Simple life changes to boost your metabolism.
Even the most active, and health-conscious women you know, can’t avoid aging. Our ability to maintain weight and overall fitness becomes much more difficult as we age. If you were to keep your diet and exercise routine from previous years, you would likely gain weight.
Thanks to Father Time, our metabolic rate hits a significant speed bump when we enter perimenopause or menopause. But, if we shift gears, we can still have control over our metabolism after age 50.
Here are 4 tips to boost your metabolism to look and feel your best!
MOVE MORE WITH NEAT
NEAT, or Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis, includes calories you burn doing everyday activities. Scientists claim that NEAT is responsible for up to 30% of your daily calorie burn!
The average American adult spent about six and a half hours a day sitting, according to an analysis published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2019. Grab your fitness tracker and minimize the hours you scroll through your phone, watch tv, or sit at your desk.
Pick 1-2 “sedentary” behaviors each week and replace them with a NEAT habit:
- Stretch: Shake your legs or practice a little Qigong to get your energy flowing. This is an ancient Chinese exercise that includes drumming your fists against various parts of your body.
- Count Steps: Consider setting a daily goal of walking between 7,500 to 10,000 steps a day, whether walking a pet, running an errand, or taking the stairs every chance you get.
- Sweep the House: Productivity burns calories; fold laundry, make beds, take out the trash, vacuum, wash windows, water plants…do all the things!
BUILD MUSCLE MASS
Did you know that gaining and then losing weight burns fewer calories than people who never put on weight in the first place? As you slim down, you should focus on gaining muscle. Muscle uses more calories at a resting heart rate than body fat.
Do resistance exercise training (RET) — also referred to as strength training — workouts at least 2-3 times weekly to boost your muscle mass. Then be sure to eat plenty of lean protein at mealtime to help build and maintain strong muscles.
Some of our favorite RET exercises include:
- Exhale as you raise the weights above the head in a controlled motion.
- Pause briefly at the top of the motion.
- Inhale and return the dumbbells to the shoulders.
- Pull the dumbbells up, toward the sides of your chest, or beside the bottom of your rib cage on an exhale. Lift to the point your range of motion allows. While lifting, keep the wrists from moving as much as possible.
- Lower the weights in a controlled manner to the starting position as you inhale. Remain bent over until all repetitions are complete.
- Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-distance apart, your toes angled slightly outward.
- Hold a kettlebell in both hands at your chest, gripping the handles as though you were cupping a goblet. Bend your elbows, so the goblet is positioned right at the center of your chest.
- Press your hips back and begin bending your knees to perform the squat.
- Press through your heels and reverse the motion to return to the starting position.
- Position the feet shoulder-width apart.
- Squat down, bending at the knees, grasping the kettlebell.
- Lift the kettlebell by pushing upward with the legs from the knees.
- Lower the kettlebell to the floor with a reverse motion ensuring a straight back.
PRACTICE GOOD SLEEP HYGIENE
Two essential hormones, leptin and ghrelin, get thrown out of whack when you are sleep-deprived. That’s why it’s paramount to create a bedtime environment that encourages 8 hours of sleep most nights.
The recipe for a good night of sleep:
- Cool: Temperature matters when it comes to your sleep. Your body likes to sleep in cool temperatures as this mimics the body’s natural circadian rhythm. The ideal bedroom temperature for optimal sleep is between 65-68 degrees.
- Dark: Make your room as dark as possible, so your brain begins to produce melatonin. You can do this with blackout shades; if you don’t have those, wear a sleep mask to cover your eyes fully.
- Quiet: Create the quietest environment possible by turning off all devices, closing your door, and shutting your windows at night if you live in an urban setting. If you’re still struggling with noise, invest in a sound machine to help you drown out all disturbing sounds.
CREATE HORMONE HARMONY
Hormones contribute significantly to a slow metabolism after 50. The best thing to do is focus on the factors you can control.
Make it a priority to learn how to balance your hormones. Here are some helpful activities:
- Yoga and Meditation: These mindfulness practices can give you a leptin boost, the hormone that helps regulate hunger, so you feel full afterward (and ready for a good night of sleep).
- Caffeine Intake: Try to eliminate, or at least reduce, your Caffeine intake. Caffeine raises your cortisol, stress hormone, levels which can change where excess calories are stored.
- Hydration: Water is the most refreshing and revitalizing solvent that can dissolve and remove impurities from the blood and restore hormonal balance.
RESOURCES + TOOLS
- Salveo’s MENOPAUSE PLAYBOOK: RESOURCES + TOOLS one-sheet (to note: all the items listed have live links to the resources mentioned, and the doc can also be downloaded from our website)
- Oura Ring Gen3 – The finger is the ideal source of accurate heart rate data, more sensitive to movement, and more accurate across all skin tones.
- MUD/WTR Evening ritual starter kit – A caffeine-free blend to promote a state of calm so you can get the kind of sleep that will make you wake up and high-five your pillow.
- “Cavewomen Don’t Get Fat: The Paleo Chic Diet for Rapid Results” – by Esther Blum (Integrative Dietitian and Menopause Expert)