You’ve probably heard people talk about their metabolism quite frequently. Those who can eat what they want without gaining weight are often credited with having a fast metabolism, and many of the dozens of herbal supplements, teas, and weight-loss schemes out there claim that their product will work to increase metabolism using natural substances.
Regardless of how often we’ve heard about it, however, how many people truly know what metabolism is, not to mention how it works?
What is Metabolism?
Metabolism is a term that describes all the chemical reactions in your body. These chemical reactions keep you alive and functioning. However, the word metabolism is often used interchangeably with a metabolic rate or the number of calories you burn. The higher it is, the more calories you burn and the easier it is to lose weight and keep it off. Having a high metabolism can also give you energy and make you feel better.
What Affects Metabolism & What Doesn’t
Although the diet industry would have you believe that speeding up your metabolism and burning more calories is as simple as popping a pill or sipping a magic tea, there are actually a few scientifically proven ways to increase a person’s metabolism.
These methods include:
Eating a Protein-Filled Diet: Whether it comes from plants or animals, eating protein offers the highest metabolism boost of the three macronutrient groups. Due to the effort needed to digest it, protein increases your metabolic rate by a whopping 15-30%, while carbs provide a 5-10% bump, and fats just 0-3%.
Drinking-Water: Studies show that drinking half a liter of water increases your metabolic rate by between up to 30% for roughly an hour.
Drinking Coffee/Tea: Green or Oolong tea does increase metabolism but don’t get too excited – it only offers an extra 4-5%. Similarly, a cup of coffee offers a 3-11% bump in metabolic rate.
Exercise: Exercise, particularly High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) helps you increase your metabolic rate and burn fat, and the effect has been shown to last for hours after you finish your workout. It’s this method of increasing your metabolism that we’re going to focus on today.
HIIT at Home
It’s not necessary to join a gym to take advantage of the benefits of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts – you have everything you need at home. Fitness trainers Jenney Pacey and Wayne Gordon of Grokker, have put together a great routine, perfect for a home workout.
The workout combines 5 sets, with a 30-second rest between each set:
Set 1: Floor Touch Squat, Wide-to-Narrow Push-Up, Tap Floor, Squat Jump, Full Tuck Crunch, Rest
Set 2: Forward and Backward Lunge, Triceps Dip and Hip Lift, Kneel to High Skip, Bicycle Crunch, Rest
Set 3: Bridge Scissor, Swimming Plank, Diagonal Squat Thrust, Toe Touch Beetle Crunch, Rest
Set 4: Lateral Lunge to Knee Drive, Inverted Push-Up, Skater with Single-Leg Squat, Vertical Leg Lift, Rest
Set 5: Plank Walkout and Punch, Skydiver, Tick-Tock Squat Thrust, Rock-Up to Single-Knee, Rest
Don’t worry if these exercise names seem like gobbledygook – the trainers demonstrate each one and all you need do is follow along! All you need to complete this 30-minute workout is a yoga mat or other non-slip surface, a water bottle, and comfortable clothing.
You can access the workout by clicking here.
Metabolism (and Mood) Booster
If the workout above doesn’t quite do it for you (whether it’s too intense, not challenging enough, or for any other reason) feel free to find one that does.
A quick google search for “30-minute home HIIT workout” delivers thousands of well-designed workouts to your fingertips in seconds! Try a few until you find one whose style and approach fit yours. Embracing the workout is really important because it means you’ll be stick with it.
By choosing to do a quick, 30-minute workout each day, you’ll be increasing your metabolism and burning calories, but you’ll also be reaping the many rewards of physical exercise: improved mood, better sleep, defined muscle tone, and increased strength, to name a few.
Not bad for a half-hour spent in your own living room.