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8 Habits That Boost Your Metabolism And Get Your Body In Good Shape

8 Habits That Boost Your Metabolism And Get Your Body In Good Shape

When encountered with unwanted weight gain many people tend to blame it on their slow metabolism and they are right to some extent since metabolism is responsible for all chemical processes in our body that provide our cells and organism with energy and nutrients. The problem usually occurs when we take more calories than we burn, causing our metabolism to slow down which results in weight gain.

When it comes to speeding up our metabolism, we are well aware that it is something we should all strive for, yet so many of us try to take the easy way by going on strict diets and consuming aggressive and unapproved dietary supplements. It seems that we have completely forgotten one simple truth – our bodies came from nature, and, as such, they follow a certain natural course.

Therefore, it usually turns counter effective when we try to force natural processes by artificial means. Instead, we should slightly alter our daily habits by going back to basics if we want to boost our metabolism and at the same time, get our body in a good shape.

1. Ease up

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    It is a widely known fact that stress is a number one cause to a large number of diseases, yet for a long time, the popular false belief was that stress actually helps to speed up the metabolism. According to the study conducted by the researches at the Ohio State University, stress is in direct correlation to weight gain and the decline in metabolism speed.

    In order to unblock the natural flow of energy through your body, you should make it a daily habit to find a quiet place and relax for at least fifteen minutes by doing deep breathing exercises, yoga, or meditation. This way, your body will get its daily stress relief and enough oxygen to keep your metabolism healthy and running.

    2. Don’t wait till you are thirsty

      Without enough water intake, our metabolism gets “depressed” as the research by the University of Utah shows. Water requirement depends on your age, level of activity, weight, etc., yet an optimal amount of water intake for an adult (aside from water which you get from food and other drinks) would be eight glasses of water per day. Additionally, it is highly advised to drink one glass of water before a meal, instead of after since water consumption before the meal helps enhance your metabolism speed.

      3. Eat often

      Food is not your enemy that turns into your body fat right after you eat. When done properly, eating can actually boost your metabolism and help get you in the shape of your life. To do so remember to eat smaller/lesser meals more frequently. Ideally, you should have five small meals every three hours. Also, try to eat at the same time every day, and avoid late dinners.

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        4. Get a goodnight sleep

          Irregular sleeping habits can harm your metabolism causing stress and craving for sugar and bad carbs. Quality sleep requires sleeping in a well aired room without artificial light for at least eight hours. To keep your metabolism from slowing down you should try to go to bed at the same time and wake up early each day.

          5. Raw it up

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            Raw vegetables are rich with fibers that prolong the digestion process and decrease appetite. When combined with low calorie value, raw vegetables provide a great solution to metabolism enhancement and weight loss. Unprocessed vegetables should be included in your every-day meal plan.

            6. Switch to green tea

            This alternative to coffee rich in antioxidants helps your body burn fat much faster turning it into energy unlike the short-lived stimulus you get from coffee. Drink at least two cups of green tea per day to keep your metabolism and weight in check. Avoid drinking it on an empty stomach and before sleep.

              7. Increase your iron levels

              Iron helps to transform blood sugar into energy that fuels the muscles in the human body. Including foods rich in iron such as fish, red meat and beans into your daily eating regiment, can help boost your metabolism during physical activity.

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                8. Stay active no matter what

                Stop making excuses for not working out regularly and use your busy schedule to your advantage. Physical activity is known to help speed up our metabolism as it burns calories and builds the muscles, yet not everyone can fit a regular exercise routine into their daily agenda. Luckily, there are a few simple habits you can alter or add it to your normal, day-to-day life to not miss out on another chance to get fitter and healthier. Use any chance you have to increase your activity level by

                • taking the stairs instead the elevator at every chance you get
                • getting off the bus one stop earlier and walking
                • standing in a public transport
                • stretching at the office

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                  Published on September 20, 2018

                  15 Static Stretching Exercises to Totally Enhance Your Workout Routine

                  15 Static Stretching Exercises to Totally Enhance Your Workout Routine

                  Stretching is one of those aspects of fitness that many people conveniently forget about. Perhaps you’re one of those who consider stretching nothing but a mere chore meant for ballerinas and gymnasts.

                  Well… you’re wrong!

                  Everyone needs stretching! Irrespective of your reasons for working out, be it for sports or personal fitness, one thing is certain – stretching can help you. Stretching – static or dynamic – comes with myriads of benefits – such as improvement in flexibility and reduction in muscle tightness – which ultimately allow you to go through your workout routines with greater efficiency.

                  For the purpose of this article, though, we’ll zero in on static stretching and take a look at its benefits and when it should be done. Finally I’ll cap it up by revealing 15 great static stretching exercises that’ll help keep your whole body in tip-top condition. So sit back, relax and enjoy!

                  Benefits of static stretching

                  Static stretching comes with tons of benefits that can help you to make the most of your workout routine. Some of them include:

                  1. Improved flexibility

                  Alright! Here’s the deal – if you want to perform better, flexibility is of tremendous importance, irrespective of the specific workouts you do. And luckily enough, static stretching is all you need to get all the flexibility you desire.

                  Flexibility, also known as the range of motion (ROM) around a joint, has been shown by several studies to be improved by static stretching.[1] And although the specific mechanism through which this occurs is still unclear, static stretching has been shown to greatly increase joint flexibility[2] and tissue length,[3] which work in tandem to make your workout more effective.

                  2. Decreased risk of injury

                  If you’re looking to push yourself to your training limits without coming down with injuries, then stretching will do you a great service. Research has shown time and time again, that performing the right stretch exercises pre- and post-workout greatly helps with injury prevention.[4]

                  So, how does it work? Well, think of it this way:

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                  When you stretch you literally push your joints and muscle fibers to their limit. This increases the stretch tolerance in these muscles and joints over time and the increased tolerance allows you to perform more rigorous exercises without negatively impacting your body or risking an injury.

                  3. Increased blood flow and nutrient supply to the joints

                  Another benefit of stretching is increased blood flow – and by extension, nutrient supply – to the joints and muscles of the target areas. This, in turn, improves the performance of these muscles and joints due to the availability of more nutrients, improved oxygenation and removal of metabolites.

                  For static stretching though, the mechanism of action isn’t as straightforward. When stretching statically, blood flow (capillary oxygenation) temporarily reduces due to vascular compression.

                  However, immediately after releasing the stretch, the blood flow to these areas nearly doubles the pre-stretching levels.[5] Thus, blood flow increases.

                  4. Improvement in recovery

                  If you’ve been working out for some time, then you’ve probably discovered that a rigorous workout session can leave you battling with sore muscles… for days!

                  Recovery essentially means getting rid of this soreness and returning your muscle fibres back to their tip-top condition.

                  So, how does stretching come in? See…that’s the thing, research has shown that practicing static stretching after your workout session helps to reduce muscle soreness. And while some may argue that this effect is minimal, the fact still remains that stretching does help shorten your recovery time.

                  Stretching allows tissues to be better hydrated after the induced tension is released and this encourages the inflammation and faster repair of such tissues.

                  Other reasons why you really should incorporate stretching into your workout include:

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                  • Improved relaxation
                  • Increased movement efficiency
                  • Reduction in the risk of lower back pain
                  • Reduction in muscular tension
                  • Improvement in neuromuscular coordination
                  • Improvement in balance and postural awareness
                  • Provision of relief from cramping

                  Alrighty! Now that it’s crystal clear that stretching does your body a world of good, let’s dive right into the actual stretching exercises.

                  15 Great static stretching exercises you should start doing

                  Here are some amazing exercises that will keep your body in tip-top condition and take your workout routine to the next level.

                  1. Neck stretch

                    While sitting tall or standing, place your right arm gently on the right side of your head and place the other arm straightly on your side.

                    • Slowly pull your head towards your right shoulder until you can feel the stretch on the left side of your neck.
                    • Hold for about 30 seconds before releasing.
                    • Repeat for the opposite side.

                    2. Chest Stretch

                      Stand right, with your fingers interlocked behind your back, near your buttocks.

                      • While keeping your shoulder blades together and your back straight, push your arms up behind you, until you feel the stretch in your chest.
                      • Hold for about 20-30 seconds before releasing.

                      3. Cross-body shoulder stretch

                        Stand right or sit tall

                        • Extend one arm to your front to shoulder height.
                        • Grab the extended arm with your other arm and pull it towards your chest while keeping the extended arm straight.
                        • Continue the pull until you feel the stretch in your shoulder.
                        • Hold for 30 seconds and repeat for the other arm.

                        4. Triceps stretch

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                          • Lift your arms overhead with both arms slightly behind your head and bent at the elbow.
                          • Use your right hand to pull your left elbow until you feel a stretch in your triceps.
                          • Hold for about 30 seconds and repeat for the other arm.

                          5. Biceps stretch

                            • Sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
                            • With your fingers pointing away from your body, place your two palms flat on the floor behind you.
                            • While your hands are steadily in place, slowly slide your butt downward toward your feet until you can feel the stretch in your biceps, shoulders and chest.
                            • Hold for about 30 seconds before release.

                            6. Wrist stretch

                              • While Standing straight or sitting tall, extend your right arm forward to shoulder height with your fingers pointing towards the ceiling.
                              • Grab your right fingers with your left hand and pull your right hand to bend the wrist until you can feel the stretch
                              • Hold this position for about 30 seconds and repeat for the opposite arm.

                              7. Side stretch

                                • Stand straight with your feet hip-wide apart.
                                • Take your right arm and reach over your head towards your left side while bending your side.
                                • Keep bending your side slowly until you can feel a stretch on your right side.
                                • Maintain this position for about 30 seconds and repeat for the opposite side.

                                8. Abdominal stretch

                                  • Lie down on your stomach with your face towards the ground and your palms facing the floor as though you’re about to do a push up.
                                  • While keeping your pelvis firmly on the floor, gently push up your upper body from the ground. This should make your feel some stretch in your abs.
                                  • Maintain this position for about 30 seconds before releasing.

                                  9. Reclined spinal twist

                                    • Lie down facing the ceiling, with your arms extended to the sides and placed on the floor.
                                    • While keeping the right leg extended, pull up your left knee towards your chest, tilt it toward your right side and then drop it slowly over your extended right leg.
                                    • Keep your shoulder blades flat on the ground and you should feel the stretch around your back
                                    • Hold for about 30 seconds and repeat for the opposite side.

                                    10. Low-back stretch

                                      • Lie on the ground facing the ceiling, with your knees bent.
                                      • Hold your shins and pull up your knees toward your chest.
                                      • This should make you feel some stretch in your lower back.
                                      • Hold for about 30 seconds before releasing.

                                      11. Hip flexor stretch

                                        • Stand right in a standard lunge position.
                                        • Place your two hands on your hips.
                                        • Step out on your right foot into mini-lunge position, without your knee going beyond your right toe.
                                        • Hold for about 30 seconds and repeat for the left side.

                                        12. Glutes stretch

                                          • Sit tall on the ground with both knees bent and both feet on the floor.
                                          • Lift your right leg and cross it over your left thigh, while your left knee remains bent.
                                          • Pull both legs inwards toward your abdomen for a deep stretch of your glutes.
                                          • Hold this position for about 30 seconds and repeat with the other leg.

                                          13. Quadriceps stretch

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                                            • Stand tall while maintaining a straight posture.
                                            • With your left hand, grab a pole, wall or anything durable for balance.
                                            • With your right hand, grab your right foot and pull up your heels until they touch your buttocks.
                                            • Keep your knees close together while doing this and you should feel the stretch in your quadriceps.
                                            • Hold this position for about 30 seconds and repeat for the other side.

                                            14. Hamstring stretch

                                              • Sit on the floor with your right leg extended straight in front of you and your left leg bent.
                                              • Reach forward with your right hand and touch your right toes. This should cause a stretch in your right hamstring.
                                              • Hold this position for about 30 seconds and repeat for the left leg.
                                              • If you’re unable to reach your toes, try holding your shin instead but seek to go further every time you perform the stretch until you can touch your toes.

                                              15. Calf stretch

                                                • Sit on the ground and extend your right foot straight in front of you.
                                                • Gently pull your right toes backwards with your right hand. This should cause a noticeable stretch in your calf.
                                                • Hold this position for about 30 seconds and repeat for the left leg.
                                                • If you’re unable to reach your toes, use a rope or towel to pull your toes inward.

                                                When should you be doing static stretches?

                                                Static stretching is great…when done correctly and at the right time. Over the years, research has shown that static stretching produces best results when done after working out or on rest days,[6] but not as a part of warm up exercises before an explosive workout session.

                                                This is because static stretching exercises have a “cool-down” effect on the muscles and are more effective when done after the muscles are already warm.

                                                So, does that mean you must never ever perform static stretches before working out? Certainly not! You can, but it should be kept to the barest minimum.

                                                Dynamic stretches – that involve more movement – are generally recommended for warming up as it helps the body to prepare better for the work ahead.

                                                The bottom line

                                                Carving out the body of your dreams isn’t only about lifting weights and running, you need to keep your body “elastic” if you’re going to make the most of your training. And that’s the whole point of stretching exercises.

                                                So, starting today, be sure to incorporate these static stretching exercises into your routine and in no time, you’ll find yourself recovering faster and performing better than ever before.

                                                Just remember to keep these stretches a part of your post-workout dessert for maximum benefit.

                                                You’ve got this!

                                                Featured photo credit: Scott Broome via unsplash.com

                                                Reference

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