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Study: Strength Training Increases Metabolism

Posted July 11, 2001

— A frequent question people have is how they can boost their metabolism and what food can be used to speed it up.

No single food will raise your metabolism. The only way to fire up your metabolism is exercise. You may have heard that strength training will fuel your metabolism. A new study reveals just how much.

Researchers at Penn State found that women who followed a strength training program for eight weeks burned an average of 130 calories per workout, and 240 more on top of that, just from having a faster metabolism. Strength training strengthens, tones and builds muscles, and the more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism. The higher your metabolism, the more fat and calories you burn.

This is good news for women in particular, because the natural process of aging causes women's metabolism to begin to slow down by age 35.

This does not mean you have to spend time in the gym every day. Just three 20-minute strength training sessions per week will help you shed about five pounds over the course of a year, and by increasing your metabolism, you shave off another 10 pounds for a total of 15 pounds in one year -- and no starvation diets!

As with any exercise, check with your doctor and start slowly. Start working with the amount of weight that is right for you, then literally go slowly. The slower you lift the weights, the greater the resistance.


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