When you hear the phrase "metabolic health," a fast metabolism might spring to mind. While that's part of it, metabolic health is about a lot more than just how quickly food is digested and calories burned.
Metabolic health is the absence of metabolic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, blood sugar, stroke and other metabolic diseases. A healthy (not just fast-paced) metabolism ensures your body successfully processes your food without negatively affecting cholesterol, sugar levels, insulin, inflammation, and more.
Shockingly, only 12% of American adults are metabolically healthy, which speaks volumes about the lifestyle of many Americans.
So if you're currently struggling with or want to avoid metabolic diseases, Daniel Saltos, aka Train With Danny, NASM-certified personal trainer and fitness influencer (who has faced metabolic health issues first-hand) is there to show you how How to Boost Your Metabolic Health and Take Control of Your Health w!
Courtesy of Danny Saltos
How Danny Saltos transformed his body to be metabolically healthy
Known as the 'chubby kid at school', Saltos was bullied because of his weight until one day at the age of 15 he got fed up and got fit.
With a growing knowledge of health and fitness, Saltos was struck by a type 1 diabetes diagnosis at the age of 18. "I was scared, but I took that fear and shifted it to a laser-like focus on my health," he says.
With a diabetes diagnosis and a strong passion for health and wellness, Saltos then became a personal trainer, helping others achieve optimal health.
Eighteen years later, Saltos has used his personal experience to inspire others to live healthier lives and to educate people worldwide about 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) don't realize that something is wrong. This is especially scary when you look at the statistic that only 12% of Americans are considered metabolically healthy.
“In addition to significantly reducing the risk of diabetes, heart disease and stroke, it is instrumental in determining overall quality of life,” he says. "It may reduce or eliminate the risk of cognitive decline, erectile dysfunction, weight gain, anxiety, mood swings and cancer."
Sure, a faster metabolism and feeling better are great benefits of metabolic health, but it's the life-saving, life-changing side effects that really make an impact.
3 factors that can harm your metabolic health
Dietary habits, stress levels, sleep patterns, exercise, as well as gender, age, and genes all shape your metabolic health. "Many of us know what we need to do to be healthy: exercise and eat well," says Saltos, "but while that's a good start, many factors can still impact your metabolic health."
Here, Saltos unpacks three factors that put a damper on metabolic health.
- Bad sleep: Poor sleep can mess with your hormones, increase cortisol, and increase blood pressure. All of this affects metabolic health. Aim for seven to nine hours of uninterrupted sleep a night.
- dehydration: Many of us aren't adequately hydrated—especially the active individuals who need more than the recommended eight glasses a day. Poor hydration can lead to poor kidney function. This domino effect can affect blood pressure and heart function.
- Sugar: A reward is expected from time to time, but excessive sugar consumption over a long period of time can have disastrous effects on the body. It leads to inflammation of the blood vessels that causes heart disease. What many people don't realize is that cancer thrives on the presence of excess sugar in the body.
The good news is that there are simple lifestyle changes that will bring you to metabolic health and help reverse metabolic damage.
Jonathan D Goforth
6 steps to boost your metabolic health
There are five factors that are identified as indicators of good or bad metabolic health: blood sugar, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, blood pressure, and waist circumference. When adults can maintain optimal levels of these indicators (without medication), they are considered metabolically healthy -
How to 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 a week to improve blood sugar levels, increase insulin sensitivity, lower blood pressure and improve circulation.
- Get your steps in: Saltos advises its customers to walk 7,000 to 10,000 steps a day. "This is one of the easiest ways to lose weight and live a long and healthy life," he says. It may seem difficult, but small changes in your lifestyle will yield great results. "Get up from your desk every hour and go for a walk for a few minutes, walk your dog mornings and evenings, choose remote parking spots, and always take the stairs (when possible)."
- Eat whole and nutritious foods: Keeping processed foods to a minimum is one of the cornerstones of proper health. Saltos encourages its customers to shop for groceries with as few ingredients as possible.
- Make an appointment with your doctor: Take care of your health and be proactive. “That can make the difference between taking medication and never having to touch a pill bottle,” says Saltos. Remember, your doctor only sees you once a year, but you live in your body every day.
- Drink plenty of water: If you're not a water drinker, Saltos recommends adding some flavor to your water with electrolytes, sliced cucumber, lemon, or fresh berries.
- Create a sleep ritual: We have rituals throughout the day, but one that is constantly overlooked and underestimated in our nightly routine. "Get rid of the screens an hour before bedtime," says Saltos. “Pick up a good book, meditate, or connect with your partner; You'll wake up more refreshed and ready to take on 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:
- Better mood/less irritability
- Improved sex drive
- Increased focus
- Increased energy
- Improved sleep
- weight loss
- Increased cardiovascular endurance
- Less cravings
- Better choice of food