Your metabolic health is an important factor in your overall health. Unfortunately, not many people really understand what it is and how to improve it. Metabolic health basically means that your body understands where it needs to be in order to be healthy. And, as such, it works to keep you at a healthy “set point.” When your metabolic health is less than great, your body struggles to keep up, which often means that your body is storing more fat than it’s burning.

However, there’s more to metabolic health than just weight gain. Metabolic dysfunction, which is the condition that occurs when your metabolic health declines, can lead to obesity, heart disease, and diabetes — but it doesn’t have to. In fact, there are an estimated 20% of people who have some sort of metabolic dysfunction and are still classified as “lean” or at a healthy weight.

In addition to the “common” side effects of unhealthy metabolism, metabolic dysfunction can lead to a wide range of issues, including signs of aging. Because metabolic dysfunction causes inflammation in the body, any type of inflammatory-related health issues can be traced back to inadequate metabolic health — and there are loads of them.

Aside from people only thinking they could have an issue with metabolism if they start gaining weight, other issues caused by metabolic dysfunction don’t just show up overnight. Oftentimes they take years, even decades, to appear and, when they do, it can be difficult to get your health, especially your internal health, back on track. And even when people are diagnosed with a chronic disease, like high cholesterol or diabetes, caused by metabolic dysfunction, many don’t actually start taking active steps towards improving their health. After all, many people who are diagnosed with these issues actually feel okay for awhile.

Of course, if you let metabolic dysfunction get out of control, then it progressively gets worse, causing irreversible damage in your body that, unlike issues presented previously, are almost impossible to ignore.

While there are a lot of different ways you can start looking at your metabolic health and how to improve it, below are three ways that are easy to start implementing today.

  • Exercise and Yoga. Almost all forms of exercise can help improve your metabolic health. If you want to specifically target your metabolism, however, you’ll want to look for specific types of exercise that are designed just for that. Among your options, many people have lots of success with different forms of dancing and fascia work. Yoga is another great way to improve your metabolism — and not just because you’re physically moving your body. The deep breathing exercises often taught in yoga classes are another great way to increase your metabolism’s ability to function.
  • Vitamins and Supplements. Your diet and food habits play a big role in the way your metabolism function. Additionally, you can add a variety of vitamins and supplements that can help keep your metabolism in peak condition. Look for a quality multivitamin, an omega-3, antioxidants, digestive herbs, and metabolism-specific supplements, like green tea and Chinese cinnamon.
  • Personal Knowledge. And, of course, most importantly, you need to know where you stand in regards to your metabolic health. If you don’t already, keep a close eye on your blood pressure, your triglyceride-to-HDL ratio, and your blood sugar levels, specifically when you’re fasting. All three of these can help you better understand how your metabolism is working and help you catch metabolic dysfunction in its earlier stages, too.