12 Sep 2007
The basal metabolism supports your bodily functions that occur without conscious awareness. This includes the heartbeat, breathing, maintenance of body temperature and the sending of nerve and hormonal message to direct these activities. They are the basal processes that maintain life.
The amount of energy required to maintain the these functions is called the basal metabolic rate (BMR). The basal metabolic rate is the minimum amount of calories needed to sustain the vital functions of the body during a relaxed, reclined and waking state. BMR is proportional to the body size, lean mass and surface area of an individual. The BMR is surprisingly fast. A person whose total energy needs are 2,000 calories a day, spends as many as 1,200 to 1,400 of them to support basal metabolism.
You cannot directly change your BMR, today. You can, however, change the second component -voluntary activities -and spend more calories today. By increasing your daily voluntary activities day after day, it will ultimately change your BMR.