Today I’m going to talk all about metabolism and how you can improve yours to help you burn more calories! This article is from Fitness Magazine, July/August 2010 issue so if you want to check out the whole thing you can!! Let’s start out by talking about what metabolism is.
Metabolism is the amount of energy (calories) your body burns to maintain itself. Whether you are eating, drinking, sleeping, cleaning etc… your body is constantly burning calories to help keep you going.
Metabolism is affected by your body’s composition. Body composition means the amount of muscle you have versus the amount of fat. Muscle uses more calories to maintain itself than fat. People who are more muscular (and have a lower percentage of body fat) have a higher metabolism than others that are less muscular. Let’s do a quick example to help you understand, you have two people who are the exact same height and weight. One exercises on a regular basis with weights, in addition to aerobic exercise, and has a low percentage of body fat. The other never exercises and has a higher percentage of body fat. The person number one, who exercises will have a higher metabolism than the second person. What this basically means is that person one’s body will use more calories to sustain itself than person two’s.
Alright enough of that now I’m going to tell you 10 ways how you can increase your metabolism!
1. Exercise more often: I know everyone is super busy but working out more often is the best possible way to increase your metabolism. The more lean muscle mass you have the more calories you will burn. This is because your muscles use more energy than fat does, even when you are resting or sleeping! Your metabolism can start to slow down in your late 20s so it is best to work out 4-5 times a week. This can be a variety of exercises. Take aerobic type classes like Body Attack or Combat three times a week and then try two days of weight lifting.
2. Kick up your cardio: Kicking up your cardio can help you maximize your burn and double the number of calories you burn during a workout. Doing cardio in intervals works out the best, it will even help after you stop exercising. Try to pick an aerobic activity that requires your body to work its hardest by using a lot of muscle groups.
3. Put some muscle behind it: A head to toe strength routine will increase your ability to burn calories. If you add five pounds of muscle to your body you can burn as many as 600 calories an hour during your workout! By challenging multiple muscle groups it will help your body function as a calorie-burning machine.
4. Don’t skip meals: This one I’m guilty of, even though I tell all of you never to skip and to eat breakfast, I don’t always do it, but I’m working on it! Food can kick your metabolism into gear though and by eating more frequently it can help rev it up! When you skip a meal or take a long break in between meals you metabolism slows.
5. Fill up on smart foods: Your body needs protein to help build lean muscle mass but it also takes more calories to digest. So you should eat some protein at every meal. Also eat more foods like slowly release sugar that you need, like having high fiber fruits and vegetables.
6. Eat breakfast: This goes back on the ‘don’t skip you meals tip.’ There is a hormone called cortisol, which helps you use calories to build muscle, that is at its highest just before you get up in the morning. So your body is primed to turn those calories you eat for breakfast into muscle quickly! This is the only time during the day that this happens so take advantage!!
7. Get off your butt: As you read this right now your probably sitting at your computer, well after your done Get Up! All of that sitting you do doing your day slows your metabolism even if you exercise regularly. An easy fix for this is to stretch, stroll and fidget throughout the day. Scientists call this NEAT, non-exercise activity thermo genesis, and it can help boost your calorie burn and help you drop weight!
8. Go to bed earlier: If you deprive yourself of sleep your body starts to responds as though it were under attack. Your lack of sleep can throw of your body’s hunger hormones, called leptin and ghrelin, out of wack. This is more likely to make you over eat.
9. Schedule a nighttime workout: If you do a 20-30 minute moderately intense cardio routine before you go to bed it will help keep your metabolism up all night! Take your dog for a walk or go for a family bike ride after dinner. Do this about two and a half hours before you go to bed and you should fall right asleep!
10. Check your meds: Some of the prescriptions you are taking could possibly be slowing down your metabolism and cause weight. Check with your doctor if there’s another type that will prevent that!
Those are ten great ways to help boost your metabolism! Try them out and see what they do for you!!