When you hear the term metabolic health, a fast metabolism may come to mind. While that’s part of it, there’s more to metabolic health than just how fast food is digested and calories burned.
Metabolic health is the absence of metabolic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, stroke, and other metabolic conditions. A healthy (and not just fast) metabolism ensures that your body successfully processes your food without negatively affecting cholesterol, sugar levels, insulin, inflammation, etc.
Surprisingly, only 12% of American adults are metabolically healthy, which says a lot about the lifestyle of many Americans.
So if you are currently battling metabolic conditions or want to avoid them, Daniel Saltos, aka Train With DannyNASM-certified personal trainer and fitness influencer (who has dealt with metabolic health issues first-hand) is here to show you how you can get your metabolic health in shape and take charge of your health right now!
How Danny Saltos transformed his body to be metabolically healthy
Known as “the chubby kid in school,” Saltos was bullied for his weight until one day, at the age of 15, he got sick of it and got back in shape.
With growing knowledge of health and fitness, at the age of 18 Saltos was then struck down with a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes. “I was terrified, but I took that fear and l shifted to a laser focus on my health,” he says.
Diagnosed with diabetes and a fierce passion for health and wellness, Saltos went on to become a personal trainer and helped others achieve optimal health.
Eighteen years later, Saltos has used his personal experience to inspire others to live healthier lives and educate people around the world on the importance of metabolic health.
The importance of achieving optimal metabolic health
“Optimizing your metabolic health can literally save your life,” says Saltos. Many people with metabolic syndrome (the opposite of metabolic health) are unaware that something is wrong. It’s especially frightening when you look at the statistics that only 12% of Americans are considered metabolically healthy.
“In addition to significantly reducing the risk of diabetes, heart disease and stroke, it helps determine overall quality of life,” he says. “It can reduce or eliminate the risk of cognitive decline, erectile dysfunction, weight gain, anxiety, mood swings and cancer.”
Sure, a faster metabolism and a feeling of well-being are big metabolic health benefits, but it’s the vital, life-changing side effects that really matter.
3 factors that can affect your metabolic health
Food choices, stress levels, sleep patterns, exercise, as well as gender, age, and genes all shape your metabolic health. “Many of us know what we ‘must do’ to be healthy: exercise and eat well, says Saltos, but even if it’s a good start, many factors can still affect your health. metabolic.”
Here, Saltos unpacks three factors that put a damper on metabolic health.
- Bad sleep: Poor sleep can disrupt your hormones, raise cortisol and raise blood pressure. All of this affects metabolic health. Aim for seven to nine hours of uninterrupted sleep per night.
- Dehydration: Many of us aren’t hydrated enough, especially active people who need more than the advertised recommendation of eight glasses a day. Poor hydration can lead to poor kidney function. This domino effect can negatively affect blood pressure and heart function.
- Sugar: A cure from time to time is to be expected, but overconsumption of sugar for prolonged periods can have disastrous effects on the body. It leads to inflammation of blood vessels which causes heart disease. What many people do not know is that cancer develops due to the presence of excess sugar in the body.
The good news is that there are simple lifestyle changes to bring you metabolic health and help reverse metabolic damage.
6 steps to improve your metabolic health
Five factors have been identified as indicators of good or bad metabolic health: blood sugar, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, blood pressure and waist circumference. If adults can maintain optimal levels of these indicators (without medication), they are considered metabolically healthy –
Here’s how you can achieve this:
- Exercise: Studies have shown that 30 minutes of planned physical activity three times a week can have a significant impact on our health. That’s 1.5 hours per week to improve blood sugar, increase insulin sensitivity, lower blood pressure, and improve blood circulation.
- Take your steps in: Saltos advises his clients to take between 7,000 and 10,000 steps per day. “It’s one of the easiest ways to lose weight and live a long, healthy life,” he says. It may seem difficult, but small changes in your lifestyle bring great results. “Get up from your desk every hour and walk a few minutes, walk your dog in the morning and evening, choose parking spaces farther from the store and always take the stairs (if possible).”
- Eat whole, nutritious foods: Keeping processed foods to a minimum is one of the cornerstones of good health. Saltos encourages its customers to buy foods with fewer ingredients.
- Make an appointment with your doctor: Take charge of your health and be proactive. “It can be the difference between taking medicine or never having to touch a pill bottle,” says Saltos. Remember that your doctor only sees you once a year, but you live daily in your body.
- To drink a lot of water: If you don’t like drinking water, Saltos recommends adding flavor with electrolytes, cucumber slices, lemon, or fresh berries to your water.
- Create a sleep ritual: We have rituals all day, but they are constantly overlooked and undervalued in our nighttime routine. “Get rid of screens an hour before bedtime,” advises Saltos. “Grab a good book, meditate or connect with your partner; You’ll wake up feeling more rested and ready to conquer your day,” he explains.
Benefits of a Healthy Metabolism
The metabolic health benefits are endless. “It’s not just about avoiding disease; it’s about living a quality life,” says Saltos, and here are the benefits:
- Improved mood/less irritability
- Improved libido
- Increased focus
- Increase in energy
- Sleep improvement
- Increase in cardiovascular endurance
- Less cravings
- Better food choices