There are so many ways to take better care of ourselves — from integrating a balanced physical and mental mindset, to regularly cooking healthy recipes at home (even if you’re on a budget!), and intentionally boosting our metabolic rates to burn more calories each day. Since we’ve read a lot of different opinions about what works the best — and what doesn’t — for every bod, we decided to talk to Lauren Foundos, CEO and Founder of FORTË, a live streaming platform for boutique fitness studios. Read on for her expert advice on how to best jump-start your body each morning.
1. Exercise early. If you need some extra motivation to get moving first thing, Foundos suggests “start[ing] your day with a quick sweat sesh. Even better, vary your workout routine; not only [will it] keep things interesting, but it will help maximize the boost to your metabolism.” The ideal workout routine includes cardio, interval training, and weight lifting. “Interval training will keep your metabolism elevated for several hours after your workout — and no, weight lifting will not make you bulky!” she swears. In the long term, more muscle will increase your metabolic rate. “It improves your mental health, reduces stress, stimulates your brain, sharpens your memory, and boosts confidence,” Foundos says. “Plus, who doesn’t love burning more calories while sitting around doing nothing? Working out is a win across the board.”
2. Rev up with healthy fuel. “Start the morning with a high-protein breakfast,” advises Foundos. Not sure what to reach for? She says a quick bowl of yogurt, cottage cheese, or even oatmeal with some nuts will do the trick. Feeling fancy or happen to have some extra time on your hands? “Make yourself a beautiful veggie omelet,” she suggests. Sounds pretty amazing to us!
3. Remember to hydrate. We know that drinking water is important, but it’s easy to forget about the specific benefits sometimes. “[Water] is not only essential to your existence, but it also helps boost your metabolism, lowers your risk of a heart attack, prevents headaches, and can help you lose weight. It also helps circulate nutrients to your body,” Foundos says.
4. Enjoy a cup of green tea or black coffee. Caffeine isn’t necessarily the devil, especially if you enjoy it in a smart way. “Coffee minus the cream or syrup, or better yet, green tea, can actually improve energy levels during exercise,” Foundos explains. “This is especially useful when it comes to [any] endurance activity, and [can] help you to work harder and burn more calories.” Starbucks, here we come.
5. Offer your seat. Use public transportation to get to and from work? This one’s for you. “Giving up your seat is not only thoughtful; it’s also an opportunity to make your body work a little extra early in the day,” Foundos tells us. “According to the American College of Sports Medicine, a 150-pound person will burn 72 calories an hour sitting and 129 calories an hour standing — that’s a big difference!”
6. Get your belly laugh on. Foundos says laughing is actually her favorite way to burn a few extra calories and get her metabolism going. “A study from the International Journal of Obesity showed a 10-20 percent increase in calories burned, and [an increase in] heart rate during genuine laughter,” she says. Looking for something hilarious? Foundos recommends the studio website for inspiration. “If you’re wondering where to find this type of comic relief during the day, please feel free to watch me attempt to dance in various FORTË videos.” LOL!
7. Sneak in some extra steps. Instead of sitting all morning, make it a point to sneak in a couple of short breaks. Take a couple of laps around the office or the block, if you can. Try to carve out a few minutes at lunch for a walk. Even walking at a slow pace has benefits like stress reduction, improved mood and posture, body toning, and boosted metabolism.
Will you take Lauren’s tips to boost your metabolism? Tell us which ones you’ll try on Twitter @BritandCo!
(Photos via Brit + Co and Getty)