Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR)

What is RMR?

RMR is the amount of calories your body requires to maintain basic functions (e.g., breathing, heart rate, brain function). Your RMR accounts for a whopping 60% to 75% of your daily caloric expenditure. Physical activity – working, exercising, performing routine tasks – accounts for only 20% to 30%.

What is the use of RMR?

If you want to lose or maintain weight, knowing your resting metabolic rate (RMR) is essential.

  • Each person has his or her unique RMR.
  • Losing and maintaining weight is a numbers game: Calories In vs. Calories Out.
  • Knowing your RMR greatly increases your ability to win at this game.

Increase your RMR by Strength Training:

Our bodies store energy in two types of tissue: lean muscle and fat. Lean muscle is more "active," burning calories at a much higher rate than fat does. According to studies by the American Council on Exercise, one pound of lean muscle can burn 35 to 50 calories a day, whereas a pound of fat burns only 2 to 3 calories a day!

The lesson here for the weight-conscious: The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn. To build more lean muscle tissue, strength train 2 or 3 days a week.

But the reality is that you CAN increase the amount of calories your body burns while you’re asleep…or at your desk, in front of the television or in other various states of inactivity. The key is to increase your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR). And the best way to do that is through strength training.

By working out with weights regularly, you increase the amount of lean muscle mass in your body. And lean muscle burns calories at a much higher rate than fat does. So the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn – even when you’re staying perfectly still.

IF YOU’RE NOT CURRENTLY STRENGTH-TRAINING. Working out with weights for as little as 20 minutes two to three days a week can be enough to crank up your RMR over time.

IF YOU CURRENTLY STRENGTH TRAIN BUT WANT BETTER RESULTS. Try one of these strategies for enhancing your workouts:

  1. If you're weight-training 2 days a week, increase it to 3 days. Remember always to let muscles rest at least 48 hours between sessions.
  2. Increase the number of sets you do. If you currently do 2 sets, up it to 3.
  3. Lift the heaviest amount of weight that you can SAFELY handle. But always follow the 10% rule: Never increase the amount of weight more than 10 percent at a time.

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