We all know exercise is essential for our health but the right type and amount of exercise and regular movement are vital to ensure they’re not blocking your ability to lose weight and keep your hormones in check.
Too little exercise, movement and/or long periods of sitting increases stress levels, blood sugar levels which causes cravings, blood pressure, fat storage and, it slows down thyroid activity and metabolism.
At the extreme opposite end of the scale, too much exercise is a stressor on the body which can hit the thyroid hard and also slow down metabolism. If you’re already stressed or tired the additional cortisol release from overexercising can deplete you, not recharge you. Over time it can also increase the risk of muscle loss, frequent infections, risk of injury, fatigue and poor recovery. If you’re overexercising when stressed you will not burn that stubborn belly fat!
During stressful times in your life I recommend switching to short exercise sessions of speed walking once or twice per week or yoga, pilates, Tai Chi or Qi Gong which allow you to move the body and maintain flexibility and strength without activating the stress response too much. It’s essential to get the right type and amount of exercise for you that suits your individual needs, especially during the years of hormone change.
Perhaps you do an allocated slot of exercise most days but spend the remainder of the day sitting? Sorry to break it to you but this is not enough. Regular movement is essential in between. This all or nothing approach of full-on exercise once a day or a few times a week, can stress the body out.
Long periods of sitting are probably the biggest issue for most especially with the work from home environment so what can you do to break it up?
- Set an alarm to get up and move around every hour
- Walk and talk with a friend
- Walk around whenever you’re on a call
- Invest in a walkstation
- Track your steps with a pedometer – motivates you to move
- Use the stairs instead of lifts
- Walk around the block once an hour
- If you’re travelling, get off the bus/train earlier and walk
The most important thing you can do is move more on a regular at regular at least every hour and listen to your body when you do exercise and assess how it makes you feel. You should feel recharged. If not then rethink your exercise plan. Reduce the intensity/hours or try one of the alternative slower-paced exercises listed above.
Find out more about how exercise, fasting, diet and lifestyle can play havoc with your hormones and your weight loss efforts by joining my Facebook Group Superconscious Slimmers right here.