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Simple strategies to boost your metabolism

Susan May 1, 2013 Miscellaneous health topics Comments Off on Simple strategies to boost your metabolism
Simple strategies to boost your metabolism

A healthy diet and regular exercise are common recommendations to help support an optimal metabolism, but there are plenty of other simple ways to enhance metabolism.

1. Stand up and move—every 20 minutes.

Are you sitting yourself to death? Standing up and moving for a few minutes every 20 minutes can have a positive effect on your glucose and insulin levels – major hormone disruptors of your metabolism. Get up and move three times an hour–whether it’s to take a phone call standing by your desk, raking out the gardens, or folding laundry while doing the twist.

2. Get 7-8 hours of sleep. Take melatonin if you need to.

Sleep is crucial for your metabolism and lack of sleep can negatively impact weight and overall health.

4. Eat a metabolic boosting food every day.

Nothing impacts our ability to shed weight the way our food choices do. Metabolic-boosting foods include whey protein, blueberries, cinnamon, salmon, almonds, spinach,  oatmeal—and here’s an easy one, WATER.

5. Lift heavy things.

In general, lean tissue is more metabolically active than fat tissue. One of the best things you can do to maintain—or build  lean tissue is to lift weights. At home, you can incorporate chair dips, squats, pushups and pull-ups into your daily routine, because after all, your body is a heavy object. Try to strength train at least 2-3 times a week, and get creative if you need to. Keep weights near the phone and lift while you’re chatting.

6. Soak up the sun.

The sun supports overall mood and happiness, but it also provides Vitamin D, a fat-soluble vitamin (that is primarily produced in the skin by way of the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Vitamin D is involved in hundreds of metabolic processes in the body, including blood sugar and insulin balance as well as your immune system. If you’re deficient, your metabolism is at risk. The current recommendation is for 10-20 minutes of sun exposure to the face, arms and hands at least 3 days per week without sunscreen. Best times of day are outside the prime hours to prevent burning.

7. Run like you stole something. Rest and repeat.

Don’t get stuck doing steady state cardio all the time. Interval training is an exercise method that involves varying your levels of intensity, using short bursts of high intensity followed by brief periods of recovery. Studies show that interval training can support higher losses of body weight, body fat and belly fat and can improve insulin sensitivity when compared to low-intensity, steady-state cardio.

8. Drink more water.

Sounds easy, right? Remember that your body is at least 80% water. You should be taking in more water than any other nutrient. In fact, most adults are far from the recommended intake. Staying hydrated influences our metabolism by helping us excrete toxins, shed extra body fat, and produce energy. Track your water intake now and work toward an average of 64 ounces per day.

9. Meditate.

We can all use a little quiet time. The quieting effects of meditation have been shown to improve sleep, mood, pain, and anxiety. Meditation also reduces cortisol, your primary stress hormone. Take time each day to meditate and center yourself.

If you’ve never meditated before, try a yoga class or even download an introduction app on your phone. Make a point of practicing the introduction or other centering method on a daily basis.

10. Hold the alcohol.

Alcohol can disrupt glucose and insulin regulation, sleep, sex hormones and appetite – not good for supporting a healthy metabolism. [1]


[1] From Anika DeCoster, Program Manager of Life Time Weight Loss, “Ten Simple Strategies to Boost Your Metabolism,” April 7, 2013.

 

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