The gym is over-rated.
Why would someone who quit their job to tirelessly pursue health and wellness by opening a gym say such a thing?
I don’t think our gym is over-rated, but the hour of exercise we put in a day pales in comparison to the 23 hours we aren’t working out.
The trick to achieving our fitness goals and better overall health is in maximizing the return on investment through hacking our bodies in such a way that they work for us 24/7.
Here are some ways to maximize the 23 hours of day we aren’t working out to improve our metabolic return?
#1 – Increase your muscle mass
Generally speaking, we add more body fat as we age. Why is that and is this an inevitable part of aging?
Well, no, not exactly.
What happens is as we age we naturally start to lose muscle mass. Muscle requires 2.5x the calories (energy) to run the body than fat does. Simply put, muscle is more metabolically active than fat so the more muscle you have, the more calories our body needs.
As we age, if we don’t use it, we lose it, and therefore we are left with two choices: Eat less every year, or work to keep our muscle. As we age our fat increases in correlation to our muscle depletion.
#2 – Cold Exposure
Our metabolisms are fastest in the winter. According to a study published in the Journal of Physiology and Behavior, participants showed an 11.5% increase in metabolic response in the winter months over the summer months. Oddly enough, however, we tend to be more active in the summer which largely offsets the difference.
Now, what if we were to endure routine cold exposure in the summer months via ice baths, cold showers, or polar plunges in an icy cold morning pool?
Two things happen metabolically when we endure cold exposure that help aid in improved metabolic return. The first is the most obvious. We shiver and force the body to work harder to keep itself regulated at the required 98 degree temperature.
Secondly, we start to build up brown fat or adipose tissue stored mainly in the shoulders and upper back. The body is made up largely of white fat cells which store energy and calories. However, study of our ancestors and newborns has shown that we are designed to store and hold brown fat to generate heat.
By increasing our brown fat, we burn more energy through a process called thermogenesis. Think of brown fat storage as a built in furnace that turns on and burns at a high rate when the body is introduced to colder temperatures.
#3 – Eat The Right Fuel
High fiber whole foods and protein rich nutrients help to boost your metabolism by increasing the amount of work required by the body for digestion. In addition, since these foods are slower to digest, they help us to stay feeling full longer.
#4 – Water
We lose fat through our breath, sweat, and urine. Therefore, if we drink more water and stay properly hydrated we boost the exit production of fat! In addition, increased water consumption also helps us feel more full and limit our calorie consumption.
The beauty of our gym community is that we know it’s the work we put into our workouts and at home that makes the difference. Together, we push each other to try new habits, work on new diet changes, and collectively influence one another.
To apply this advice, pick a friend, loved one, or fellow member as an accountability partner. Each of you choose from increased water consumption, cold exposure, or whole foods only for one week. Report back to one another on the changes noted and then swap hacks for the following week. Then decide which of the hacks you got the most positive change from, and stick with it for 30 days!
One way to boost your metabolism is to try a new workout. Choose a new adventure with us today!