Habits that slow down your metabolism.

It is a generally accepted fact that your metabolism slows as you age. Recent studies published in the Public Health Nutrition Journal backs this up with science. There are however other habits that you may have that increase this slowing. Drop some of these habits to take the fight back to the ageing process.

Skipping Breakfast.

During sleep the metabolism slows, breakfast is known to kick start it again. Though potentially counter intuitive, eating first thing in the morning can actually cause you to burn more calories during the day. When you eat breakfast you are letting your body know that there are many calories coming throughout the day, thereby telling it to start burning them. If you skip breakfast you are instead saying to your body that it should conserve energy as it may not be getting fed.

Choosing the wrong breakfast though, can also be a mistake. Try to avoid having an overly sugary breakfast a this will likely cause you to crash later in the day. Try going for a high protein or fibre breakfast such as eggs or whole-wheat toast.

Sitting too much.

Spending long periods sat down not only causes problems in that it does not allow you to get much exercise; it is also thought to directly lead to a slower metabolism. If you work in a sedentary job, sat at a desk all day, try to get up and have a bit of a walk every hour or so. Similarly, consider whether you need to go from couch to car or if you could instead walk to your destination.

Too little protein.

Protein is very important for your muscles, it is the food they need to maintain themselves. Muscle is very important to metabolism, in fact, it is known that metabolism is directly linked to muscle mass. A pound of muscle burns around 4-6 more calories per day than a pound of fat. Therefore it is a no-brainer to keep your muscles in tip-top shape, this means giving them all the protein they need. If you are finding it difficult to maintain a healthy weight, or build muscle mass, consider whether you are getting enough protein in your diet.

A lack of water.

As I have mentioned before, water is miraculous in what it can do to our bodies. Researchers have found that 500 millilitres of water can increase metabolic rate by up to 30%, with that spike lasting over an hour. Keeping yourself hydrated also comes with this calorie burning benefit.

Stress.

Stress can cause all manner of problems, not least a reduction in metabolic rate. This reduction is caused by the increase in Cortisol that comes from higher levels of stress. Cortisol increases our cravings for sugary foods, and decreases our motivation to exercise. Both of these, as already discussed, have a direct bearing on our metabolic rate. So, although stress does not itself decrease the metabolism, it leads to behaviours that are known to.

Although it is not always easy easy to control stress levels, and no-one gets stressed because they want to; managing stress can really help boost your metabolism.

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In music we trust.

I have recently been made aware of the clothing brand In music we trust. This is a UK based company that sells a range of awesome music themed clothing.

The difference between this brand and so many others, other than the quality of the designs, is that 50% of all profits are donated to Mind UK. Mind is a charity which I have talked about before. They provide support to those who are suffering with mental health issues and those who know someone who is.

In my opinion this is a very worthwhile charity to support and they are doing a fantastic job of raising the public awareness of mental health and helping to defeat the stigma attached to it.

Nothing I write here is going to do justice to the products sold at In music we trust. So please pop over there and take a look for yourself, or just go over to Mind UK and familiarise yourself with some of the great work they do on a daily basis. Also, if you haven’t already done so, check out my RED January logs; where I am running every day in January in support of Mind UK.

Thank you.

Freezing shower – Update

A while ago I posed a question, based on research that I had read, weather there is any benefit with regards to mental heath of turning the shower to cold for a few seconds before getting out.

See the original post here: Freezing shower?

I have now been doing this for a couple of months at the end of every shower that I have. My initial response to doing this was that it was very uncomfortable and a wholly unpleasant experience. This view did not last long. I quickly began to love the initial shock that hits when the water first turns cold. This is such a good way to wake up in the morning, or cool down in the evening or after working out. The physiological benefits are, as far as my experience goes, huge. I have felt so much more awake every day since doing this, mornings have never been my thing but I am growing into them. My recovery from intense exercise has been far more effective and the instance of niggling injury has been far lower. I feel like I have been able to push myself harder, both in working out and in the workplace.

Going back to my initial question however; does this benefit your mental health, I am struggling to answer this. It could be the case that an improvement in my metal state has lead to these physiological benefits, in effect a psychosomatic benefit. It could also be the case that the physical improvements have lead to psychological benefits. It could even be that some other change that I have made has made all of the difference and that this exercise is actually pointless. Whatever the true cause of my improved mental and physical state, I cannot deny that the timing has coincided with me trying this.

I can honestly say that this is something that I will be continuing.


 

The information discussed in this post is based entirely on my own experience. I would always recommend anyone suffering from a mental health condition should seek the advice of a trained professional.

RED January 2019 – In support of the mental health charity Mind.

Following on from completing RED January 2018, I will again be running every day in January 2019 in support of Mind UK. In January 2018 I set and achieved the target of completing 150km of running across the month. Next year I am aiming to hit 200km in support of this worthy cause.

As I mentioned in my post on completing 2018’s edition of RED January, the work Mind and other mental health charities from across the word do is so important. For anyone who has suffered from any mental heath condition, whether diagnosed or not, the support offered by organisations like Mind is priceless. I personally feel it is so important to continue to raise awareness of mental health to help remove the stigma attached to it, and to enable those suffering that it is okay to talk about their problems.

For more information on RED January and to read about the great work done by Mind UK click here: Mind UK – RED JanuaryRED_Jan2019_TFrontRED_Jan2019_TRev.

To make a donation to Mind, and sponsor me while I hit the pavement in January 2019 clike here: Just Giving – RED January

Supporting Mind: the mental health charity.

This post is a part of my series looking into health and what we can do to keep ourselves healthy, while still enjoying life.

Click below to access the hub page for the health series:

A push for perfect health

 


 

Earlier this year I took part in a sponsored event, RED January is an event where you are tasked with Running Every Day in January (hence RED). This is in support of Mind, a UK based mental health charity. Mind offer support and advice to people with mental health issues as well as campaigning to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding.

I am a huge supporter of this as well as other people and charities who are helping those who fight with their own thoughts every day. Although I myself have never sought help directly from Mind or any other mental health charity, I feel I have benefited from the work that they do by the fact that I feel able to talk about my problems. The understanding of these issues has come such a long way and I hope that it keeps moving that way.

If you would like more information regarding Mind and the work they do please visit the link below.

Mind: for better mental health

If you are not from the UK and have any information about any of the great charities that work for this cause in your countries please feel free to share in the comments. Let’s provide a directory of charities from all over the world to help all those who need it.