Is your Metabolism tired and sluggish? Are you looking for simple ways to give it a ‘jump start’?
Today I just wanted to share 8 simple and effective ways that I use to spur my metabolism on.
Have you ever heard of Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT)? No? Well, this is basically the energy that your body ‘burns’ or uses during your waking hours – not associated with eating or sporting/exercise activities. Primarily I am referring to the energy our body uses to complete everyday activities.
You may have seen recent (and not so recent) articles/news stories talking about our sedentary lifestyles and the huge impact that this is having on our health – both physical and mental.
Dr James Levine, Endocrinologist at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona coined the phrase ‘Sitting is the new smoking’ and goes on to say in one of his articles that we are ‘sitting ourselves to death’. Levine also writes that a low NEAT is linked to weight gain, diabetes, cancer and heart attacks. He is not alone in his research. The studies into this subject are mounting and there is a large group of scientists, nutritionists and even government bodies crying out for a ‘call to action’. Sadly, the message is taking too long to get delivered or it all just seems too hard for most. Knowing this, here are a few, easy to implement ideas that I use.
In no particular order – Here are my top 8 ways to fire up that tired and sluggish metabolism.
Remember just pick 1 or 2 to incorporate into your day to start with and before you know it, a few simple changes have helped you to be all fired up and ready to take on more!
- Park your car further away from your intended destination. Remember to make the transition in steps, perhaps park towards the back of the carpark the first week and increase your distance over the following weeks. In no time at all you will be striding out before and after work and your metabolism will be well on the way to increasing your NEAT.
- When you finish grocery shopping carry your shopping bags instead of taking a trolley (within reason of course). Small increases in weight bearing exercises will give those muscles a workout!
- Hang your washing on the outside line instead of using the dryer or hanging it. The walk to the line will increase your daily steps and together with the action of lifting those arms up and over a few times your body will help to invigorate your muscles. Combine this increase in movement with the fresh air and the sunshine and this one is a powerful combination. Want to make more impact? Ramp it up by connecting bare foot with the earth!
- During the day, at every opportunity stand up and walk around. If you have a desk job, set your alarm on the phone and every 20-25 mins get up and work standing for 5-10 minutes or take a walk to the other end of the office and back. Just make an effort to start moving!
- Instead of meeting your friend for a sit-down cuppa to catch up, get a takeaway and head down to your local park for a walk and talk. If it’s a business meeting
walk for a bit, then head to a picnic table for a spell and then you can head back. Again the fresh air and the sunshine is an added bonus.
- After your meal, stand from your chair and immediately sit down again, do as many stand/sit repetitions as you can in 1 minute. Aim to increase your number over a month – working the largest muscle in the body will have a profound effect on your systems. (Thank you to Dr Peter Dingle for this little tip).
- Use the stairs or walk up the escalators/travelators as opposed to ‘having a free ride’.
And last but by no means least.
- Sit on the Floor! Yes, throughout the day spend some of your time ‘floor living’. The simple act of getting down and then rising up again will again work out some of those muscles that may have been stagnating at the same time as stretching your body in various ways.
When I had a knee injury it was a little more difficult, so I found it was best to get down slowly with some help from a friend or some stable furniture to ease yourself into it. Cultures all over the world have almost made an art of sitting on the floor.
Chairs are a relatively new invention with their use originally limited to the wealthy or upper class. Floor sitting can encourage good posture and a strong core. Try eating your meal whilst sitting on the floor, sit on the floor to watch TV, read or chat with friends at ground level. Another trick I use is to change your position often – the positions for sitting are almost endless. Use cushions to support your knees or hips if needed.
In no time at all you will have added another activity to your day without actually ‘exercising’ and increasing your NEAT at the same time.
So this wraps up my top 8. This list is definitely not the end, think about your day and you will be able to find many ways to add a little extra movement to it. Please share your favourites in the comments.
Remember to start slowly at your own pace, any movement forward is in the right direction, be kind to yourself and others.
Thank you for reading,