Daily movement can nurture myriad aspects of health, and metabolism is certainly on the list.
As Pasquariello tells mbg, both aerobic exercise (continuous movement like walking, running, biking, swimming, etc.) as well as anaerobic exercise (shorter bursts of movement, like lifting weights or doing a HIIT class) can support metabolism. What’s more, both types are technically forms of cardio, she says–meaning either activity will increase your heart rate and burn calories.
All that said, a person’s metabolic rate is directly associated with their percentage of muscle mass, so consistently building and preserving muscle strength is key for lifelong metabolism support. “As you gain muscle, your body naturally burns more calories at rest because muscle takes more energy to ‘maintain’ than fat,” explains Pasquariello.
However, it’s worth noting that some movement is better than none. Small amounts of daily, regular movement (rather than sporadic, hard-core gym sessions) will be most helpful for metabolism in the long run.