Calculate your BMR

by Executive VP/COO Kerri O’Brien

Your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) is defined as the minimum number of calories your body burns whether at rest, working out or lying down. These calories are the absolute minimum amount of energy your body burns, and includes all involuntary (independent of your own will) activities that your body does to stay alive such as digestion, respiration, circulation and regulating body temperature.

Factors that affect your BMR include age, genetics, weight, heredity, body fat percentage and gender. Think of your BMR as the number of calories needed to stay alive if you were bedridden.

Your BMR slows down at roughly 2% every 10 years after the age of 20. Women will naturally have a lower BMR than men, as men usually have a lower percentage of body fat and a higher percentage of muscle.

Your BMR also increases with your body weight, in both males and females, so the heavier you are (weight) the higher your BMR is. Did you know that your external temperature can also 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.

The Y’s SMART ASSESSMENT using bio-impedance can calculate your BMR based on your age, gender, weight and body composition. Be sure to ask a personal trainer today about how the Y uses BMR in our Healthy Living Programs.