Toning your muscles can have a very positive effect of maintaining your
optimal weight. You need to increase your muscle mass because muscles will
burn more calories even if you are not exercising. Keep in mind
that you do not need huge
muscles to effectively burn the calories. You simply need good toning and
If you've ever paid attention to dancers or runners for instance, and yoga instructers too. These athletes don't usually have big, bulky muscles, yet they are still quite strong. In fact, many of them are much stronger than they look, and they have much longer endurance abilities too. This is because they have very toned and healthy muscle mass, instead of bulk.
So the primary goal where muscles are concerned when you want to boost your body's metabolism, is to simply make them stronger. And there are many ways you can do this too. Using small weights is one way, and resistance training with strong rubber bands is another. For beginners, just using the force of gravity and their own body weight is often an excellent way to get started strengthening your muscles.
Swimming is a wonderful way to tone your muscles too. In fact, swimming will tone your muscles plus give you a cardio workout too. You can increase the resistance created by the water, and thus work your muscles even harder, by simply wearing a big tshirt while swimming.
Walking is another excellent way to tone and firm your muscles too, and it has the added benefit of getting more oxygen into your body, and getting your blood flowing better as well. Walking doesn't have to be strenuous or take your breath away either. Just walking around a mall "window shopping", or walking around a local jogging track, or even walking around the block your house is on... all of these are excellent ways to get started.
You don't have to walk miles at once either. In fact, if you're really overweight and out of shape, you need to start very slowly. Some people can only walk the few feet from their front door to the sidewalk and back at first. Then they gradually start walking down to the corner and back. Other people of course, can walk several blocks the first day without much effort.
There are of course many other ways to start toning and strengthening your muscles too. The secret to being successful with this, is to simply pick something you enjoy doing. Try yoga if you've been curious about it, or learn to dance. Work in the yard and garden if you enjoy that, or go walking around your local stores and malls. If you like to commune with nature more than people, find a few local hiking trails or park walking paths instead.
Once you've started learning some of the ways to boost your body's metabolism, you want to know what some of the exercise techniques and tips are. Because exercise after all, is one of the best and fastest ways to start boosting your metabolism and losing excess body fat and weight.
Now, anything that tones, firms, and strengthens your muscles is an excellent metabolism boosting exercise. Cardio can help too, because it forces your body to start breaking down extra fats and carbohydrates to supply your body the extra fuel it needs while you're working out. The cardio workouts will keep your metabolism burning for many hours, but the real key is to build some muscle strength. Because with solid, toned muscles in your body, you'll be burning extra calories day and night to maintain them.
I don't particularly like using the word "exercise" myself, because it has such negative connotations in most people's minds. Activity is a much better word though, and that can denote variety as well as fun. When something is fun and keeps you entertained, you're much more likely to do it regularly.
I also strongly recommended getting activity and exercise outside. The fresh air and sunshine can make a world of difference on both your physical and mental energy levels, plus it can seriously increase your mood while decreasing your stress too.
So, if you really want to do some exercise or daily activities that will help boost your metabolism, start with things you enjoy doing. Here are several suggestions...
1. Take a walk. Walking is an excellent way to build your muscles, increase your endurance, get your heart rate up, and relieve stress too. Just being able to step away from the desk for ten or fifteen minutes a day can do wonders for most people, and the added activity and muscle building will help boost your metabolism too.
Easy ways to get some extra walking in include: Walking to lunch instead of driving; Walking around a mall or shopping center; Walking on local nature, jogging, or biking paths; Walking on easy to moderate hiking trails; Walking your kids to school; Walking around the neighborhood where you live. You can even get a dog and walk him several times a day, or simply choose to use the stairs in your office building instead of the elevator.
If you work several floors up and don't feel capable of walking the entire way via stairs, then stop one floor away from your destination, and take the stairs the rest of the way for a week or two. Once you're doing that easily enough, then stop two floors away. Keep increasing this until you're able to take the stairs the entire distance up or down.
2. Yard Work & Gardening. Not everyone likes to do yard work, but for those who do, this can be an excellent activity to help build your muscles and boost your metabolism. Most people don't realize how much physical work actually goes in to simple gardening activities, but if you've ever planted new flowers in a garden bed and then found yourself sore the next day, you know what a great workout this can be for your body.
You don't have to haul around heavy bricks or rocks, or do back breaking ditch digging for this to work. Those activities will help build your muscles and burn calories faster of course, but the simple act of cutting your grass with a regular lawn mower will do the same. As will planting flowers, pulling weeds, and trimming bushes or shrubs.
3. Swimming. This is another fun activity which can really help boost your metabolism when done regularly. And the most enjoyable part is: You don't have to swim laps or do anything specific to get the benefits from it. You can simply go play in a pool with friends or family, and still get tremendous physical benefits for your entire body. When you feel it's time for more of a physical challenge though, try water activities such as treading water, swimming laps, or water aerobics.
Water is a wonderful form of activity for our bodies, because it creates very little impact on our joints. It's also much easier for obese people to exercise in water, because there is less gravity so they're able to move their bodies better. At the same time though, water creates a natural resistance to our movements, which helps dramatically with toning and strengthening our muscles.
4. Interval Training. Interval training is an excellent way to boost your metabolism, because it teaches your body to give you quick
bursts of energy at any given time. Interval training is the process of alternating between intense activity and slower, more moderate activity. One example is when you're out for a walk, every so often sprint as fast as you can for about thirty seconds, then slow down to a walk again. Do this off and on several times each day, and you'll really boost your metabolism and start burning calories fast.
The human body is smart though. If there is any kind of routine to your interval workouts, the body will catch on quickly and adapt. If for instance, you regularly go out each day and walk for three minutes, sprint for 30 seconds, walk for three minutes again and so on, your body will get used to this routine. And if it gets used to the routine, your weight loss results will slow because the body has adapted.
One way to avoid this is to vary your workouts, but another more natural way is to simply play sports or games you like.
Almost all sports are a natural form of interval work outs. Playing tennis and
racquetball for instance, has you standing still and waiting for the ball at times, and bursting into speed and action to catch it at other times. Volleyball and other games played with a net are quite similar.
Basketball, baseball and football also have the same randomness of actions. Sometimes you're just slowly jogging from one place to another, sometimes you're standing at ready for something, and sometimes there's a sudden burst of action and activity.
The biggest benefit though, is that playing sports and games keeps your activities more random, so the body is not able to adapt as quickly and easily. And keeping the body moving in unexpected ways on a regular basis is an excellent way to keep your metabolism at its highest.
Note: Some statements in this article may not be approved by the FDA. This article is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as professional medical advice.