A plus-sized woman working out in the park

Different people have different metabolic rates, or the level which your body expends energy and burns calories. This means that if two people followed the same exercise routine and diet, they could still burn calories differently depending on their metabolism. There are many factors that can affect your metabolic rate such as age, body size and composition, gender, genes, and hormones.

A study by Harvard Health shows that while you may not have control when it comes to how to increase metabolism, there are ways to help boost the rate at which your body processes calories. You can do this by making small, healthy changes to your diet and lifestyle, such as eating plenty of protein, stepping up your exercise routine, and getting enough sleep – all of which will make you healthier and happier.

Eat Your Proteins

A good way to boost your metabolism is to pack your meals with protein. Your metabolism increases as you eat, digest, and store food, and as your body expends energy from processing food. This is called the thermic effect of food. Protein has a higher thermic effect than carbs and fats because it takes longer for protein to be absorbed by the body. Studies suggest that combining eating protein with weight training can increase muscle mass and boost metabolism.

Drink Green Tea

Some research indicates that green tea plays a role in increasing the calories and fat you burn, thanks to its metabolism-boosting properties, epigallocatechin gallate. The compound helps convert the fat stored in your body into free fatty acids, which increases fat burning. Since it is low in calories and therefore an excellent alternative to sugary drinks, drinking green tea is a healthy addition to a balanced diet and effective weight loss.

Get Plenty of Sleep

Short sleep duration can impact the hormones that regulate metabolism. When a person gets little sleep, the body releases ghrelin, the hunger hormone involved in regulating metabolism. Lack of snooze also lowers the level of leptin, which is the appetite-suppressing hormone. These adverse effects can result in many sleep-deprived people feeling hungry, which can lead to overeating.

Getting enough sleep at night can help ensure that these hormones are balanced. While the right amount of sleep you need depends on many factors, the National Sleep Foundation recommends that healthy adults sleep around 7 to 9 hours per night.

Step Up Your Exercise Routine

People often attribute weight gain or loss to how fast or slow their metabolism is. According to medical journals, metabolism is when your body converts what you eat and drink into energy. During this process, calories found in food and drinks are combined with oxygen to release energy that the body needs to function well.

Besides eating plenty of protein, getting a good night’s sleep, and drinking tea, exercising for at least 30 minutes a day can burn more calories and stimulate your metabolism. Below are some workouts that anyone can do!

Go for a Run Outside

Doctor and founder of Medical and Sports Acupuncture, Ian Banzon, goes out for a run as one of her cardio exercises. (Credit: instagram/ibanzon)

Running or jogging is one of the most popular cardio exercises because it only entails having training shoes, comfortable clothes, and an area to run or jog around. If you have access to a gym, you can use the treadmill while listening to your go-to playlist. But the beauty of going for a run outside is the change in scenery. It can help you unwind after a long and stressful day of working from home.

Try going for a run around the Legazpi Active Park in Makati or Bonifacio Global City’s jogging paths, like what Dr. Ian Banzon does. If you live up north, the UP Academic Oval or Quezon City Circle are also great options.

The speed and distance of your run are entirely up to you—make sure to gauge yourself. If you’re new to the exercise, try doing it gradually so you won’t physically stress out your body. You can start with 10 to 15 minutes a day before increasing your exercise time to 20 or 30 minutes. If your stamina is a lot stronger, go for an hour or two!

Sweat it Out with Boxing

Radio DJ, Margaux Cortez, shares a photo of her boxing session on the rooftop with her workout buddy, Erica Paredes. (Credit: instagram/margauxsue)

Boxing is another type of cardio workout that’s fun to do whether you have a sparring partner or not. You can easily do it at home or on the rooftop of your apartment building—just like good friends Margaux Cortez and Erica Paredes. Your workout routine can include jabs, hooks, bobs, and weaves done in reps together with push-ups and bicycle crunches. 

Boxing as a sport requires a high level of strength, speed, agility, hand-eye coordination, and endurance. When turned into a fitness activity, it enables you to hone the same athletic skills and enhance your cardiovascular health, core stability, and total body strength. This exercise helps build your muscles as well, which will increase metabolism. Muscle mass requires more energy to preserve, as it has a metabolic rate as compared to fat.

Before and after wearing your boxing gloves, wash your hands with an antibacterial soap like Lifebuoy Lemon Fresh Hand Wash to prevent the spread of bacteria.

Bike Around Your Area

BeautyHub.PH’s Gretchen Gatan likes biking around her village as a form of exercise and a way to unwind. (Credit: instagram/gretchengatan)

If you have a bicycle sitting around somewhere in your home, now is the time to take it out for a ride! Cycling is a cardio exercise that anyone can enjoy regardless of age or background. It’s low impact and causes less strain and injuries than other exercises. You can even control how intense you want your bike ride to be. For a light workout, bike along flat streets. But, if you want the extra challenge, go for uphill roads that will surely make your legs and thighs burn!

If your stamina is a lot stronger, go for an hour or two, or add some high-intensity interval training to your routine. You can speed up for 30 to 60 seconds and then show down to your usual pace – repeat the cycle for 8 to 12 minutes.

Apart from increasing muscle strength and flexibility, improving posture and mobility, and reducing body fat levels, biking can decrease anxiety and stress levels. Gretchen Gatan, who used to play ultimate frisbee every week with her teammates, now relies on biking as her form of exercise. It also allows her to unwind every weekend before starting another busy week!

Before exercising, always wear proper shoes and sweat-wicking outfits. Stretch your muscles to prep them for movement, and don’t forget to apply a deodorant like Rexona Shower Clean Roll-on with Motionsense™ technology to protect you from odor and help control sweat. These workouts can be physically demanding, so be sure to have your recovery days to allow your body to rest!

Shower Freshness to keep you fresh.

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Making small changes in your diet and lifestyle, including stepping up your exercise routine to burn more calories, like these local fitness girls mentioned, are a good start to increase your metabolism.