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Question
Posted by: Bea | 2004/11/13

Something I read in a magazine re running and metabolism

is it true that if you have run, say, for thirty minutes, your metabolism is double its usual speed for up to six hours afterwards???
This sounds a little excessive, to say the least.
I read it in a magazine's health page, and if it is true, it's wonderful! -but somehow I doubt it.
I probably should confess that it was a magazine from 1987...

and if it IS true, can one then run for an hour to have a double fast metabolism for the next TWELVE hours????

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Our expert says:
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Hi Bea

It's certainly quite highly elevated. Remember that your basal/normal metabolic rate is actually pretty low, and so even a little exercise definitely causes a massive increase in metabolic rate. How long this lasts depends on a coupld of other factors. SO, your resting metabolic rate might be about 1500 to 2000 Cal per day, depending on mass, age, gender, height and your previous activity level, since muscle has a higher metabolic rate than fat and so if you are well trained, you might have more muscle and hence higher metabolic rate. That's without exercise. If you then go and do 30 minutes of running, you might add to this by about 400 to 500 cal in just 30 minutes, which essentially represents the equivalent of 24000 Cal per day (assuming you could maintain this same rate for 24 hours, which is probably hypothetical) and then your metabolic rate would remain elevated for the next few hours. How long it stays up there depends largely on the intensity of the exercise, but also the duration, obviously. So, what I am trying to illustrate is that you have this massive increase in metabolic rate DURING exercise, and so a figure like double for 6 hours, well, I guess it is possible, although it does seem like a bit of a unsubtantiated claim. I don't know of any research on it, that is still coming, but the only thing that really matters is that 30 minutes of exercise adds hugely to your daily energy expenditure, and it adds more than you think because of this long lasting elevation.

Good luck

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