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Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Your Metabolism is a Muscle

Another concept I totally believe in but had never heard expressed that way.

Wish I could take credit for it but my brilliant son, Aaron, came up with it.

We were discussing keeping temps low in our respective homes during the winter.

I am naturally hot natured - one of the reasons I moved to the mountains of New Mexico from the sub tropical climate of the Texas Guif Coast.

I have been keeping my condo at about 60 which probably makes my landlord happy cause she pays the utilities.

I wear at least 2 - 3 layers less clothes on the twice a week high elevation hikes above Santa Fe compared to the rest of my hiking friends.

I want my body to adapt to uncomfortable situations like temperature and intense exercise because it is a way to make the body change and progress - The only thing constant in life is.....


Which would probably make Darwin happy but seems to make little sense to those that seem to make it their life goal to experience as little discomfort or change in the body experience as possible.

Forcing the body to adapt has been a Life Theme of mine for some time.

I consider it critical that we continuously force the body to adapt to different stresses, environments and stimuli.

I start out hikes in 20 degree temps a little cold because I want to give my body every chance to make a metabolic adjustment to close the gap AND because I don't want to start sweating - a cardinal sin in below freezing temps - because no matter how expensive your clothes or how well they wick moisture away from your skin, the result is a moisture layer on your skin that convects heat away from your body.

That makes you feel cold and then what happens?

You put on more clothes to compensate.

Why not just let your body adapt?

Why does this kind of adaptation work and what are the benefits of it?

It works because as my son said -

Your Metabolism is a Muscle and as such it needs to be exercised, flexed and stretched. As a result of this flexing and exercising of the Metabolic Muscle, the Metabolism gets stronger with faster reflexes, greater movement and expanded range of motion.

So just like progressive weight training strengthens your muscles, forcing your body to adapt to changing environmental conditions like cooler temps will strengthen and expand your metabolic range and response.

The benefits of this is like having a built-in extra 2 layers of clothes with no added weight or bulk. In addition, a higher and more flexible metabolism burns more calories even at rest.... And that's a good thing.

It is a mental and physical conditioning process that, just like everything else in life that's worth having, requires a little pain and discomfort.

Which will be the subject for a post to come.

So the moral of this little story is....

Your Metabolism is a Muscle.

Work it and it will Work for You.

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