Always on the Move
Over the holidays, a fellow strength and conditioning coach Conor O'Flynn (@conquesthp) posted about one of the biggest (and overlooked) contributors to metabolism - NEAT. Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis refers to the energy you expend performing daily activities - I.E. walking around, cleaning, working, etc. This activity effects our metabolism in a BIG way - making up anywhere from 10-50%. In other words, the things we do outside the weight room are just as important as what we do in the weight room!
With all the new fitness gadgets out now, it's becoming easier for us to track just how active we really are. With things like FitBits, Apple Watches, and heart rate monitors, we're able to track every step and every move we make. I personally use a Polar A300 Watch and a heart rate monitor. My heart rate monitor keeps me accountable during workouts and helps me gauge my level of intensity by telling me what heart rate zone I'm in. Although that is incredibly beneficial for my workouts, I want to know more about my activity outside. My Polar watch helps me track my steps and estimates the number of calories burned. You should be aiming to hit at least 10, 000 steps a day! I made the goal for myself to hit 10,000 steps outside of my workout block.
Quick tip: there are a TON of phone apps that track steps (MyFitnessPal does it), so there's really no excuse!
I really don't think it's necessary to use all this fancy new technology, but if you have access to it, it definitely helps! My watch literally vibrates if I've been sitting for too long ... If you work at a desk all day, try standing up and walking around the office for 2-5 minutes every hour or so. This will help circulate blood flow and provide small spikes of activity.
Long story short, MOVE. Try to continually be active throughout your day outside of your training session and your body and metabolism will thank you in the long run.
For the nerds out there, here's an article that breaks down NEAT a little bit further... http://pub18.hotpepper.com/what_is_normal/pdf/neat.pdf