Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Workout Wednesday: Maximizing Your Metabolism Part I

Because of the results I'm getting from the protocol I'm doing, my interest in metabolism and energy has been piqued.  By increasing our metabolism, we create more energy, burn more fat and live longer.  Basically, metabolism boils down to how your body uses the macronutrients of fat, carbohydrates and protein to make energy.  We need energy for every process in the body, so this is essential for everything, not just exercise.  As we age, our metabolism slows down, but there are ways to increase it.

Exercise remains the undisputed champion for increasing metabolism.  While cardiovascular exercise is great for burning calories, interval training and weight lifting are best.  When we break down the muscles through intense exercise, the body requires energy to build the muscle back up, which in turn burns calories.  So, after a hard workout, our bodies continue to use energy for up to 24 hours.  In fact, people who have leaner, more muscular bodies actually burn calories doing nothing.

In addition, getting enough sleep has been shown to increase metabolism.  While you sleep, your body is still performing many functions, which uses up calories.  If we cheat ourselves of sleep, we disrupt this balance and actually burn less fuel.  Reducing stress and learning to relax also lowers cortisol levels, which can help with metabolism as well.

From a nutritional standpoint, eating right helps the body to become more stable and function properly.  Raw, organic plant-based food gives energy, digests more fully, keeps the body's systems balanced and elevates the mood.  When you feel better, you want to move more, which creates more energy for more movement and more joy.  It's a wonderful cycle that can easily be started.

Next week, I will talk about supplements for maximizing your metabolism.  There are several things that have been shown to work with athletes and have been working great for me.  Until then, get out there and move that body.  Life is waiting for you.  Be healthy!

Mystic Merman

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