Basal Metabolic Rate

Understanding the basal metabolic rate (BMR)will help you ensure you get the best from your diet and exercise. It can be particularly important as you get older.

What is the BMR?

The BMR or Basal Metabolic Rate is the minimum amount of calories required to sustain your body's processes and functions as you rest. The Basal Metabolic Rate decreases with age which basically means that as you get older, it gets that much harder to eat food and stay slim without increasing the amount and intensity of exercise that you do.

Regular Food

By eating regularly, you can actually increase your body's metabolism despite the belief by many people that slimming is possible by reducing the amount of food you consume. Regular physical activity can lead to your Basal Metabolic Rate increasing and this can have obvious health and fitness benefits for you.

The Basal Metabolic Rate is in essence the amount of energy expended by the body at rest, such as during sleep. It can be responsible for the consumption of up to 70% of the total calories expended by the body. Functions of the body that affect this rate include circulation, respiration and maintaining a constant body temperature. Exercise, lean body tissue and calorie consumption also affect the rate. Height and weight are two of the main factors that affect this rate and environmental temperature also plays a significant role in the increase of BMR. Dieting can also affect it as can malnutrition and illnesses.

Importance of Thyroxin

The BMR is regulated by a hormone known as thyroxin which is produced by the thyroid gland. It helps to control the metabolic activity within the body. Your weight, blood cholesterol levels, heart rate and muscle strength can all be affected by this hormone, especially when it isn't working properly. If your body experiences an excess of thyroxin in the circulatory system, the BMR can increase to higher levels. If too little thyroxin is produced, the BMR will be reduced to levels of up to 30-40%.

With a higher BMR, the constant calorie consumption experienced by the body will be greater. Burning fat and maintaining weight loss are the main advantages of increasing the rate and you'll find that sustainable weight loss and control is a much simpler task with a higher rate. Health advantages are a great reason to try to increase the BMR and such benefits include reducing the risk of developing heart disease, heart attacks, strokes and diabetes.

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