Maybe you've heard a lot about metabolic health, and you're looking for ways to improve your own. On the other hand, perhaps you've never heard of the term, and you're just beginning your journey into health and wellness. Maybe you're somewhere in the middle. Wherever you fall on this spectrum, this article will help you understand your metabolism, metabolic health, and why it is essential to care for.
So, before we can get started on metabolic health and how to improve it, you need to know what your metabolism is - and what it does for the body.
Many people only really hear the word "metabolism" in the context of weight loss, but in reality, your metabolism does so much more than that. Your metabolism is responsible for maintaining all of your body's basic functions. Some of these functions include:
Your metabolism refers to the chemical process that your body uses to convert external calories (from what you eat and drink) into energy that your body needs to function.
The number of calories your body needs to function while resting varies from person to person. This minimum number of calories is called your basal metabolic rate (BMR). Individuals with fast metabolisms will burn more calories (or have a higher BMR) than individuals with slow metabolisms.
Now that you know what your metabolism is and what it does, you may be wondering what "metabolic health" is. Unsurprisingly, the term refers to the overall efficiency of your metabolism. Clinically speaking, however, this term is measured by achieving optimal levels in the following five markers.
These markers are:
When people have three or more of the following traits, they are said to have metabolic syndrome.
Since metabolism is such an important part of our daily lives and how we continue to function as human beings, it is not surprising that a number of factors can contribute to its health (or lack thereof).
Some of these factors include:
Many people think that they are metabolically healthy or that they need to be noticeably unhealthy - such as being extremely obese or having chronic health conditions - to be deemed "metabolically unhealthy." Unfortunately, this is not the case at all. In the United States, just one in eight adults (approximately 12%) has optimal metabolic health.
This means that around 88% of adults in the US are metabolically unhealthy. Unfortunately, simply seeing a "normal" number on your bathroom scale is not enough to have good metabolic health. This tremendously low number of metabolically healthy individuals in the US is likely due to the very sedentary lifestyle many of us live.
Your metabolic health is linked to so much more than your weight. To determine your metabolic health, you must look at many different areas of your life. You can use the five measures we mentioned earlier to assess where you are currently and track progress as you work to improve your metabolic health (we'll dive into how to do this below).
Unfortunately, many risk factors can increase our chances of having poor metabolic health. While our bodies themselves have not changed dramatically over the years, our lifestyles have.
Some of the most impactful risk factors for poor metabolic fitness are:
Poor metabolic health can look very different depending on the person and the level of metabolic dysfunction they are experiencing.
In less extreme cases, poor metabolic health can be hard to notice. It can appear in many ways that many of us simply associate with daily life today. This can include depression, anxiety, brain fog, fatigue, acne, chronic pain, lack of endurance for exercise, increased appetite, balding, and infertility, among others.
However, in more extreme cases, poor metabolic health can present itself in more notable ways. For example, obesity, diabetes or insulin resistance, cancer, Alzheimer's disease, fatty liver disease (non-alcoholic), cardiovascular diseases (such as stroke or heart attack), and more.
The key takeaway here is even if you are only experiencing subtle effects of poor metabolic health, it can cause tremendous effects on your daily life. Every part of our body is made up of cells that need energy to function. If our metabolism cannot provide that energy effectively, the effects can be devastating.
We've used the term "metabolic fitness" in this article alongside "metabolic health." This was intentional because, to answer this question simply, yes, you can improve your metabolic health.
When we use the term metabolic fitness, we can think of metabolic health just as we would our physical health. If we want to be physically fit, we must work at it. We have to exercise and maintain our bodies if we do not want to lose the progress we've made. Your metabolic health is exactly the same. Think about your physical and metabolic health in the same way, and you can definitely improve.
Metabolic fitness is all about making conscious and smart decisions about what you do in your daily life. You will want to focus on your diet, sleep, physical activity, and stress management - we'll dive deeper into these four categories in the next section.
You have no control over some aspects of your metabolism - such as your genetics, sex, and age. But, there are still major areas of your life that you can control that can greatly improve your metabolic health.
When people hear the word "diet," they often think of Keto, Paleo, or other "diets" that restrict the foods you are eating and limit the number of calories you can have each day. Unfortunately, as much as we may like these types of diets to work, the simple fact is that they do not.
Eating too few calories actually slows down your metabolism, and while it can lead to weight loss, it often leads to muscle loss, which slows your metabolism down even further.
The best things you can do for your metabolism are:
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), adults aged 18-60 should get seven or more hours of sleep each night. Many researchers believe that when we do not get enough sleep, our bodies lower our metabolic rates to conserve energy.
To improve your metabolism through physical activity, try resistance or strength training. Activities like weight lifting help you build and maintain muscle - which, as we noted earlier, contributes to a healthier and more efficient metabolism.
Chronic stress is bad for the body in many ways; metabolic health is one of them. While stress is a part of our daily lives, if you want to improve your metabolic health, you will want to look for healthy outlets for this stress. This could be adopting relaxing hobbies, self-care routines, or seeking help from a therapist or counselor.
If you are interested in improving your metabolic health, but you are new to the health and wellness scene (or simply don't know where to start), check out our free, self-paced, online wellness education program. This program covers small, easy-to-implement lifestyle changes that can help you make good lifestyle choices when it comes to nutrition, exercise, stress management, sleep, and more!
Jay Todtenbier is an original founder of SupplementRelief.com in 2010 and has operated the business ever since. He is also a tennis instructor and gospel musician. Formerly he spent 25 years in business development, technology and marketing with startups and major corporations having gone through the tech boom in Silicon Valley in the 90s. He became passionate about, and began studying and practicing Wellness as a Lifestyle after experiencing chronic, personal health challenges including depression, auto-immune disorders, and being overweight that impacted his ability to live a healthy, vibrant life. Since then, he has been an advocate for healthier living encouraging others to live better through making small, gradual changes to lifestyle behaviors relating to whole-foods nutrition, stress management, reasonable exercise, proper sleep, and the use of targeted, high-quality supplements.
Learn more about Jay Todtenbier.
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Faith Hoffman has spent 23 years in business practices, research, and customer relations for brand products and national companies. Lengthy hospital stays for auto-immune disorders, including the onset of heart and liver disease, led her to research the benefits of quality all-natural supplements and the importance of living a healthy lifestyle.
She became a customer of SupplementRelief.com three years ago. Positive results from healthy lifestyle changes and using quality, targeted supplements compelled her to share and recommend SupplementRelief.com products to family, friends, and clients. Studying through her journey and having a passion for helping others, she joined SupplementRelief.com as a customer support specialist in 2023.
When Faith is not assisting SupplementRelief.com customers, she enjoys singing gospel music, volunteering, and spending time with her family and pets.
Faith can be reached by email at [email protected] or by phone or text at (225) 316-5716.
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|United States||Standard||3-6 Days||$4.95|
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|*International shipping costs may be higher depending upon package weight and destination. We will contact you for your approval of the additional amount if this occurs.|
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Shipping anything these days internationally is expensive. COVID resulted in more rigorous customs import processes, and now with much higher energy prices, international shipping rates are higher.
FedEx is the most reliable and faster carrier, at least for now, but they are expensive. Our FedEx international shipping fee is a minimum of $79.95. It usually makes more sense to get several months of supply (3 months or more) in one order to minimize the shipping expense per order over time. While the added weight of additional items may increase the base shipping price by a little (usually 10-25% depending upon total weight and destination), it is usually not by very much relative to shipping an additional small order later.
We also offer a lower-cost international shipping option using GlobalPost International for $39.95. So far, they have been reliable in getting packages correctly delivered but it takes 2 - 4 times as long to get the package delivered. Packages may take longer to process in the receiving country's customs process and status updates may not be reported as quickly. Please be patient if you choose this option to save money.
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If your order has already shipped you can return any un-opened products within 30 days of receiving your order for a 100% refund of the price paid for the product, less the actual shipping charges we incurred to get the product to you originally and then returned, less a $10 restocking fee. Un-opened means the protective seal on the bottle or container, or the shrink-wrap on the box or kit, has not been broken and the product has not otherwise been damaged in any way. You may use the original packaging for the return or acquire your own. We will provide the return shipping label. We DO NOT accept returns for NuMedica products once the protective product seal has been broken.
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