There are some fun, money-saving, healthy ways to use temperature to boost your metabolism without changing your address every few months.
- Adjust your thermostat: When it’s cold or hot outside, let your body work (burn energy) to regulate your core temperature. Research led by Dr. David B Allison suggests that our dependence on heaters and air conditioners is contributing to the growing obesity epidemic. He advises turning your thermostat a few degrees higher in the summer and a few lower in the winter, so your body can do the extra work regulating its core temperature. Besides the increase in your metabolic rate, your bank account (and the environment) will thank you.
- Sweat it out in a sauna: Saunas are not only good for detoxing, but they make your body sweat, which increases your energy output and raises metabolism. Take precaution if you have any underlying conditions, and be sure to listen to your body and get out if you start feeling too hot.
- Drink cold and hot beverages: While there’s mixed research about the effectiveness of drinking hot and cold beverages to boost metabolism, the idea is that the extreme temperatures give your body extra work (more calories to burn). While researchers hash this one out, I’m going to keeping enjoying ice-cold water (with lemon).
- Exercise in cold weather: Working out in the cold can increase the amount of brown fat you burn, which in turn helps your body burn the bad, white fat. It’s actually fun too – much more fun than exercising in the heat.
- Learn to love a cold shower: Taking a cold shower provides the same benefits of exercising in the cold, and so much more. Not only will you jump-start your metabolism, your skin and hair will shine, and you’ll save money in energy and water (trust me, you won’t be taking any crazy, long showers with cold water). After years of my boyfriend telling me that I should take cold showers, I finally started last year and now they’re a regular part of my life.
There’s no better time than the upcoming summer months to try some of these out. Jump in a cold shower after a workout or make an effort to keep your AC a couple degrees higher this summer. Along with these tips and other metabolism boosters, you’re on your way to increasing your metabolism and decreasing your waistline. However, don’t forget that loving your body, whatever its size or metabolism level, is the most important thing.
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