Muscle and your metabolism

We’ve talked a lot about food and how it affects your metabolism, but your body composition also plays a big part.

It’s like this: Unlike body fat — which just sits there — muscle is always on the move. Every time a muscle flexes and releases, every time you turn, twist, bend, and move, it’s burning fuel as fast as your body can shovel it into the mitochondria. And if you’re eating right, that fuel is fat! The more muscle you have, the more fat you’ll burn even at rest–and more yet when you get those muscles moving.

A little bit of strength training, fueled by a mix of high-quality protein and alkalizing greens, is the perfect recipe for a sleek, toned body that burns fat like nobody’s business. Don’t worry, a little weight training won’t make you look like a bodybuilder, but it will make you will look and feel strong, and that muscle you’re building will really turn up the heat on your metabolism.

What else can my muscles do for me?

Muscles do a lot more for you than “just” burn fat. Muscles also help you get around–in fact you wouldn’t get very far without them! Whether you’re lifting a baby overhead, hauling groceries in from the car, or pushing yourself up from a seat on the floor, it’s your muscles that make that happen. Weight-training workouts are like practice sessions for your muscles: A chance to get stronger and better at what you ask of them every day.

Weight training also strengthens the bones of your upper body, much like walking and running do for the bones in your lower body. Just like muscles, your bones respond to the stress of each workout by coming back stronger than before.

Finally, the actual process of building muscle is one of the best stress-busters ever. Feeling frustrated or stressed out? It happens to all of us! Whether it’s your boss, your family, or just life, in general, that’s getting your goat, lifting weights is a safe, healthy way to take out that frustration and leave yourself feeling powerful instead.

What other activity can burn fat, bust stress, leave you feeling great, and make your everyday activities easier all at once? Time to pump some iron!

And you don’t need to join a gym

You can still do strength training even if you don’t own weights or belong to a gym. Got a couple of empty gallon jugs? Fill them up with water, and you’ve got yourself two 8-pound weights with handles. Our homes are filled, room-to-room, with everything we need for a sweat-inducing, fat-burning, heart-pounding workout. Here are five household items you can use as weights