Our metabolism often gets the majority of the blame when one tends to embark on a fitness journey. Be it our inability to eat what we desire without putting on extra weight, or shedding the same or be it the body suffering from general fatigue, we tend to conclude by projecting all our frustrations on the word “metabolism”. But not many of us have a proper understanding of what metabolism is, or how it works.

To break it in simple terms, metabolism is the rate at which our body converts the food we eat into units of energy. The term refers to all the chemical processes that go on continuously inside our body in order to keep us alive and our organs functioning normally, like breathing, repairing cells and digesting food. Whether your goal is to maintain a good figure or to live a healthy life, your key focus should be on improving your metabolism. However, a person’s metabolic rate has a lot to do with factors like age, sex, body fat, muscle mass, activity level, and genetics.

If you are planning to make changes to your lifestyle in order to strengthen your metabolism, make sure you take the following tips seriously.

Do cardio

With moderate cardiorespiratory training, you can boost the body’s metabolic function and maintain better cardiopulmonary fitness through aerobic exercises. Through moderate exercise to maintain better cardiorespiratory fitness, the body’s metabolic function is effectively activated.

The American Heart Association and the World Health Organisation recommend at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity activity or at least 75 minutes per week of vigorous intensity activity. Due to variances in the physical capabilities of each individual, if you are not sure about the intensity and duration of exercise, the Intensity Minutes feature on the Garmin smartwatch will automatically record your activity when it meets “moderate exercise” standards.

Muscle building

While cardio is essential for maintaining health, building muscle through strength training is key to burning more fat at rest, or, in other words, for raising Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), which is responsible for losing weight. Maintaining or even building muscle mass may help to improve metabolism and proper exercise and muscle training can have a positive effect on it.

Workouts can be helpful to build muscle mass, which in turn helps to increase protein synthesis after training, allowing the body to maintain a better state. Smartwatches have built-in workouts, including high intensity interval training (HIIT), strength training, and so on. You can download workouts to the watch through the fitness applications and follow the training animations on the watch.

Get quality sleep

More and more researches have indicated that lack of sleep or poor sleep quality may affect your metabolism and even result in weight gain. The sleep monitoring function embedded in smartwatches is an analysis of your heart rate, oxygen saturation level, respiratory rate and activity data. From the time you go to sleep, you will experience different stages of sleep: light, deep and REM (rapid eye movement) sleep and the entire sleep process will go through several of these alternating cycles. It also detects the quality of your sleep at each stage and calculates the physiological values to provide you with a sleep quality score and suggestions. Understanding your sleep processes could improve your sleep quality.

Relax your body and mind

Too much stress may cause hidden health concerns and even affect metabolism. Throughout the day by continuous monitoring of changes in heart rate, a smartwatch can estimate your overall levels of stress. When enabled, the Relax Reminders on your device will encourage you to take a moment to relax if stress is usually high.

Stay hydrated

Your body’s metabolic organs can only function smoothly when they are well hydrated and staying hydrated could boost metabolism and weight loss. Smartwatches help you record your daily water intake and reminds you to hydrate in a timely manner. You can also automatically adjust your hydration target based on how much you sweat during activities.

Apart from that, we know that no weight loss regime is complete without a proper diet. Eat proper meals with the right amount of micronutrients and enough fibre to maintain a healthy weight, as well as fight symptoms of diabetes and heart diseases. Finally, remember is that the secret to winning any routine is keeping things consistent. Make sure you win it.

Ali Rizvi is director, Garmin India

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