9. Try Aromatherapy
Many essential oils, such
as lavender, have proven stress-reducing qualities. A warm,
lavender-scented bath, for example, is a great way to relax and unwind.
It also promotes restful sleep.
10. Practice Time Management
Improve your time
management at work and at home so that you’re not constantly playing
catch-up. This will reduce your stress level and help you stay committed
to a healthy eating plan and lifestyle. Always schedule time for
relaxation and exercise.
11. Get Plenty of Sleep
Your body actually mends
and maintains itself when you sleep. If you strength-train or do any
sort of resistance exercise, then your muscles repair themselves and
grow stronger when you’re asleep. If you don’t sleep, your muscles will
stay fatigued and not get stronger. When you sleep less than you should,
your body loses leptin and ghrelin, two hormones that help regulate
energy use and appetite. Researchers at Stanford University found that
people who snoozed fewer than 7.5 hours per night experienced an
increase in their body mass index. To maintain strong muscles, you need
at least 8 hours of sleep. It’s helpful to first recognize that you want
to sleep well (i.e., 7 to 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night).
Go to sleep and wake up at the same times. Your body loves regularity.
12. Sit in the Sunshine
Not only does it feel
good, but sitting in sunlight decreases melatonin and increases
serotonin, which helps your body feel fully awake and your metabolic
rate increase. The sun’s rays also provide a major source of vitamin D—a
metabolism booster. If you are locked up inside all day, find 10
minutes in your day to go out into the sunshine and soak up some rays.
13. Pursue a Hobby
A calming activity such
as gardening or painting is a great way to forget your troubles and
relax. Choose something that energizes your spirit while relaxing your
14. Listen to Relaxing Music
Listening to music that
has a calming effect has been shown to reduce cortisol, one of the
primary hormones that negatively affect metabolism. And when you’re
ready to rock again, switch to music that leaves you feeling energized;
it will raise your heart and breathing rates, boosting metabolism.
15. Practice Deep Breathing
Breathing keeps you
alive; breathing deeply keeps blood and oxygen coursing through your
veins, which is crucial to effective metabolism. Don’t just breathe;
inhale deeply, slowly drawing breaths into your abdomen and slowly
exhaling. As you are breathing, imagine the blood being pushed out of
your internal organs as you breathe in and then oxygenated blood rushing
back in as you exhale.
16. Plant and Maintain a Vegetable or Herb Garden
Gardening not only gives
you the opportunity to work out in the fresh air, it burns calories and
helps you make healthier food choices on a daily basis. Plus, nothing
beats fresh-picked vegetables and herbs when you want to eat healthfully
and intensify the taste of salsas, sauces, and savory dishes. Tending
to your garden, particularly using a spade to turn over dirt and dig in
fertilizers and soil amendments, provides a regular workout that
increases your metabolism through exercise. Plus, if you love to cook
and also appreciate having fresh vegetables and herbs packed with
vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, having your own vegetable and
herb garden will encourage you to eat healthier—every day.