Does Working Out Increase Metabolism?

Does Working Out Increase Metabolism

Your resting metabolism rarely fluctuates daily, but engaging in cardiovascular exercise sessions can increase its rate significantly.

Muscle cells burn more energy at rest than fat cells, so adding lean muscle mass can boost your metabolism and help you reach weight stability more quickly.

Increased Muscle Mass

Muscle gain is one of the primary goals of bodybuilding and an essential part of overall fitness for most people. Muscle helps increase resting metabolic rates since muscles use up more energy than fat at rest.

Building muscle has long been associated with improved bone health. Strength training increases the number of osteoblast cells that maintain and increase bone density. 

Keeping osteoblasts active can help prevent osteopenia – a condition in which bone density drops below ideal and leads to fragile or brittle bones.

Building muscle can help increase your body’s ability to metabolize carbohydrates and regulate blood glucose, making it easier to keep weight under control when eating carb-rich foods such as bread, rice, and pasta.

Though your metabolism is generally genetically determined, exercise and proper nutrition can influence how fast you build muscle. Aside from keeping up with a regular strength-training program, cutting sugary snacks from your diet while replacing processed food with lean proteins will maximize muscle-building potential.

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) can be an effective way to elevate muscle-building metabolism. By alternating periods of intense exertion with recovery, HIIT has increased your metabolic rate and kept it elevated longer than traditional steady-pace workouts.

Increased Energy Levels

Your ability to burn calories and maintain energy levels relies on many factors, including genetics, age, sex, body weight, diet, and hormones. 

Daily physical activity also significantly influences your metabolism; someone who sits for most of their workday will have far lower basal metabolic rates than someone who walks or cycles to their workplace and takes stairs regularly instead of elevators.

Exercise will boost your energy, simplify healthy eating, and burn extra energy with every bite, known as the Thermic Effect of Food (TEF). Protein-rich foods have the highest TEF as digestion requires more energy than carbohydrates or fats.

Though exercise increases your metabolism, its beneficial effects only last as long as you continue exercising. Once you cease physical activity, your basal metabolic rate returns to pre-workout levels.

To maximize calorie burn post-workout, refuel post-session with lean proteins, complex carbs, and healthy fats for maximum efficiency.

Though high-intensity interval training (HIIT) may be more effective at increasing metabolic rate than endurance training, both approaches provide similar advantages. Both increase your VO2 max or the maximum amount of oxygen you can utilize during vigorous activity.

Reduced Risk of Chronic Diseases

Exercise can be one of the most powerful tools for mitigating chronic disease risk. 

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) suggests 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity physical activity as an effective strategy to decrease cancer, heart disease, and other chronic disease risks. Exercise also helps decrease body and intra-abdominal fat – key contributors to many conditions like these.

CDC reports that people engaging in moderate-intensity physical activity regularly have a 30-31% decreased chance of dying from heart disease and are at 29% lower risk overall. 

Exercise can also help manage and prevent other health conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, persistent pain, and inflammation.

Muscle mass can increase the energy expended while at rest, thus increasing your basal metabolic rate. Muscle cells use more energy than fat cells – estimates show that each pound of muscle burns six calories at rest, while one pound of fat only burns two.

To boost your metabolism, remember that cardio’s afterburn effect accounts for only around five percent of the total energy expended during a workout session. Thus, combining strength training and cardio would be wiser for maximum effect.

Weight Loss

Fast metabolisms can help you burn more calories than you consume, leading to weight loss. But this only works if you create a calorie deficit by eating less than is consumed; otherwise, the excess calories will become stored as fat and increase overall.

Muscle cells require more energy to contract than fat cells, so building muscle can increase your resting metabolic rate (BMR). Therefore, aerobic and strength training exercises must be included in your routine; aerobic activities like spin classes or walking will boost metabolism, while lifting weights can help build lean muscle mass.

Brisk walking, jogging, and swimming are excellent cardio workouts to help you lose weight. Try high-intensity interval training (HIIT) to spice things up even further. 

This type of exercise alternates high-intensity bursts of activity with periods of rest or lower-intensity activities, such as performing as many jumping jacks as you can in a minute and then walking steadily for two minutes before repeating this cycle for 15 to 20 minutes.


In conclusion, the evidence strongly supports the idea that working out increases metabolism during and after exercise. The immediate rise in metabolic rate during physical activity, attributed to increased energy expenditure and muscle activation, is well-documented. 

Additionally, post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) suggests that the body continues to burn calories at an elevated rate after a workout to restore physiological functions and repair tissues.

Regular exercise, especially incorporating both aerobic and strength training activities, contributes to long-term metabolic adaptations. Building and maintaining lean muscle mass can enhance basal metabolic rate, promoting calorie burning even at rest.

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