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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 March 8, 2019

                  How Adding Flow Yoga to Your Workout Routine Boosts Your Gains

                  How Adding Flow Yoga to Your Workout Routine Boosts Your Gains

                  When we fall into a workout routine, our moves become automatic, and the body quickly adapts. This is called muscle memory.[1] While teaching your body how to properly execute squats, push-ups, or crunches is a benefit, overly relying on these moves to consistently grow gains won’t yield the kind of results you want. That’s because the muscles work in the same way every time.

                  Simply put, they’re not being “surprised,” so they get lazy.

                  Supplementing your routine with flow yoga is one way of surprising your muscles, especially if you are new to the yoga practice and have never tried the postures. It’s like taking a new road home when you drive, deviating from your usual route. Science has found that by doing so, you’re creating new neuropathways in your brain.[2] The same is done in your muscles when you try a new routine.

                  How is this done? Let’s dive right into it.

                  How Flow Yoga Boost Your Gains in Your Workout Routine

                  Think about your current workouts:

                  If you lift weights, you rely on external tools to engage your various muscle groups. Over time, your shoulders, legs, or biceps will come to expect the weighted plates or dumbbells, in the repetitive sequences that you remember.

                  In flow yoga, we use the body as the weight. Add gravity and hundreds of different postures and combinations, and you have a workout that uses the same muscle groups, but in many different ways.

                  A pose such as plank is a full-body workout, with every muscle engaged to keep the body in one long line. While it’s a stationary pose, it requires muscle control and activation, with no room for passivity.

                    A Flow sequence, on the other hand, requires your muscle to switch from one pose to another swiftly, providing you with a more balanced and wholesome use of your major muscle groups.

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                    Not only do these poses and routines re-energize the body in a refreshing way, they also allow you to learn something new, which is powerful for the mind.

                    Bottom line? Complementing your exercise regimen with flow yoga is like hitting the shuffle button on your workouts, using your muscles in ways that “surprise” them, which in turn boost their growth and performance.

                    Energizing Flow Yoga with Added Cardio

                    Flow yoga is also known as “Vinyasa.”[3] In Sanskrit – the sacred language of the practice and its Indian roots – Vinyasa is roughly translated to “one breath, one movement.”

                    This guideline, first and foremost, enhances your breathing, and teaches you how to go from our typical shallow, chest-only breathing, to a more deeper, belly-chest breath that uses the entire lung system.

                    Not only is this beneficial for a myriad of healthcare reasons (combat allergies, eliminate toxins, reduce stress, ease anxiety), it also greatly impacts our muscles,[4] and therefore our workout.

                    Flooding your muscles with rich oxygen will only keep them healthy, while the cardio benefit will get you warmed up to take on the more challenging postures in a flow yoga class. This prevents injuries and cramping.

                    The best example of energizing cardio in flow yoga is the Sun Salutation sequence. Each pose is completed on an inhale or an exhale, until the sequence is finished. One full sequence may be repeated several times, encouraging you to take fuller and deeper breaths. The cycles warm up and loosen the body and prepare the muscles for stationary poses that are held longer.

                    Here’s how to do a Sun Salutation Flow:

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                    Due to the Sun Salutations, the muscles are not thrown into a challenging workout, but rather primed and prepared with energizing breath.

                    Why is this important, you ask? Because happy muscles are warmed-up muscles.

                    The Best Thing About Flow Yoga

                    The best thing about practicing flow yoga? You’re building strength and flexibility.

                    Strength and flexibility are like the Mecca of a wholesome workout routine. Before we get into why this is important, let’s break these two down individually to see how they stand up on their own:

                    Meet Strong Stan

                    Strong Stan is at the gym, doing bicep curls with massive dumbbells. His muscles have peaked in size, and he proudly displays them.

                    While he loves to lift weights, Strong Stan often skips stretching or warm-ups. He just doesn’t see how that could help him continue his muscle gains, so he jumps right into a heavy workout.

                    While it’s not evident to a passerby, Stan’s muscles are hurting. Without sufficient flexibility or deliberate stretching, Stan’s muscles are shortening and getting tighter. This eventually leads to joint injuries,[5] because un-stretched muscles have limited range of motion.

                    Big muscles are a sure indicator of strength, but here’s the kicker – choosing not to prioritize flexibility will keep them inherently at risk.

                    Meet Flexible Fiona

                    Flexible Fiona is in a flow yoga class, easing herself into a backbend.[6] She effortlessly gets into the pose, and “hangs” out there for a few breaths while the teacher cues the class.

                    Even though the teacher instructs the students to engage their glutes and be mindful that this is an active pose, Flexible Fiona opts otherwise, and relaxes into the posture by sacrificing the strength she ought to be building.

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                    To many in the class, Fiona’s execution of the backbend would be a success – maybe even something to envy. However, what Fiona doesn’t realize is that her excessive flexibility is actually a detriment to her joints.[7]

                    Flexibility has been defined as the “absolute range of motion” by Tony Gummerson, Martial Arts instructor. For people who are naturally flexible, that line of absolute range is often blurry and, in practice, overlooked.

                    It’s very easy for Fiona to go above and beyond her range of motion, since her flexibility parameters are much wider than what Strong Stan may experience in a similar pose.

                    Because she doesn’t feel the stretch in the same degree of motion as other students in class, Fiona has to push the envelope of her flexibility. This puts too much pressure on the joints that are already overworked, and it overstretches the muscles that are now prone to tearing.

                    Your goal is to create muscle and joint balance and wholeness.

                    What Strong Stan and Flexible Fiona have in common is that they’re both missing vital pieces of muscle awareness.

                    In Stan’s case, heavy and tight muscles crave flexibility. Without it, not only would Stan hit a plateau in his gains because of a sure injury, but he would miss out on having the lean and toned muscles that we all want to have.

                    In Fiona’s case, her overstretched muscles are not getting a workout at all. Rather, her excessive flexibility is resting on her joints, which leads to definite injury.

                    So what can you do? It’s quite simple.

                    You have to give your muscles the opposite of what they’re used to.

                    If you’re a Stan and hate stretching, focusing on your flexibility is key. You will lengthen your tight muscles, and you’ll create new muscle memory by practicing routines that are new to you and your muscle groups.

                    If you’re a Fiona and hate strengthening, focusing on this priority is vital. Your muscles are used to being passive as you stretch, so shaking up the usual and putting them to work will not only keep you injury-free, but that much closer to the muscle gains you’ve been looking for.

                    Fortunately, flow yoga is the whole package, and can be the one-stop-shop for both Stan and Fiona.

                      Final Thoughts

                      If you’re serious about using flow yoga to supplement your workout routine to boost gains, sign up for a class at your local gym or yoga studio. There are a number of styles of yoga to try, but as we’ve discussed in this article, the Vinyasa style is your best bet to complement a moderate exercise regimen.

                      Many studios offer beginner-style Vinyasa classes, where the instructor will explain the basics, and break down the sequences in a pace that is suitable for entry-level students. From here, the student can build upon their practice, and opt for more challenging, fast-paced classes, such as Power Flow or Ashtanga.

                      Working out is a lesson in teaching your muscles. The gains that we grow are the result of that experience, and it all comes down to conditioning our body in a way that is healthy, efficient, and balanced.

                      With a practice like flow yoga, we can offer supplemental training to our current regimen that will work our muscles in ways that are new, refreshing, and “surprising.” This method will keep our muscles toned and lean, as long as we prioritize the balance between strength and flexibility to ensure that we’re meeting both of these needs. Our muscle gains and body health depend on it.

                      More Resources About Yoga and Fitness

                      Featured photo credit: Edit Sztazics via unsplash.com

                      Reference

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