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Metabolism is the body’s ability to take in fuel and process it to support life. To optimize your metabolism, aim for basic healthy habits, explains Life Time master trainer and dietitian Samantha McKinney, RDN, LD: Get good nutrition, ample sleep, and exercise. The easiest way to support your metabolism is to up your NEAT.

NEAT, or nonexercise activity thermogenesis, is all the movement you do as part of your everyday life — everything from household chores and playing with your kids to basic things like eating and sleeping.

NEAT, or nonexercise activity thermogenesis, is all the movement you do as part of your everyday life.

One of the simplest ways to increase your NEAT is by walking. Whether it’s walking the dog, walking with your kids to the playground, parking farther away from the office or grocery store, or taking the stairs, increasing the number of total steps — even at short distances and a lower intensity — can increase your NEAT.

Walking can also support your metabolism by helping to regulate your appetite. One 2015 study shows it can control cravings for sugary snacks among those who regularly consume them. And research has shown that walking does not cause a significant increase in your appetite.

These benefits might be especially welcome news for folks who want to reduce body fat. But even if you are not seeking body-composition changes, a healthy metabolism supports your body’s ability to survive and thrive.

This was excerpted from “The Powerful Health Benefits of Walking” which was published in Experience Life magazine.

Born to Walk!

Going for a walk — though often underrated and underappreciated — is one of the most powerful things you can do for your health. Learn all the ways walking supports your overall health and well-being at “The Powerful Health Benefits of Walking,” from which this article was excerpted.

Nicole Radziszewski

Nicole Radziszewski is a writer and personal trainer in River Forest, Ill. She blogs at

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  1. Yes, Walking can increase your metabolic rate if you have been very sedentary for a long time. Walking is a good way to strengthen your heart and start building up your stamina or endurance. Start walking on a flat track, then add more time, speed, and incline to your walking. Eventually, you can graduate from jogging, biking, elliptical machines, etc. Then you can begin alternating muscle-strengthening resistance exercises like lifting weights with aerobic exercises. Greater muscle mass will help increase your metabolic rate as well. These days several telehealth providers help the patient with weight management and those platforms are Ongo Care, Plushcare, Teladoc, and many others.

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