Most people think that as we age our metabolism starts slowing. Many articles I have read say that in the mid 20’s or early 30’s this happens. It is true, but it’s not because our body changes as much as that our activity level declines at those ages. This change is brought on by work, kids, and just generally lower physical activity.
This isn’t something that has to happen. You have the ability to keep your metabolism higher by changing a few things in your life. The benefits of keeping your metabolism higher are many. You will be able to not gain weight like many do after kids and as activity slows. You will also be able to be able to do more physical activities that you thought you could not do as you aged.
A perfect example was Jack Lalanne. He opened a health club in Oakland CA in the mid 1930’s and people, even doctors thought he was crazy and a fanatic for fitness. He spent his whole life preaching nutrition and fitness, and as an old man, in age only, he accomplished some amazing feats. At 45 years old, he performed 1033 push-ups in 23 minutes, most people couldn’t do that many in 2 weeks. That’s 73 per day for 2 weeks. Even at age 70 he swam a mile, while handcuffed, shackled and against strong wind and current, while towing 70 rowboats, with people in some them.
The point is, you don’t have to get lazy and gain weight if you don’t let it happen. There are 5 simple things you can do that will give the metabolism of a much younger man.
- Number one is add muscle. Even if you’re not muscular and you are older, you can still add muscle at any age. One of the best ways to add muscle fast is to do compound exercises that use your biggest muscles. You don’t even need a gym or equipment. If you do just 2 exercises, push-ups and squats, you can add muscle and tone your whole body. Keep your abs tight as you do the exercises and hold them in tight. Pushups and squats work all the big muscles in your body and will tone and add muscle.
- Number two is to do your exercise in what is called HIIT, High intensity interval training. What HIIT training does for you is it gives you a muscle and a cardio workout at the same time, and has been found to be much more effective in burning calories and burn off much more fat than doing steady cardio. Start out doing 20 seconds of push-ups, then do 20 seconds of squats, then do 20 seconds of jumping jacks, then repeat. Try to get to 10 rounds, that’s a good 10 minute full body workout that will be a good muscle workout and will get your heart beating good as well. Try to do this 10 minute workout 3 days per week and you will notice the difference almost right away.
- The third tip is about what you eat. You need to eat more protein and eat fewer carbs. It’s not as simple as it sounds on the surface, but it can be done. Breakfast is critical to eat more protein and less carbs. Eat eggs, with meat, protein shake, etc. Stay away from the typical breakfast foods of donuts, cereal, other pastries, etc. Read labels on foods. Chances are if it is easy to grab and go, it’s high in carbs and should be avoided. Some things are shockingly high in carbs, read the labels.
- Number 4 is also about what you eat. All calories are not created equal as far as digestion is concerned. The less processed a food is, the better it is for you because it takes more energy for your body to digest. This goes for all foods, even good foods. Try to get your mind to think that the closer the food is to its natural state, the more calories you burn digesting it. Raw fruits and veggies are better than cooked. Eating the veggies is better than juicing them, etc.
- Drink more water. Keeping your body properly hydrated will make it work more efficiently in digesting the food you eat. The best way to drink more is to have a bottle of water with you all day long, at your desk, or wherever you are. Put it where it’s in your line of site so you can see it when you look in the direction of where you look most. The temperature of the water has also been shown to make a difference. The colder the water the better. Your body will burn more energy warming your core temperature back up after you drink ice cold water.
These tips are not necessarily easy to do, but they are simple and don’t take much time. Even making small changes like drinking more cold water, will help speed up your metabolism. The hardest thing for me was breakfast, finding something easy that wasn’t all carbs. What I came up with that works well for me is, I hard boil a bunch of eggs on Sunday, then each night I peel a couple and put them in a baggie, I also put a few slices of deli ham or turkey in another baggie and that is my meal for on the drive to work.
Try doing one thing at a time to get used to it. You will see that after a couple weeks it’s not that hard to work into your routine, and you will notice you feel different, better, and stronger, almost right away.