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What Is BMR – Basal Metabolic Rate?
Perhaps you have heard the term basal metabolic rate (BMR) and wondered what it means. BMR is the number of calories minimum that the body needs simply to keep stay alive. For example, the BMR is the number of calories a body would need to spend 24 hours asleep in bed. This number will depend on many things and will determine weight along with diet and level of exercise.
The BMR includes the number of calories used for activities like breathing, to maintain the heat pumping, brain function, temperature stabilization and other functions that occur in the body while asleep. The calories burned when awake and moving are not included in the BMR.
Factors that affect BMR include genetics, age, weight, gender, external temperature, internal temperature, body surface area, body fat percentage and others. Genetics will affect BMR because the initial metabolic set point is determined by genetics. Some people will have a BMR that is set higher than others, naturally.
Age comes into play with BMR because it slows at roughly 2 percent every 10 years after the age of 20.
If you are a woman, you will naturally have a lower BMR than a man because men usually have a lower percentage of body fat and a higher percentage of muscle, meaning that men require a higher metabolism to maintain this muscle.
The external temperature can be responsible for raising BMR. If the weather is cold, the body must create more heat to keep warm. Anything that affects body temperature and tries to raise or lower it will cause the BMR to increase in order to counteract this effect.
Body surface area is also relevant to BMR. Height and weight help determine BMR. The higher body surface area is, the higher the BMR.
Body fat percentage also affects BMR. The higher the body fat percentage the lower the BMR. Lean muscle raises BMR and body fat lowers it.
Certain glands in the body are responsible for regulating and setting BMR, including the thyroid and adrenal glands. Your thyroid gland releases a chemical called Thyroxin, which is responsible for increasing BMR the more of this chemical that is released, the higher the BMR.
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The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.
|Metabolic Process23 Oct 2008|