Key Number 4.
Active recreation. If you spend your free time engaging in active pursuits, you will be burning extra calories and having fun at the same time. What could be easier? Watching TV and sitting at the computer are the worst things you can be doing for your waistline. Actually, eating while doing said activities probably is worse…but you get the idea. If you don’t already partake, think of things you used to do as a kid or that you have done in the past, or that you do once in a while and enjoy it, and make it a regular habit. This activity will help supplement your cardio and your weight lifting programs. Find a friend or family member to enjoy the activity with you. Skiing, pickup basketball, hiking, leisurely bike rides, these all are ideas. You will burn lots of calories and have lots of fun.
You'll find these activities even more enjoyable when you're in good shape due to following cardio and weight lifting programs. Another thing you might consider, if you don’t do this already, is completing household jobs like mowing the lawn or shoveling the driveway by yourself instead of letting someone else do it or hiring someone to do it. You can earn some brownie points or save a few bucks, and burn some serious calories.
Finding ways to be active outside is a great way to keep movement enjoyable.
Key Number 5.
On the job (or at home), move! Whenever you have a choice, always choose movement. you don't want to limit your "exercise" to cardio and weight lifting programs. When there are boxes to be carried or errands that can be run on foot, jump in and volunteer to do it. If you are talking on the phone, stand up and pace instead of sitting. Save some of the active tasks to yourself and delegate the sedentary ones to others. See, it’s funny that in today’s world every effort is made to do less physical work- and look where it got us! About half of American adults are overweight. Yikes! In our relentless pursuit for convenience and ease of living, we have made ourselves (as a society in general) sick and unhealthy.
Key Number 6.
Supplements. Here, we get more into the issue of preventing metabolism slowdown. Did you know that deficiencies in any of the vitamins and minerals our body needs can set you up for a metabolic slowdown? All the processes the body depends on to function at its peak require everything to be available in sufficient quantity, some on a daily basis. You won't progress much with your weight lifting programs and your cardio if you are deficient in vitamins and minerals. The water-soluble vitamins cannot be stored in the body for any significant length of time. Unfortunately, in the American diet it is hard to get all of the micronutrients that used to be readily available in food. Most of our food is stripped of its vitamins and minerals by the food processing; sometimes, the companies add synthetic ones back in to try to make up for this. "Enriched" products are made in this way. They will never be as nutritious as the natural food, but unfortunately this high-quality, nutritious food is harder and harder (and much more expensive in the organic products, which are sometimes unknown as to their nutrient status) to come by these days.
However, by eating a balanced diet that contains sufficient calories and a variety of foods, you can greatly increase the amount of quality nutrition your diet provides. Click here for help constructing your own diet plan.
A multivitamin/mineral can go a long way to getting your needs straight. Weight lifting programs and cardiovascular exercise also "cost" your body nutrients, so if you exercise it's ultra-important that you supplement to be sure you're getting everything you need.
Beyond that, we have the issue of minimum versus optimal nutrient levels. The RDA states the amount of vitamins and minerals you need to avoid being sick, but not necessarily the amount you need to thrive. Certain substances, one being creatine monohydrate, has a significant effect when taken in doses impossible to obtain through food alone. You can get by just fine without it, but your friend who is doing everything the same as you plus supplementing with creatine will be leaner with more muscle, therefore a higher metabolism, and less fat--thus getting better results even when following the same weight lifting programs. Some experts believe that vitamin C should be taken in mega doses while dieting to aid in immunity and recovery via the reduction of free radicals. Indirectly, these things all contribute to a higher metabolism.
Fish oils or other sources of omega 3 are another great supplement. If you are deficient in the essential fatty acids, which is quite common, fat burning is slowed and muscle loss is common. All these supplements I've mentioned can be found in the highest quality and best price here: my recommendation for the best place to get supplements for your health, your cardio performance, and your performance with your weight lifting programs.
Key Number 7.
Good night’s rest. 6-9 hours of sleep (whatever amount makes you feel like you had a great night’s rest without needing an alarm clock to wake up) sets the stage for you to have an efficiently running metabolism. Chronic sleep loss affects the processing and storing of carbohydrates and the regulation of hormone secretion. The effect can be so drastic that after just one week the changes resembled the effects of advanced age and the early stages of diabetes. Loss of sleep also increases the secretion of cortisol, a stress hormone that eats away muscle and bone tissue and increases the deposition of abdominal fat. Yes, you really can be so stressed out that you develop a gut! If you have more fat stored around your middle, it may be due to this hormone, or to a diet high in sugars and alcohol.
So how do you get enough sleep? Well, the answer depends on why you might be a poor sleeper. Some people do get tired but purposefully stay up late and awaken early to try to get more things done. If this is the case for you, don’t bother. You are harming your body too much, and it is proven that sleep deprived people are LESS productive per hour worked. Discipline yourself to stick to a set bedtime. Don’t watch T.V. in bed and avoid doing stressful work in the bedroom. If you have trouble sleeping, avoid performing cardio or weight lifting programs in the three-hour period before bed. And DON'T be guzzling coffee or cola all day (or other beverages high in caffeine) and expect to get a good night’s sleep. Even if you ARE able to fall asleep, having caffeine in your system (it has a four-hour half life, so yes it is still in your system) makes for a less restful, restorative sleep. You just don’t hit the deep phases like your non-caffeinated friend does. One or two cups in the morning is OK, and tea is OK. Any more, and you’re in trouble.
Besides these simple sleep habits, you might need additional help, possibly even medication for insomnia. This information is beyond the scope of this article, but look into ways to get more sleep if you aren’t right now. Check out
The Better Sleep Council for more sleep tips.
Wrap-up on weight lifting programs and other metabolism-boosting tips
If you don't follow these 7 Keys, the fitness police will come find you! :)
Well, there you have it: The seven foolproof tactics for you to apply to your life. Every one of them is guaranteed on my word to affect your metabolism for the better. That means that if you are taking in a good amount of healthful calories through your diet you will still be losing weight, at least one pound a week. The adequate calories are an important part of this: food is actually thermogenic, meaning it requires energy to be assimilated into the body. Yes, eating calories burns calories! Some people try to be really gung-ho and they do everything above to raise their metabolism, then do everything possible to eat as few calories as possible, including skipping meals, avoiding animal protein, avoiding all fat, eating salad every day for lunch…the body goes into a shock emergency state at that point to conserve calorie and fat stores because it perceives the energy crisis. This is BAD for your long-term weight loss goals because your metabolism will be slowed to a crawl.
The ideal situation is for you to be eating just slightly less than you burn each day, resulting in a steady weight loss without those rapid losses and gains or the dreaded plateau. Weight lifting programs and cardio programs are powerful tools in keeping weight loss moving and keeping you healthy.
These seven steps might seem overwhelming, but maybe you are already doing a couple of them! You can start with just one and incorporate it into your life: I PROMISE you, you will notice the difference. Remember, think "progress" not "perfection." Every little bit helps. The number one thing you should do is start following a variety of weight lifting programs if you haven’t been already. “Behaviors,” including following weight lifting programs, generally take at 30 days to become habits, but once you are in the groove you will be well on your way to having a lean, toned body.
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