases.
  • Short term factors such as high amounts of stress, external temperature, illness such as fever; increase BMR.

What this means for your health.

So if your goal is weight loss, you want an increased BMR. However, depriving yourself and starving yourself are proven methods to DECREASE your BMR. This is another reason that heart-healthy-tips takes the focus off of dieting and recommends a balance of nutritous food choices and a healthy lifestyle.

Anaerobic exercise, or weight lifting exercises, have proven to INCREASE your BMR. Consistent anaerobic exercise will lead to an increased BMR, decrease in fat, increase in lean muscle mass, decrease resting heart rate, and lowered blood pressure. This combined with healthy food intake, will give you the weight loss or maintenance you are looking for.

More benefits of INCREASED BMR.

An increased BMR reduces your risk for heart diesease, diabetes, heart attack, and stroke!

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