Talk to most people about the benefits of exercise and they will invariably focus on burning calories. By consuming less calories than you burn, logic says you should start to use body fat for energy and therefore become leaner whilst also losing weight. However sound this logic appears to be, it doesn’t seem to hold true in reality!
The rate at which the body burns calories depends on the activity being performed. When the body is at rest, the rate at which calories are burnt is called the resting metabolic rate. While exercising this rate is elevated to the exercise metabolic rate and after exercise , it is described as the post exercise metabolic rate. Phew!
When you understand this you realise that there is a constant rate at which people use energy. When articles or studies claim that x amount of calories are burnt while exercising, they include the base rate which would be burnt regardless. So the amount of calories burnt while exercising is really very little.
Research shows that a pound of muscle burns between 50 and 100 calories. Lose muscle and your resting metabolic rate will drop, while the opposite also holds true. Therefore surely the real goal of exercise should be to add muscle and therefore increase the rate at which you burn calories on a constant basis, giving you more energy and enabling you to burn more calories while asleep or watching TV?