Wednesday, January 2, 2013

7 Ways to Kick Start Your Metabolism

1. Strength Train
We all know weight-lifting builds muscle, and the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn. What you may not realize is that the calorie burn continues long after your last rep. Actually, the only way to increase your metabolism after the age of 30 is to gain more muscle.

In a study at Southern Illinois University, exercisers who did a 15-minute resistance routine burned 100 extra calories a day for three days afterward.

Strength training causes micro trauma to the muscles. Your body has to rebuild the muscle. It does that by torching additional protein and carbs. Boost your fat burning: Twice a week, do some resistance training  (think push-ups and squats).

2. Weights First, Cardio Second
Exercisers who pump iron 20 minutes before cycling melt more fat than those who didn't lift or those who waited longer between lifting and doing cardio.

So if you're at the gym doing a traditional workout on your own,
 get to the weights first and to that bike or treadmill to end your workout.

3. Intervals!
Cyclists who pedaled at an all-out effort with high resistance for a total of five 30-second sprints (that's just 2.5 minutes!) burned a whopping 200 calories, according to recent Colorado State University research.
Changing the intensity forces your muscles to work harder. At my bootcamps all we do is intervals - bursts of cardio followed by strength training. 

4. Post Workout Snack, Think PROTEIN!
Exercisers who drank a 250-calorie shake with 24 grams of protein and 36 grams of carbs after strength training lost about four pounds more fat and created one and a half pounds more lean muscle in six months than those who didn't drink the shake. 

My favorite is the EAS "carb lite" pre-made protein drink and available at Wal-Mart, Kroger, etc. It has 110 calories and 17g protein. No guessing portions or mixing powders in a blender.

5. Down Dog
Surprise: Yoga gets you in burn mode. In one study, participants who om'd their way through a 50-minute yoga session saw a drop in their levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which can inhibit fat burning. 

6. Workout in the Morning
Researchers at Bangor University in the United Kingdom discovered that a.m. exercisers work out harder than those who exercise at other times during the day. That translates to more calories burned. Why is that? People tend to be more energetic and alert in the morning, and may also feel less rushed than those who squeeze gym time into the middle of their busy schedules.

7. Eat Often
Five little meals (think 250-300 calories) a day will keep your metabolism alert and working hard. One or two heavy meals of 600+ calories takes FOREVER to burn off. In fact, most of the time, big meals are not burned off but stored as fat! 

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