Want to Boost Your Metabolism? Here's the Only Workout You Need
On the hunt for a little fitness inspiration? We’ve got the workout for you.
But first - here’s a few quick health and fitness facts. There’s a ton of myths out there about health and fitness (and your metabolism) so let’s set the record straight.
- Your metabolism refers to all the chemical processes in your body that require energy. Individuals with a high metabolism burn more calories (thus they use up more energy). Those with slower metabolisms burn fewer calories. and thus, store more calories as fat.
- Abdominal fat, that excess fat hanging out around your belly line, is linked to an increased risk of various chronic diseases. And yup, you don’t have to be overweight to have fat hanging out with your key abdominal organs. If you lack a healthy diet and fitness routine, you could potentially be just as unhealthy (and also have a slow metabolism) equal to that of a person who is overweight or obese.
- You do need a certain number of calories to maintain your current weight. This is called your resting metabolic rate. It is about 50-70% of the calories you eat daily. This is less in those with a slower metabolism (they don’t need as many calories) and higher in those with a higher metabolism. Following so far? Good. There’s more!
- Muscle mass increases your metabolism. Muscle requires more calories than fat. Thus, more muscle mass raises your metabolic rate, meaning your body requires more energy (calories).
- Muscle mass, age, your environment, your gender, your physical activity, and hormonal conditions or disorders impact your metabolism. But again, you do have some control through your diet, lifestyle, and activity levels. If you maximize the aspects you can control, you can rest assured you’ll have a healthy metabolism and a healthy body!
Okay, so let’s dive in.
What Should You Be Doing to Increase Your Metabolism?
We know you can increase your muscle mass, eat healthy, and exercise. But what’s the best way to do this? A healthy diet involves everything in moderation! Make sure your getting the nutrients your body needs. You’ll get out of your body what you put into it. And here’s another add-on to our fitness facts, you definitely can’t out-exercise a bad diet.
So, let’s so zone in on exercise. Regular exercise increases your muscle mass. And some types of exercise do this more than others, like strength training. But what if you could combine some strength training and a bit of cardio all-in-one while not wasting hours in the gym? That is something we want to be a part of!
Here’s the plan: Combine strength training with cardio. It’s called High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), which we are sure you’ve likely heard of by now. But HIIT isn’t all about jumping around. There are ways to do this that are safe - meaning with exercises are easy on the joints and that build strength.
Here’s how you do it.
Take 15-20 minutes. Start with a light warm-up. Anything that will get your heart rate up without exhausting you. This can involve dynamic stretches, such as lunges, arm swings, leg swings, air squats, and more. Take about 2-5 minutes to get your body ready.
Do the following 5 exercises for 2-3 rounds. Perform each exercise for 1 minute. The bonus here is that you don’t need any equipment - it’s all bodyweight. You’ll build muscle while just using your own body as the tool and resistance.
Throw on some good tunes and let’s get started!
EXERCISE #1: Push-Ups
We’re throwing it back to the basics.
Get into a plank - or start on your knees. Set your arms wide, just under your shoulders. Lower your chest and chin toward the ground so that they almost touch, then push back up.
EXERCISE #2: Dive Bombers
Begin in a downward facing dog. Basically, it’s a plank with your bum and tailbone high to the sky.
Bend your elbows, bringing your head in between your forearms. Gradually, push your body forward, bringing yourself into an upward dog. This is the opposite of your downward dog. Your hips intend toward the ground and your chest is up and open, and your gaze is up and forward. Then, repeat the same thing backwards.
EXERCISE #3: Walking Lunges
Again, we’re focusing on the basics. These are foundational movements that will keep your limbs and joints strong, and get your metabolism revved up.
Step forward with your right leg. Bend your right knee over top of your right foot. Bend your left knee under your hips, then step your left leg forward, past your right leg and also lower into a lunge.
Keep walking forward into lunges. And stay low! The lower you are, the more it will burn!
EXERCISE #4: Plank to Squat
Begin in a plank. Step or jump into a low squat with your chest up. Then step back or jump back into a plank. Continue to alternate.
EXERCISE #5: Bicycle Crunches
We couldn’t not target the waistline and core! And this one will burn.
Lay on your back on a comfortable surface. Bend both knees over top of your hips, with your feet up and off the ground. Position your hands behind your head, with your elbows out. Extend your right leg straight (but don’t let it drop to the ground!). At the same time, bring your right elbow to touch your left leg.
Your shoulder blades should come completely up and off of the ground. Continue to alternate sides for the entire minute.
You Made It!
10 minutes here. 10 minutes there. This is an excellent option for beginners, especially if you find you’re a tad discouraged with exercise lately. And it’s supposed to be a short workout. It shouldn’t be longer than 20 minutes in total.
Don’t forget to hydrate after your workout, as well as refuel with some healthy foods. Boosting your metabolism doesn’t have to be hard work - or at least not exhaustingly hard work. Complete this workout 3 or 4 times a week and you’ll gradually start feeling stronger and stronger - which means… you’re building muscle and raising your resting metabolic rate!
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