Your metabolic rate is the rate at which your body burns calories for energy. Boosting your metabolism helps you burn fat, increases your energy, improves your circulation, and boosts your mood. Exercise has a powerful effect on metabolism, specifically anaerobic exercise. Anaerobic exercise (intense, fast, high-intensity exercise) focuses on strength and building muscle. Since muscle burns more calories than fat, more muscle typically means elevated metabolic rates. Your metabolism can’t function properly if the body isn’t healthy, and exercise is key to keeping your body at optimal health. Take a look at 7 of the best anaerobic exercises to boost your metabolism.
Aerobic vs Anaerobic Exercises: What’s the Difference?
Aerobic exercises are endurance-type exercises that increase your heart rate and breathing over relatively long durations. They involve continuous movement fuelled by oxygen from the air you breathe. Aerobic exercises are also known as cardio, and involve training that conditions your heart, such as running and cycling.
Anaerobic exercise, on the other hand, consists of short bursts of high-intensity movement, fuelled by energy stored in your muscles. These types of exercises focus more on strength and flexibility, and require more immediate energy. Anaerobic exercises are performed at maximum effort for a short time, for example, strength training, plyometrics, and high-intensity interval training (HIIT).
Both aerobic and anaerobic exercise are very beneficial for your cardiovascular system, as they strengthen the heart muscle, boost circulation, increase metabolism, and aid in weight management. Both types of exercise are also beneficial for your mental and physical health, benefit your sleep health, and boost your immune system.
Keep in mind that anaerobic exercise is quite challenging and demanding on your body. Do this type of exercise two to three times a week with one to two rest days in between. And if you’re new to exercise, start with aerobic interval training, as going too hard and fast can put you at risk of injury.
What Are the Benefits of Anaerobic Exercises?
- Increases bone strength and density
- Burns fat
- Supports weight management and helps maintain a healthy weight
- Boosts metabolism by building and maintaining lean muscle
- Benefits your cardiovascular system by strengthening the heart and boosting circulation
- Improves your mood and helps fight depression and anxiety
- Reduces risk of diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease
- Protects your joints by building muscle strength and mass
- Boosts energy and brain power
- Slows age-related muscle loss
7 Best Anaerobic Exercises to Boost Your Metabolism
High intensity interval training (HIIT) involves short periods of intense exercise alternated with recovery periods. It’s one of the most time-efficient ways to exercise and offers maximal health benefits in minimal time.
HIIT has been found to improve your metabolic rate for hours after you exercise, meaning you burn additional calories after you’ve finished working out. It also shifts the body’s metabolism to using fat for energy rather than carbs. Check out these HIIT workouts you can do at home!
Plyometric exercises are explosive movements that work your whole body. They use powerful, rapid movements to increase speed, power, and strength, such as box jumps, burpees, and jump squats. Plyometric training revs your metabolism and promotes weight loss due to the intense exertion of the movements. They require many muscle groups to work together at one time, forcing the body to use more energy and burn more calories.
3. Weight Training
Weight training is one of the best ways to boost your metabolism. It allows you to burn more calories and build more muscle. When you lift weights, you’re building muscle, and muscle is metabolically active. The more muscle mass you have, the more energy your body produces, which increases your metabolic rate. Check out these dumbbell workouts to build strength and boost metabolism.
4. Fast Cycling
The faster you cycle, the more you’ll boost your metabolism and the more calories you’ll burn. Your body uses more energy to cycle faster, so it’s a great way to challenge your body. Doing short bursts of fast cycling paired with rest periods is great for fat loss. Plus, when you stop pedalling, your metabolism remains engaged. Your body keeps burning calories at a higher rate, even when your body has returned to its resting rate.
Tabata is a step up from HIIT. With tabata, the intervals are shorter (with shorter rests) and more intense. Tabata is super intense since the work intervals are meant to be performed with all out effort and the rests are minimal. The intensity forces your body out of equilibrium. You’ll rely on your anaerobic energy system, so your body will need to work hard to return to rest. While your body readjusts, your metabolism stays high, burning calories after the workout is over. These tabata workouts for beginners are awesome if you want to get started!
6. Sprint Interval Training
Sprint interval training combines periods of maximal effort with longer rest periods. It boosts your metabolism for several hours post workout, contributing to weight and fat loss. When you sprint, you kickstart your metabolism, plus you build muscle and get a full body workout. Your metabolic rate also revs up to give you the energy to keep going. It generates energy by dipping into your fat store and burning any available fats.
7. Body Weight Strength Training
Bodyweight exercises include exercises like lunges, wall sits, squats, and planks. They’re great because you don’t need weights or gym space, but you still get the benefits of strength training- a boost in metabolism and muscle burn. As we age, we lose muscle mass, however, through a total body strength training program, it’s possible not only to prevent muscle loss, but increase your muscle mass (and boost your metabolism) throughout your life. Check out these bodyweight workout routines you can do at home!
Ready to rev up your metabolism? Make sure to add these anaerobic exercises to your workout routine!
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