Did you know that when you exercise too intensely for YOUR body you will GAIN weight and SLOW your metabolism? Yes, it’s true! So it’s time to chat about how this occurs so it doesn’t happen to YOU.
When you exercise too intensely for your body, you raise cortisol levels and that spells trouble. Here’s what happens when cortisol is raised too high: heightened levels of cortisol INCREASES fat storage AND skews your hormones. This causes weak adrenal function, slows your thyroid and increases insulin output. Exercise can do that? Yes, and this is not a good formula for being your healthiest!
Here’s an overview:
Over-training has been shown to decrease blood levels of l-glutamine, dopamine and 5-HTP which affects mood, energy and the body’s ability to repair. Exercising too intensely for your body affects your hypothalamus and pituitary glands. Impaired thyroid function means your metabolism is compromised. Studies have directly shown how exercising too intensely depletes t3 levels. Plain, simple, accepted fact.
The increase in cortisol depletes progesterone or testosterone levels creating estrogen dominance; another reason for weight gain and thyroid dysfunction. Exercising for more than half an hour has been shown to increase hunger thus often offsetting the metabolic boost and calorie burning activity, creating a calorie surplus- not a deficit.
In addition, as we age the body’s ability to withstand oxidative stress diminishes. Periods of constantly elevated heart rate with no decrease seems to cause the most damage. Not allowing for adequate periods of rest after oxidative stress heightens inflammation. Inflammation means you are gaining weight and getting sick. We are constantly told faster, harder, more intense, push, push, push and what we are pushing ourselves to is an early grave.
Now, that being said, some people are genetically programmed to be athletes. But most of us aren’t. Our ability to repair from too much exercise decreases as we age. The exercise that may have worked for you in our 20s is now perceived as stress by your body AND your body can’t keep up with repair. No matter how you slice it, our bodies are adapted to survive. When you spend way too long on the treadmill or at the Cross fit class your body will react by slowing down your metabolism bcs your body wants to survive longer .It does that by decreasing T3 levels to preserve energy and slow metabolism.
Then there is the flip side, you don’t exercise because you think you need to spend an hour 5 days a week in a gym. You too, are slowing thyroid function and of course not getting the wonderful benefits of exercise like cardiovascular health, bone density and nice boosts of serotonin. Exercise is FUN, it really is, you just need to find the exercise that works for you!
Did you know that in my early 30s I was a crazy runner? 50 miles a week, every single week, for years. I loved it. Really and truly. Then I started to really build my practice, so I only started to run in the spring. And my body was so happy! I’d lose my winter fat, pounds would drop, I would feel so invigorated and happy.
Then…the last couple of years, running started to seem like a chore. And I wasn’t dropping body fat. And I wasn’t losing my winter weight. So I decided to test it. There was no way, running was the problem, right? It was my go to for 20 +years. Well guess who totally, and absolutely, failed running? Yup, me. Using the testing protocols I can teach you, you will be able to figure out what your body loves. And what’s fun. My go to now? Weights, yoga and plyometrics.
You can use The Plan protocols to help you find your balance. If you would like to enroll to work with me or one of my staff, you can email [email protected] AND receive a signed copy of my new book The Metabolism Plan when it’s released (mention TMP when you sign up)!
Remember, the key is always listening to your body, it’s always telling you everything you need to know! For me, my new balance is exercising 1-1.5 hours a week (and my body fat and weight is the same at 50 as it was in my 30s when I was exercising like a maniac! ).
Your friend in health,