Reducing the total number of calories we consume and focusing on the quality of foods we eat is one part of the ratio for weight loss, but there’s much more to it than that. There’s also the frequency and intensity with which we exercise at the fitness center, environmental factors, and the way we take care of our bodies. Here are four related ways you can positively impact your metabolism.
- Incorporate speed intervals into your cardio sessions.
Interval training has been on-trend for the past several years, and there’s a reason why – it gets results, often faster than steady-state cardio. Incorporating bursts of speed or sprints when you hit the treadmill, elliptical, stationary bike, or rowing machine at the fitness gym will not only increase your total caloric burn, but has been shown to stimulate a post-workout fat-burning reaction, revving your metabolism for faster results in less time.
- Take advantage of both acceleration and deceleration when weight lifting.
Lifting weights fast builds muscle fibers, but it doesn’t break them down as much as slower, more deliberate lifting. In this case, breaking down muscle is a positive thing, because it allows your body to rebuild it better than it was before. The longer you sustain stress on your muscles, the more they’ll break down, giving your metabolism more work to do and using more energy.
- Reduce stress and intake of toxins.
Our emotional and physical environments also affect our metabolism. When we’re under real or perceived stress, our bodies divert any necessary resources to keep us alert and ready to “fight or fly.” This pulls resources away from metabolic processes. Taking in toxins through our food, environment, and personal products also hurts our metabolism, so be careful what you breathe, eat, and touch. Avoid pollution and first or second-hand smoke, use natural products, and be careful about what you use to store and heat your food.
- Get enough sleep.
Exercise helps us burn calories, but so does giving our bodies adequate time to rest and repair. Not getting enough sleep messes up the normal production of leptin and ghrelin, which are vital to metabolism. Strive to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night, and you might just start waking up a little leaner each day.
Eat to fuel your workouts, but workout and take care of your body in a way that boosts your metabolism.