The body’s metabolism (how well you break down food and transform it to energy) can be hard to track, and is therefore hard to tweak! While we are born with certain predispositions on how our metabolism works, there are ways to persuade it to work more efficiently, even in difficult times like the ones we're facing now.
Though many of us are currently at home and limited in how we move, we still have the tools to keep our metabolisms humming. Keeping the following factors in mind can help positively influence how you approach managing your metabolism.
1. Your metabolism is not a muscle.
It's actually composed of multiple biochemical processes that center around anabolism (the buildup of substances) and catabolism (the breakdown of substances). Your metabolism is affected by your body size, age, gender, and genetics, and therefore some things are out of your control. But all is not lost, because...
2. Activity matters!
Exercising to boost your metabolism IS possible, and bonus: It doesn’t take any fancy equipment!
While some studies show that aerobic exercise leads strength training in effectiveness in boosting metabolism, the basic takeaway is that you can increase your metabolism by building lean muscle mass and raising your heart rate, and there are tons of ways to do that at home.
Try alternating periods of work with periods of rest, and then repeat the same movement without the rest. You can do this with bodyweight strength exercises like push ups, lunges, squats, etc, or you can alternate intense cardio circuits like running, dancing, shadowboxing, and more with periods of rest. Work both strength and cardio, use compound moves, and let yourself get out of breath! Try using a heart rate monitor with these circuits, so you can monitor your rest periods and be efficient!
3. Easy fixes are not as effective as you think.
Have you ever read that you can kickstart your metabolism by downing green tea, black coffee, energy drinks, or apple cider vinegar? Though some studies on rodents have shown a tiny uptick in metabolism rates, the results of these quick-fix solutions prove to be short-lived. Stick with a tried and true well-balanced diet, and use exercise instead as your mid-afternoon pick me up.
The bottom line is this: Train for muscle growth and heart health, keep up with regular sessions of intense cardio, and eat healthy! Your metabolism will thank you for it.