We all know the benefits of exercise. If you’ve read any of my articles on adopting an achievable exercise program that works, you already know it trumps food as the number one way to increase longevity, lose or maintain weight, and combat disease. Exercise is good. Really good.
But in our over-stressed, “always doing” society, we turn the benefits of exercise into a double-edged sword. Doing only intense cardio or high intensity training can force your body into a state of being over-stressed and unable to function normally, repairing itself as is intended.
In this series on stress, we have seen these negative effects on three women, Janene, Kim, and Lisa and how the stress in their lives is actually causing their well-intentioned exercise programs to backfire. (You can read parts 1, 2, and 3 here.) Maybe you see yourself or parts of you in one or all of them.
Thirty minutes a day is the recipe for success for all of us, but be mindful of the type and intensity of your preferred method and take stock of your stress. You can scale back to mobility or a Flow for a few days before you jump back into high-intensity work.
One sure way to know if your cortisol levels are too high too long is to get them checked by a medical doctor who will do a salivary cortisol test, not a regular lab test. Also, is your energy level very low in the morning and seems to increase around bedtime? Then your cortisol is probably off kilter.
Below I’m offering a solution. It’s never too late.
There are only two ways to live your life. One as though nothing is a miracle.
The other is as though everything is a miracle.
– Albert Einstein
We breathe 16 breaths per minute. This means we breathe about 960 breaths an hour, 23,040 breaths a day, 8,409,600 a year. If we cut this short with neck or chest breathing, or by holding our breath thereby unconsciously robbing our body of essential oxygen-producing breaths, repair and recovery is nearly impossible. Breathing is believed to be the top rehabilitation program.
Give your body the break it needs for recovery, muscle building, and fat burning. “Rest” is not a bad word. It’s when you burn FAT!
Our brains are not computers. They operate best with one activity and thought at a time.
Turn your bedtime into your most important appointment of the day. When we sleep, we burn fat and build muscle. That should be enough reason! 😉
There a several great apps out there to use. HeartMath is one of my favorites. Meditation has been proven to reduce the level of stress hormones and makes you more focused. Better yet, check out “compassion meditation.”
Sugar can exacerbate any stressed-out system.
Not only does the blue light kill your sleep pattern, our devices do a number on our shoulders, necks, elbows, and hands.
It increases your brain’s capacity.
It takes 20 positive thoughts to erase a negative one!
Studies show it works!
Pet owners have less stress than others.
And use to complement your workouts. If you are a runner, open up those hips. If you are a mountain climber, get those shoulder in tip-top shape.
As with anything, the all or nothing approach never works. Start today with one or two of the and embrace them as part of the new YOU.
Fitness on the Run is Fitness for Life. Combining a focus on strong bodies and strong minds with a robust wellness education program and unparalleled personalized attention, we provide fitness for health, longevity and functionality.
Fitness on the Run
210 N Lee St.,
Alexandria, VA 22314