What is metabolism anyway? There are many definitions. The broad definition of metabolism is something that I have described as:
“The sum of all physiological events that take place in the body that turn food, water, air, vitamins, minerals, and more into what we know as life.”
In that sense, metabolism isn’t just important, it’s everything. It’s life itself. But when Jillian Michaels uses the word “metabolism,” that’s not what she’s talking about is it? No, that crazed psychotic lunatic from TV is talking about the rate at which your body burns calories.
Well, that’s sort of it. I mean, calories are energy and the rate at which your body consumes energy is indeed your metabolism. But there are big misconceptions there that we will cover in a future installment. Simply put, people are using the wrong yardsticks to assess metabolic rate. It’s not the number of calories you burn. By that definition, the best way to raise your metabolic rate would be to eat and train with Sumo wrestlers. The larger the creature, the more calories they need. But that has nothing to do with metabolic rate in the true sense. Do you really think a panda bear has a higher metabolic rate than a hummingbird? Me neither.
The true sense of metabolism, and what I will be referring to from this point forward in all of my emails to you, is the rate of energy produced on a per cell basis. And a higher metabolism, once you take total body size out of the picture, manifests itself in many ways, for example:
High body temperature
Moderate to high resting pulse rate
Lots of physical energy/fidgeting
High respiratory rate
Just to name a few.
Basically, a high metabolism is everything we associate with young people and Chihuahuas. They are healthy, lean, cute, energetic, warm-skinned, rock-like sleepin’, shockingly-rapid wound healin’, hyperventilating sons a guns.
And then there are the elderly, the ultimate embodiment of a declining metabolic rate. Cold. Barely asleep when asleep and barely awake when awake. No energy. And, most importantly, at much higher risk for degenerative disease. That’s the most important thing to really remember. AGE is the #1 risk factor for most diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis, heartburn, constipation, diverticulosis, sexual dysfunction, eye disease, kidney disease, and much more.
And I propose that a declining metabolic rate is, in conjunction with a handful of other factors, the primary cause of broad physiological decline. But we can slow that decline as well as improve our metabolic rate right now for better overall protection from these and other everyday types of problems (insomnia, mood problems, cold hands and feet, frequent urination, low energy, etc.).
Source: Matt Stone