There’s nothing that defines biohacking better than physical exercise. Through exercise, you can, for example, lose weight, make your muscles bigger and stronger, decrease your heart rate, increase your ability to breathe deeply and so much more. These are biohacks at their most basic, to be sure, but they allow us to make our bodies work differently and, usually, better. It’s biohacking in its purest form and one humans have been using for centuries.
Speaking of which, several different biohacks help you boost your metabolism through workouts and exercise routines. Why would you want to boost your metabolism? That’s a great question, and in today’s article, we’ll answer it and several more. The benefits are scientifically proven, and the methods are simple and straightforward. In short, they’re doable biohacks that deliver excellent, metabolism-boosting results. We’ve got 2 of the best for you, below. Enjoy.
What, Exactly, Is Your Metabolism?
Before we get into the many benefits of boosting your metabolism, it’s helpful to know exactly what metabolism is and what it does. Also, what the term refers to and why it’s important. Metabolism, at its most basic, refers to the process through which your body takes what you eat and drink and then turns it into energy. That energy is what you use to work, play sports, go to the grocery store, and, well, everything.
The act of metabolism is an incredibly complex biochemical process. In your large and small intestines, the food you eat combines with oxygen. When that happens, all of the vitamins, minerals, macronutrients, and micronutrients in your food release their energy, which helps your body needs to move, think, and live.
Now, lest you think that you only need energy when you’re doing something like running, playing football, or walking the dog, think again. Even when your body is completely resting, you still need energy for things like breathing, repairing cells, circulating your blood, and adjusting your hormone levels. Many scientists refer to the number of calories that your body needs to do these basic functions as your basal metabolic rate. That, in turn, is what is most often referred to as your metabolism.
What Determines Your Individual Metabolism?
When it comes to metabolism, we’re all a bit different. Depending on, for example, your age, weight, or sex, you might have a high or low metabolism and burn calories quickly or slowly. Several factors determine your metabolism or metabolic rate. They include:
The size of your body and the amount of either fat or muscle you have.
Due to either having more fat or more muscle, larger people will burn calories faster than an average size person of a moderate build.
How old you are.
The older you are, the more fat your body has and the less muscle. Because of this fact, the amount of calories you burn falls too (which is why older folks tend to get larger).
People of the male persuasion generally have less body fat and quite a bit more muscle than those of the female persuasion. That means, even when resting, men burn more calories. (Sorry, ladies.)
Although you don’t know it and can’t feel it, about ten percent of the calories you burn every day are used up from digesting, absorbing, transporting, and storing all the food you eat. Ten percent! That’s quite a bit of energy for something you don’t even know is happening, you have to admit!
Physical activity is the real key to biohacking your body and boosting your metabolism. Depending on the activity, how often you perform it, and how well, physical activity can lead to amazing metabolic results. Interestingly, if you perform certain exercises in a certain way, your metabolism will keep burning calories even when you aren’t moving a muscle.
What Is the Thermic Effect of Exercise?
We mentioned above that thermogenesis is one of the factors that determine your individual metabolism. Many things can affect thermogenesis, one of them being exercise. When you exercise, you create something called the thermic effect of exercise or TEE. This, at its most basic, is the amount of energy you use when you perform a physical exercise like Tabata or HIIT. (More on them, below!) What’s truly interesting about TEE is that it’s different for every person. For example, if you lead a very sedentary lifestyle, your TEE may be as low as 10%. On the other hand, an Olympic athlete could have a TEE as high as 100%!
The 2 Best Metabolism Boosting Workout Routines (Finally!)
The two exercises below are both excellent for biohacking your body and boosting your metabolism. (Of course, if you’re trying to lose weight, keep in mind that the key is to burn more energy than you take in.) Both of these workout routines will give your internal body engine a boost and get your metabolism burning at a higher rate.
#1- Tabata Interval Training
If you’ve read any of our other blogs about Tabata, you already know we love it! Tabata interval training consists of working out very intensely for 20 seconds, followed by a quick 10-second break. Usually, this is repeated eight times for a four-minute workout. But what a workout it is! Because you push your body to the limit, you’re getting super-maximal anaerobic training. That means you’ll burn almost 14 calories a minute and double your metabolic rate for up to 30 minutes after you finish!
One of the keys to using Tabata to boost your metabolism is to find an exercise that uses a substantial portion of your muscle groups. For example, one that uses your back, chest, legs, and glutes all at the same time should be excellent. Some of the best exercises to use when performing a Tabata training workout include:
One of the best things about Burpees is that they incorporate bodyweight exercises and cardio, so you’ll build muscle while you burn calories.
While reverse lunges may look relatively easy, you will definitely feel the burn after you’re done. They’re also excellent for building quads and glutes, one of the most important muscle groups in your body.
Regular squats, dumbbell squats, and kettlebell squats are amazing exercises. All three will supercharge your metabolism while giving you ripped glutes and quads. (One caveat is that you need to use correct form to prevent injury.)
Easy to do almost anywhere, planks help build your muscles and endurance and boost your metabolism through the roof. There are many variations that you can also try to make sure your routine doesn’t get stale.
Being a high-intensity interval training method, Tabata is perfect for sprints. They require your body to be explosive and be good at tapping into and expending your energy.
Many people forget about their upper body when doing Tabata. If you use dips, however, you’ll easily fit your upper body into your workout. You’ll also build the muscles in your shoulders, arms, and chest as well as, you guessed it, keeping your metabolism running on high.
#2- High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
Now, here’s the thing; Tabata and HIIT are basically the same. (Some will say that Tabata is a HIIT workout, while others may disagree.) The biggest difference is that, with HIIT, the burst of exercise is a bit longer. With Tabata, for example, its 20 seconds on and 10 seconds off. With HIIT, you can go upwards of 90 seconds at full tilt (more or less)
Knowing this, the exercises we talked about for the Tabata workout will boost your metabolism just as well with any HIIT workout you might perform. The key is to go all-out for the prescribed time and, just as importantly, take a rest period between. (In fact, if you’re not resting, you’re not doing the HIIT workout correctly.)
What’s truly amazing about the HIIT workout is that, if you do it correctly, scientists believe it can boost your metabolism for up to 24 hours!
What Are Some Other Metabolism Boosting Exercises?
The key to using exercise to biohack your metabolism is to find an exercise that works well with either Tabata or HIIT. The good news is that there are quite a few of them, making it easy to choose the one you like. In fact, with so many, you’ll be able to change up your exercise routine regularly and keep from getting bored. Some of the best exercises that can boost your metabolism include:
- Mountain Climbers
- Fast walking
- Lifting weights
- Kettlebell swings
- Squat Jumps
The good news is that you can do almost all of these exercises with no equipment (weights and kettlebells aside). The better news is that, if you do, you’ll get the metabolism-boosting, weight-reducing, body-slimming results you’ve been looking for!
What did you think of today’s article? If you liked it, loved it, or would rather have skipped it, please let us know in the comments section below. If you have any interesting or illuminating anecdotes about boosting your metabolism through exercise, please share them with us! Thanks!