MOVEMENT AND WEIGHT LOSS
Quite often when we think of weight loss and exercise, we think of running…
Or lifting heavy weights…
Or HIIT style training.
That’s what I was taught when I did my personal training certificate too.
But, through personal experience, I’ve noticed the more intense my exercise is the more trouble I have trying to lose weight. I tone up and get stronger with weights and I can get faster with HIIT style training but my weight doesn’t really change all that much… kind of strange, huh?
The times when I have lost weight is when I’ve being doing shorter, less intense types of exercise, such as walking, short HIIT workouts under 10 minutes or heavy weights once per week.
AND, when I wasn’t stressed out…
Stress causes the hormones adrenaline and cortisol to surge through our bodies – the same ones that get released when our life is ACTUALLY in danger. You know like the good old saying – “when you’re being chased by a sabre tooth tiger!” Our bodies don’t actually know the difference. Weird, huh?
So, the unfortunate part about all this is that most of our stress these days is not short term (like the chasing tiger, where you either get away or get eaten fairly quickly!). These days our stress comes from our busy lifestyle – too many things to do, work deadlines, difficult people, family commitments, etc. These stressors tend to be prolonged causing the stress hormones, adrenaline and cortisol, to hang around and what they do is inhibit a lot of important bodily functions, such as:
- Fat burning
Because our body thinks it needs to fight or flight – causing it to put all it’s energy into keeping us alert to danger and keeping all the oxygenated blood close to our muscles, heart and lungs so we can fight or run. So, in our tiger scenario, this is fine because hopefully it’s all over within 30 minutes or less, but in a world of prolonged daily stress, this leads to BIG problems.
These problems in themselves prohibit us from burning fat for fuel. So, what do you think happens when we add in intense exercise? We’re just adding another layer of stress on top of the mountain of stress we already have and cause more problems.
So, what’s the solution?
We need to address the stress problem. Exercise helps, but you’ve got to do the right sort for you. Exercise that incorporates long slow breathing is fantastic! Think yoga, Tai Chi or walking. Your body is still moving and working, but it is also slowing down internally. Your breath massages the internal organs and relaxes them instead of tightening everything up ready to fight or run. You receive more oxygen into your body which helps with blood flow, moving nutrients around your body and toxins out.
If, on the other hand, you have a pretty chilled lifestyle, then throwing in some more intense exercise might be what you need. It’s really about creating balance within your body and your mind. Once you can find that balance, your body knows what to do and will work exactly as it is intended to – including getting rid of unwanted body fat.
To finish off, I want to share with you the warmup I perform with my personal training clients each session. It’s a sensory warm up, which includes skin stimulation – it may seem weird at first, but if you ask any of my girls, they love it!
The other thing I do with my group is often finish off with a five minute post-workout meditation. For many of them, it is the first time they’ve had a couple minutes to themselves to just stop, breathe and give thanks for their body.
A formidable woman and a living example of how a complete change of career while juggling balls is achievable. A positive attitude, kindness, ambition and sheer will to help others are drivers to live a full purpose driven life. Once a police detective and also a private investigator, Lindsey is a fitness instructor, personal trainer and now an Integrative Health Coach. Studying at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition she toyed with the notion that ‘being healthy’ is not one dimensional or just eating well and exercising. A collaboration of health principles such as meditation, self-care, personal development, positive-self talk are just as important for overall health. Similar to a life coach, a health coach can provide direction in a persons preventative health journey. Help to be healthy ~ now there’s a positive trend.