A few weeks ago I wrote about Foods to Flatten Your Belly, as we all prepared for Spring Training and the inevitable bikini. This month, I wanted to focus on things we can all do to boost our metabolism through workouts and activities. I’ve recently gotten back into Tone It Up!, a fitness and eating regime hosted by two very fit instructors, Katrina and Karena. My sister turned me towards this program and I love it for a lot of reasons. 1) They stress healthy, whole foods eating. There’s no mystery shakes, sugar-free fat-free taste-free food, and no pills that magically make you lose weight. You have to work hard and earn it. and 3) They have a TON of workout videos online, for free, that require little to no weights or workout equipment. The perfect solution for my life on-the-go! You can choose to purchase their nutrition plan, which I haven’t done yet, but there is plenty of advice on their website to get you started. See www.toneitup.com for all of the details.
One of the main elements in the structure of their program is boosting your metabolism. If you can do this in small spurts throughout the day, you’ll be burning calories all day long. There are a number of easy ways to incorporate this idea into your current workout program. Here are 4 tips that I think are the most useful for boosting your metabolism.
1) Start The Morning Off Right Tone It Up suggests doing 20-30 minutes of cardio right as you wake up. This doesn’t have to be a huge, sweaty workout. It can be a simple walk around the block or even a yoga video. The important thing is completing some sort of cario-related activity at the start of the morning. This gets your metabolism going right from the start, and after trying it for a few days, also puts your mind in the place that “today is going to be a healthy day!”. I have found that I am more careful at the bakery about snacking when I did this little walk in the morning. It’s only 20 minutes to add you to alarm! TRY IT!
2) Incorporate Interval Training to Your Cardio Interval training means that you change the incline and speed in your workouts. This boosts your heart rate during the activity and keeps your metabolism going on high for longer after you’ve stopped working out. If you are on a treadmill or stairmaster, change the incline or the speed every three minutes or so. If you are on an elliptical or bike, change the resistance. Your body uses different muscles when you jogi vs sprint, walk flat vs climb, and you’ll see a change to the definition in your legs when you try it. One of my new favorite workouts is from Tone It Up’s Wedding Program, the Something Blue run!
3) Lift It! One of the easiest ways to tone up your body and lose fat is through weight training. You might think that if you start to lift weights you’ll look like the incredible hulk, but doing body weight exercises and low weight, high rep training will give you awesome muscle tone. No need to pose with the “skinny arm” when your arm is actually skinny. The Tone It Up website has dozens and dozens of workouts to choose from for arms, abs, booty, and legs. You can print them out or save them onto your phone, like I do. That way I always have them at the gym with me or on the road when I travel.
4) Hydrate Drinking a lot of water throughout the day keeps your system flushed and your tummy full between meals. Your skin has a better complexion and you won’t feel sluggish if you’ve had enough water to drink. Tone It Up suggests 90+ ounces of liquids a day. That’s a lot! I know! But you feel the difference almost instantly. Most of the liquid should come from water, but green tea and coffee are a great way to mix it up. Try to keep sugars and creamers at a minimum so that your body can focus on flushing out instead of digesting the creamy additions.
Pick one thing to do this week to change up your workout habits. The results are addicting! Even if you’re stuck in the snow, and spring in no where in sight, it’s coming! Time to look your best for when the sunny weather arrives!
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