Exercise is a great way to practice overall health and wellness. And you should always be aware of just how your workouts are affecting your body. Overexerting yourself too much through exercise can be harmful and actually makes your body hold on to the unwanted weight! Why?
Because extreme exercise puts a lot of physical but also emotional stress on your overall body. Your body responds to this stress by releasing its stress hormone - cortisol - which is responsible for a variety of things in your body.
Cortisol not only metabolizes glucose and regulates your blood pressure, but it also release insulin for blood sugar maintenance. Overall, cortisol is also important for your immune system. Thus, maintaining a balanced level of cortisol is an important part of staying healthy.
You may also experience adrenal fatigue. This exhaustion prevents your adrenal glands from producing the cortisol your body needs to function properly. Symptoms include:
- Getting sick as a result of a weakened immune system
- Lacking energy
- Mental blurs; having problems trouble shooting
- Feeling sluggish
If your cortisol levels are high for a long period of time - possibly triggered from over-exercising - your body responds to this by storing fat instead of building muscle!
Therefore, if you ever find yourself hitting a weight loss plateau, ask yourself:
- Are you exercising too much? The key to weight loss is to work out smarter and eat Betr, often times more!
- Are you doing the right kind of exercise? If you are just starting to work out or are increasing the intensity of your workouts, PACE YOURSELF. Instead of spending hours on the treadmill or the elliptical, try a short 10 to 20 minute HIIT routine. Rome wasn't built in a day and your muscles won't be either. Set short terms goals that contribute to your long term success.
- Are you eating enough and of the right thing? Weight loss is more than just calories in versus calories out. You need to fuel your body with nutritious foods and never deprive yourself. When you do exercise, always supplement with an adequate amount of protein to recover.
Listen to your body and monitor how it reacts to certain changes. Maybe you have been unable to lose weight because you have been over-exercising? Work with your coach (and trainer if you have one) to make meaningful changes accordingly.