After treating the Christmas holidays and lying on the couch, many would like to boost their metabolism.

The method is, after all, simple: exercise.

It stimulates the metabolism both momentarily and permanently.

The most effective are the species that use large muscles.


 The traditional squat-up workout activates the thigh muscles best.

Muscle uses sugar, and muscle use reduces insulin resistance, a condition in which the effect of insulin weakens and blood sugar rises.

Therefore, it is important that the muscles get moving.

The FinTerveys 2017 study revealed that almost every second Finnish adult was obese.

According to LT Jari Parkkari, a specialist in sports medicine, obesity in the middle of the body and a disorder of sugar metabolism go hand in hand.

Fat usually begins to accumulate in the middle body as a person loses muscle mass as they age and their metabolism slows down.

The importance of physical activity should not be underestimated. Photo: Hanna Matikainen

Muscle strength peaks at about the age of 30, after which it begins to decrease little by little.

The pace is accelerating in the late Middle Ages.

- When muscle mass can be maintained, mid-body obesity also remains under control, Parkkari points out.

The trouser waist is an excellent gauge, Parkkari says.

If two-year-old jeans don’t fit on your feet, you might want to worry.

- From a health point of view, it is a good decision to lose weight so that it fits on jeans again in a few months.

This requires a bit of guts.


 Muscle strength training twice a week reduced adipose tissue by 10 to 11 percent - without even changing the diet.

Weight loss should be done so that the amount of muscle mass does not decrease, but on the contrary increases.

In this case, the weight may not drop even if the amount of adipose tissue decreases.

To maintain muscle mass, Parkkari recommends twice-weekly muscle strength training.

A 4-month study in older men showed that muscle strength training twice a week reduced adipose tissue by as much as 10-11 percent - without even changing the diet.

Muscle strength training has also been shown to improve sugar balance in type 2 diabetics.

Muscle strength training is as successful at home as it is at the gym.

A home workout can be just as effective, and you don’t even need more special equipment.

- We have the largest muscles in our thighs, so it is especially worthwhile to exercise them.

The traditional squat-up workout activates the thigh muscles best, Parkkari suggests.

- You can also get a good muscle strength training if you own a few kilos of pounds and step them on your hands on the steps one step at a time up and down.

Pedaling on an exercise bike or crosstrainer is also a good workout for the thighs.


 Aerobic exercise also reduces the amount of cytokines that cause inflammation, thus alleviating low-grade inflammation.

Beneficial exercise also works: for example, in gardening and snow work, the muscles get good training.

Muscle training instructions can be found online, and muscle fitness is successful even while watching TV.

At the gym, you should make use of the instructor's professionalism and always ask for a training program for a month ahead.

Muscle strength training can be started at any age.

- In the study, the average age of 89 residents of a nursing home practiced regularly at the gym.

After two months of training, their muscle strength had doubled.

At the same time, moving became easier and safer for them.

In addition to muscle fitness training, Parkkari recommends aerobic exercise, such as walking, swimming or skiing.

- From the point of view of basic metabolism, it is important to do both, both aerobic exercise and muscle fitness training.

Energy consumption is directly related to heart rate: when walking, your heart rate is about 100, and it is enough to burn fat.

Muscle fitness training, which raises less heart rate, maintains muscle mass.

Aerobic exercise is an effective remedy for many ailments.

- For example, it reduces the amount of cytokines that cause inflammation, thus alleviating low-grade inflammation.

If, on the other hand, you suffer from pain, aerobic exercise also helps, as it activates the serotonin systems in the brain, which reduces pain: the sensation of pain is relieved by increasing serotonin and noadrenaline in the brain through exercise.

Try this: an easy and effective muscle fitness workout without tools

Squat: Stand in a crotch position, feet slightly wider than the hips.

The toes and knees point in the same direction throughout the movement.

Bend your knees and take your hips back.

Keep your lower back and upper body straight and your hips in the middle of your legs.

Squat until your knees are at about a 90 degree angle and get up.

Initially, you can take support or use the chair as an aid, in which case you will push up from the chair and descend back down.

Hip lift: Lie on your back and bend your knees so that the soles of your feet are on the floor at the width of your hips.

Tense the buttocks and squeeze the buttocks together.

Raise your hips as high as you can, however, so that your back stays straight during lifting.

Hold your hips up for a few seconds and tense your buttocks.

Slowly lower your hips and repeat the movement.

Abdominal workout: Sit on a kitchen chair, place your palms on the chair under your thighs, lean your weight on your hands as if you were lifting the back out of the chair.

Bend your knees slightly and lift your thighs off the chair for a few seconds.

Then slowly lower your thighs back onto the chair.

Repeat each movement about 10 times and take a 1-2 minute break between sets, each time.

Repeat each set a total of 2-3 times.

After the first workout, the muscles may ache, which is a normal reaction and indicates activation of the muscles.

Do the next workout only after the muscle pain is over.

When you feel the strength has increased, include dumbbells in your workout.

You can squat with either one or two dumbbells.

You can lift your hips with one leg.

Keep training two days a week, and soon you’ll find you feel better.

You can find more good training instructions online.