Metabolic efficiency is directly related to the amount of activity you engage in each day. This includes everything from planned exercise to walking through your local mall to playing with your kids to taking your spouse out dancing or your family for a walk in the local park. If you aren’t physically active, you will begin to gain weight.
According to a recent report by the surgeon general, a shocking 60 percent of Americans do not engage in enough activity to keep them even minimally healthy, and 25 percent get no exercise at all. Many people think that metabolism slows as you get older. It is not your metabolic processes that are slowing down, however; it is your lifestyle and level of activity.
When most baby boomers think back to how they looked in their childhood, they probably remember a skinny boy or girl who was always outside running around or playing sports. When they got older and took on adult responsibilities, they may have sat behind a desk for eight hours a day. As time passed, children were born, family responsibilities increased, and they got older, they probably spent more time working and less time being physically active, resulting in gradual yearly weight gain. With the advent of television and home computers, even leisure time took on a sedentary nature, with the average adult watching four hours of TV daily.
A certain amount of inactivity is directly related to the fact that more than 50 percent of all Americans are now living in urban environments where being active outdoors is not necessarily a part of daily life. If you live in a condo or an apartment, you probably don’t mow the lawn or do yard work; nor are your kids easily able to step outside and play or take a dip in the pool.
To create metabolic efficiency, you need to engage in at least twenty to thirty minutes of exercise at least three times per week. How you should exercise is related to your gender. Studies have shown that women tend to metabolize more fat at low to moderate intensities of exercise and men at moderate to high intensities. Also, as individuals get older, the ratio between aerobic and resistance exercise should change. The older a person gets, the more he or she will need to conserve bone mass and lean muscle, both of which decrease with age.