(CARLSBAD, CA) – Women all over the world get weak in the knees when someone mentions the “m” word. Metabolism is a universal hot topic, as countless diets and fitness regimens promise to stoke the metabolic fires and bring lifelong change. So, what exactly is your metabolism, and can you really increase it?
Simply put, your metabolism is the rate at which your body burns calories. Your personal metabolism is largely determined by genetics, and it inevitably slows down with age. Yet, there are steps you can take to rev up your metabolism and increase your body’s calorie-burning furnace.
- Lift Weights – Muscle loss is one of the reasons metabolism slows with age. Muscle burns calories at a greater rate than fat. From age 20-70, we lose about 30 percent of our total muscle cells. Resistance training can counteract that loss. In fact, one Netherlands study determined that resting metabolism increased a whopping nine percent over a time period of 18 weeks when participants built more muscle mass.
- Eat Breakfast – Perhaps breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. That’s because breakfast jump-starts your metabolism before you begin your daily activities. Your body will burn more calories from dawn to dusk if you stoke the metabolic fires first thing in the morning.
- Start Grazing – The culinary routine of three square meals per day is not only passé, but also counterproductive for your metabolism. Researchers at Georgia State University show that three-meal-a-day female athletes have lower resting metabolic rates and higher body fat percentages than their counterparts who graze throughout the day. Eating small meals several times per day stabilizes your blood sugar and revs up your metabolism. If you go too long between meals, your body enters starvation mode, and it stores up excess fuel as fat.
- Get Active – A regular exercise program is vital, but that doesn’t give you license to be a couch potato for the rest of the day. Consider that an average woman burns 2,000 calories per day. Perhaps 400 of those calories are burned in a given workout. That means the remaining 80 percent of calories are burned in daily activities. So, trade an hour of TV time for a more active hobby, and you’ll burn more calories in a given day. Jazzercise Founder and CEO Judi Sheppard Missett recommends making small changes in your lifestyle, such as taking the stairs more often or selecting a parking space farther away from your destination.
- Increase Protein – Resting metabolism increases after a protein-rich meal because the digestion process for protein uses more calories. As an added bonus, protein makes your body feel more satiated, so you’ll be less tempted to snack. So, add more protein into your daily diet to increase your metabolic rate. But, don’t go overboard and cut out health carbohydrates altogether, as your body needs the nutrients found in healthy carbs.
There’s no magic bullet when it comes to increasing metabolism. Start making small lifestyle changes and see if the “m” word becomes your newest friend.
Jazzercise, created by Judi Sheppard Missett, is the world's leading dance-fitness program with more than 7,500 instructors teaching 32,000 classes weekly in the U.S. and around the globe. Since 1969, millions of people of all ages and fitness levels have reaped the benefits of this comprehensive program, designed to enhance cardiovascular endurance, strength, and flexibility. For more information on Jazzercise go to jazzercise.com or call (800)FIT-IS-IT or (760)476-1750.