3 ways to increase your basal metabolic rate
Basal metabolic rate or BMR is the number of calories needed to keep your body functioning while at rest. You don’t really spend a whole lot of time thinking about the amount of energy that you’re body is using when you’re not physically active such as making it possible for the heart to pump blood throughout your body, or about the energy needed for digestion and respiration to occur.
However, your BMR becomes more important if you’re trying to lose weight and get into better shape. BMR affects the rate at which you burn calories and determines whether you gain, lose, or maintain weight, and is partly determined by genetics. While you can’t change your genetics, there are things that you can do to increase basal metabolic rate:
Eat the right amount of calories — a minimum of 1,800 calories for men; 1,200 calories for women
Build muscle mass — muscle mass is the most metabolically active tissue in your body
Increase activity — incorporate cardiovascular exercise and strength training into your fitness routine
Your BMR doesn’t have to be slow just because you’re getting older
Basal metabolic rate accounts for approximately 60-75% of your daily caloric expenditure. In addition to genetics, other basal metabolic rate factors include:
- Gender ( men have a higher BMR)
- Body size and composition ( fat vs muscle)
- Hormonal levels
- Activity levels
As you age, you experience a decrease in lean muscle mass. Studies have shown that after the age of 20, you begin to experience a decrease in BMR by about 2% per decade.
However, you can compensate for a slowing metabolism by increasing your activity levels and eating a healthier diet. The more physically active your are, the more calories you’re going to burn throughout the day. Because muscles burn more calories than fat, engaging in strength training activities 2-3 times per week can really help to increase your BMR.
Step up the intensity of your aerobic exercise — running, swimming, biking, brisk walking — or add high intensity interval training to your workout routine. The benefits from this are twofold: you’ll be burning more calories while you’re working out and increase your post-exercise oxygen consumption which, in turn, increases the amount of calories that your burn for up to two days post-workout.
Measuring your basal metabolic rate at home
If you’re trying to lose weight and get into better shape, it’s important that you work on increasing your basal metabolic rate. Tracking your progress is one way to ensure that your being successful at achieving the goals that you’ve set for yourself.
Ivy Health Labs has made it possible for you to measure your BMR at home with our full body analysis smart scale. The Ivy Health Body Analysis Scale uses high precision sensors to provide you with accurate measurements of your BMR. Having the ability to track your BMR over time is a very valuable tool when it comes to controlling your weight and preserving muscle mass.