Lies Lies Lies!
We have been told many things when it comes to being fit. How many hours per week have you been told you need to exercise? 5 hours per week? More? Have you been told that in order to lose weight, you have to get used to being out of breath and feeling exhausted?
When we are exhausted, our adrenals are already working hard, and exercise can put added strain on them. If you are feeling tired and run-down you need to REST and then have a fabulous healthy breakfast! You should practise mindfulness, maybe do some gentle stretching and reenergize, and you definitely should not get up early and go for a hard workout!
It is extremely important to understand that exercising has many benefits, but weight loss just isn’t one of them. It can help speed things up, sometimes.
Exercising is great for keeping our joints healthy, balance and strength, preventing injury, shaping muscles and firming them up, strong bones, it makes us feel good (endorphins), improves the quality of our sleep, reduces stress levels, helps with depression and anxiety, it’s also crucial for a healthy cardiovascular system … I could go on all day!
I just love exercise. It’s been a HUGE part of my life since 1996 when I joined my first gym and started working in the industry less than 12 months later. So I would never ever tell you not to exercise – in fact, I’d be a little upset if you said you didn’t!
As we get older, if we continue to exercise, we will actually stay younger! I see this every day with all the wonderful ladies I meet at Zumba Gold every week. These ladies glow! They giggle, laugh, joke around, dance, sing, exercise, and socialize after. Those that are eating clean foods end up with twice the benefit!
So, how much exercise should you do?
My recommendations vary according to age, size, and goals and of course what you WANT to do. If you are 65 and haven’t exercised in 30 years, I am not going to tell you to do the same exercise routines as my 25 year old client who is training to get into the police force. Having said that, I have 60 year old who can hardly stand who attends my BOXFiT classes along side extremely fit people who just love it when I call out ‘Burpee Penalty’! I believe with modifications, most people can do most things.
I always recommend gentle activities alongside energetic ones. There must be a balance of both.
I highly endorse HiiT training (High Intensity Interval Training) where we work hard for a period of time, and then we rest, or lower the level of intensity, recover, and then go hard again. If you do this correctly, you only need to train cardiovascular fitness once per week.
I also recommend eccentric training for those people who really dislike exercise, but want the benefits of weight training without spending hours in the gym.
I would never recommend steady-state cardio as the research is showing over and over again that this not only prevents weight loss, but can even promote weight gain!
If you do too many stressful activities you can burn out your adrenal glands. We all go through periods of time in our lives when the demands are greater and the stress load is heavier. Regardless of the reasons – sickness, relationship troubles, work dramas, caring for an aging parent or sick child – there can be a physical impact.
Adrenal fatigue is a big one! There are many side effects to overworking your adrenal glands. These can include chronic fatigue and hormone imbalance. If we don’t have good adrenal function, women facing menopause can suffer from symptoms like depression, fatigue, and feeling run down with no real interest in anything at all.
Something that we are all trying to avoid (like, REALLY trying to avoid) is weight gain, right? Well, stress causes weight gain. Maybe not immediately, but over time, you may notice the kilos starting to add up.
When we run, do too much stressful exercise or get ourselves stressed out at all, we trigger our fight or flight stress response, which is not ideal for our adrenal glands…. it releases extra cortisol (the stress hormone) that causes us to crave foods, lose precious energy, and gain weight.
For those who love to train hard and/or partake in endurance events, a lot of rest is essential as is proper fuel for the body. It is also necessary to learn how to breathe through the nose for the ENTIRE session – to keep the cortisol levels at a reasonable level.
The American Heart association found that jogging injures more than half the people who do it… It’s no surprise really when you consider the impact on your ligaments, joints and every other part of your body!
Some sort of resistance training (weight training) is essential for everybody. This can be done using weights, resistance bands/straps and/or bodyweight.
I recommend that everyone does some sort of Yoga, Pilates and stretching at least twice per week. I also recommend working your pelvic floor muscles daily and working on keeping your core muscles strong.
Ultimatey, who you are, how fit you are, what you like to do and what you hope to achieve will determine what types of exercise you do and how often. If you would like any help, guidance or advice please let me know, I’d love to have a chat with you!