Feeling a bit sluggish? Feeling like all your exercise just isn't paying off and moving the weight you'd like? It could be your metabolism has slowed.
Your basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the energy your body expends when it is at rest. Most often this is determined genetically, however as we get older our metabolism tends to slow down naturally.
If you're the type with a slightly slower metabolism don't stress, there are a few easy things you can do to improve it.
Good old fashioned cardio is one of the most effective ways to boost your metabolism. Image credit: J Vanglen/sxc.hu
1.Increase you exercise. Yep, it's the tip everyone knows. Increasing your cardio exercise is by far one of the most effective and safest ways to boost your metabolism.
Boxing and high-intensity interval training. Upping your cardio not only raises your metabolic rate, but keeps your resting energy expenditure high during periods of recovery following your exercise.
Doing just 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous cardio a day, in addition to two strength training (weight) sessions per week is a sure-fire way to keep your metabolism healthy.
Strength training helps prevent loss of muscle mass as we get older, which slows your metabolism. Image credit:Alya87/sxc.hu
2. Tone up your muscles. As our bodies get older our metabolism naturally starts to slows down. At the same time, we simultaneously start to lose muscle (and gain fat).
One way to combat muscle degeneration is with strength training. This improves the health and resilience of your muscles and improves your strength. More importantly, your muscles alone are metabolically active, allowing you to burn more calories, even when you are at rest, leading to a reduction in body fat. So if your muscles are in great condition they'll continue to burn fat after you've exercised. As an added bonus,you'll be healthier overall and stronger for it too!
3. Drink more green tea. Green tea contains antioxidants that have been shown in studies to help slim the waistline and decrease overall body weight. Also, green tea is packed with cancer-fighting compounds, which are an insurmountable benefit to your diet at any age.
Starving yourself of calories is the worst thing you can do. It brings your metabolism to a screeching halt. Image credit:Olly Bennett/sxc.hu
4. Don't starve yourself. Starving yourself is the worst possible thing you can do for your metabolism, a sure-fire way to bring it to a screeching halt. Starving yourself of calories robs your body of the vitamins and nutrients its needs to perform normally, when those are gone, your metabolism will plunge.
Always consult with a health professional, nutritionist or doctor when it comes to dramatically changing your calorie intake, but as a general guide, make sure to consume no less than 1,200 calories daily for women and 1,500 for men to meet basal metabolic needs.
Keep in mind that this is only the minimum amount of calories needed just to fuel resting functions, such as heartbeat, breathing, thinking and other involuntary actions. These calories do not cover your everyday activities and the more active you are, the more calories you will need to consume.
These four basic strategies will help ensure you maintain your best metabolism and muscle mass. You'll be healthier and stronger for it too!