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Boost Your Metabolism : Reducing Stress (part 2)

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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 mind.

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.

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