Last week, we gave general tips on ways to keep your metabolism high. They were: avoid fad diets, know your calorie intake and vamp up your exercise. The secret to permanent weight loss is training your body to be a more efficient calorie-burning engine. You can only achieve this by maximising your metabolism. Metabolism is the process by which your body converts what you eat and drink into energy.
One of the most effective ways to vamp up your metabolism, especially if you’re dieting, is through exercise. Exercises like cardio, HIIT(High-Intensity Interval Training) and strength training provide a protective effect against a dip in metabolism. Most people tend to lose a significant amount of muscle when they engage in weight loss programs that don’t include exercise, whereas one of the main benefits from exercise in weight loss programs is the preservation of muscle.
Strength training consumes calories, raises your metabolism and builds muscle. When you build more muscle, you boost your resting metabolic rate. This means that all other things being equal, your body will burn more calories even when you are doing nothing.
Another powerful method of maximising your metabolism is HIIT. A HIIT workout mixes shorts bursts of activity with even shorter rest periods. Ideally, you work to your maximum capacity during the short bursts of activity, hence the use of “high intensity” to describe those intervals.
HIIT raises your metabolism for several hours after your interval workout. To do an interval workout, do a five-minute warm-up, alternate two minutes of moderate intensity cardio with 30 seconds of all-out effort for 10-20 minutes, then cool down.
There are some pretty good HIIT moves that not only build muscle but also help you burn calories for hours after you’ve finished your workout. Burpees is one of them; dropping all the way to the floor to do a plank, then standing up and jumping high into the air requires a lot of power and energy, so when you do them, your body is working at 100%. Keep your pace steady and fast, and you’ll guarantee a great muscle-toning and calorie burning workout.
Mountain climbers are also a great exercise for working the midriff while getting your heart rate up. Maintaining a steady position throughout the upper body (shoulders over hands and no hip lifts) while driving those knees underneath you in and out requires a lot of core strength and stability.
All forms of cardio, such as walking or running, immediately boost your metabolism. It takes plenty of energy for your cells to catch up with the demands of working muscles. The number of calories you burn increases as you transition from a resting level of metabolism to an exercising rate of metabolism. Aerobic exercise can boost your metabolism for hours or even days after each session.
The frequency of your sessions, the intensity of each session, the duration of the session and the exact type of exercise performed are important. By altering one or two variables every time you do aerobic exercise, you increase your metabolism simply because you are forcing your muscle cells to respond to a slightly different stimulus or stress. If you walk the same routes, at the same speed for the same 20 minutes every day, this does little or nothing to boost your metabolism.
Exercise is the best way to change your metabolism. A great workout program helps rev up your metabolic engine, build strength, burn calories and boost your health. All of these factors have a positive impact on your metabolism, so beginning-level workouts are a great place to start if you are not ready for vigorous exercise.