Its new years day, people are recovering from their holiday celebrations and are now ready to start thinking about what changes they need to get back on track in their goals. So here I will help you explore a few changes you can make to your lifestyle to help you increase your metabolism.
Build a bedtime and wakeup routine. This sounds basic but it makes a huge difference for your body if you have a set time you start your sleep process whether that means that you turn off your phones, tablets/Ipads, TV, etc. and listen to a book on audible or read a chapter or two of a book, some evening stretches/yoga or settle in for that hot soak in the tub. Creating this pre-bedtime routine is a natural training cue for your body to start relaxing and switching on its circadian rhythm. After awhile, your body will naturally start releasing melatonin around the time you usually start your bedtime process, which stimulates your body to ready for sleep. The same goes for developing a morning process, set an alarm to wake up at the same time everyday (Monday to Sunday) and eventually your body will naturally wake you up at that time without the alarm. Make sure the time you set your alarm for allows for 30-60 min before you need to start getting ready for work, this will allow you sometime to journal, prep your grocery list, pull food out of the freezer to thaw for dinner, your to do list or even have that quiet time before the kids wake up so you can enjoy your coffee and have some "you time". Carving out this hour before you need to start getting ready for the day will also open up a natural space that you can incorporate a short workout to fire up your metabolism and ready you for the day!
Now that you've carved some time out in your morning, you can begin by adding in some stretches, or exercises that fire up your body for the day. I love 30 day challenges for quick morning or evening workouts. I am currently on a 30 day level 1 Glute challenge by Arena Strength that takes me up to 25 min most days. I enjoy the little piece of my day that I am doing those even though they burn like crazy! There are plenty of free 30 day challenges online for lower body, upper body, squats, planks, glutes, abs etc. Take before and after photos, take your measurements with a cloth tape measure and your scale weight and see your progress as you go. Everyday you complete the recommended reps and sets of the exercises prescribed. Its a fun challenge to do plus you can do it with your friends and keep each other accountable, it doesn't take a lot of time from your day and can be incorporated in at whatever time of day you have available, and even better it doesn't cost you a penny and most challenges don't require equipment so your only investment is the time and your commitment to completing the 30 days!
Hire a professional. This is important because we cant always do everything on our own and sometimes its best to refer to a pro. So whether you feel nutrition is where you need the most help, then find a nutrition consultant that you align with and understands your needs and goals and can help you increase your metabolism through diet. If the exercise part is where you need assistance, find a personal trainer with proper education, ask around for referrals or do your research to make sure you are hiring a professional that is aligned with your needs and understands your body and its current abilities that can help you progress at a rate that is comfortable for you.
Skip the Elevator or park further away from your destination. These are easy ways to sneak in small bursts of fitness throughout your day. If you work in a commercial building or live in an apartment, take the stairs, doing this a couple times a day will make an impact on your metabolism and health over a matter of a few weeks. A quick jog up a few flights of stairs will get your heart going and boost your metabolism for awhile after. Even just parking at the back of a parking lot making yourself walk that little extra distance to the front door or your grocery store, your work etc. will help you achieve your daily recommended 10,000 steps. If working in an office, get up and take extra trips to walk to get water or go to the bathroom, go to the fax machine etc. all of these will add up throughout the day!
Get a fitness smart watch. There is such a huge market for smart fitness watches and truth be told I have owned multiple Fitbits, the Apple Series 3, the Samsung Fit and now the Samsung Active. They all have benefits and it just depends on what features you really want. Fitness watches help to increase your motivation, encourage you to move around when it senses that you've been sedentary, the fitness challenges create a competition against yourself or against friends if they also have the same brand and you add them to your app. I found the Apple watch was great, it kept me reaching every goal until the challenges it issued me were too much and verging on me over-exercising just to reach them. I had to take it off since I would not let the watch beat me and I was concerned it was creating an unhealthy mindset in me. I now use Samsung Active which has a step challenge of 200,000 steps per month, it does have an active calorie goal, hourly move goal and goal of 30 min of exercise each day just like Fitbit and Apple but I find it keeps me healthy and it doesn't push me as hard as my Apple did. When you've finished your day and you realize you are short on steps for your goal its enough push to get you to do a few laps around your living room or a few extra bounces on your mini trampoline to get your steps in. Fitness watches have almost an addictive part to it with the awards, the monthly challenges, and little mini goals you reach each day will make you feel good about what you have accomplished and can also increase your happiness and confidence in the process of improving your metabolism!