It is far too common for time poor and exhausted women to be punishing their beautiful bodies with intense workouts, working out longer and harder to crush calories, earn the wine and chocolate or try and shift the mid-section weight gain that may have started to notice.
If you are regular reader of my emails you will have heard me say before that the days of eat less, move more are gone. It is time to look at a whole body approach and to work out WELL, to nourish our mind and body with our movement, to consider our heart health, bone health, pelvic health, our cognitive health – does your movement bring you joy and make you feel energised and alive or does it exhaust you?
If you feel like you’re gaining weight yet you’re working out as you always have or harder now than ever before you might need to be doing less and not more and here is why…
Fat loss is about hormones NOT calories and this is where the challenge begins.
The adrenals (the small glands that sit just on top of the kidneys) are the foundation of hormonal balancing. They produce the DHEA hormone which is the pre-curser for the main sex hormones oestrogen, testosterone and progesterone.
They also help to regulate blood sugar level and burn fat BUT they also receive the message from the brain, when it anticipates a danger, to activate the fight or flight response in the form of the stress hormone, cortisol (my most favourite topic).
Because most of us are dealing with constant low-level stress, day in day out, week in, week out, our adrenal glands are continually firing up and as a result are exhausted by the time we reach our mid 30’s.
Have you noticed that you don’t deal with stress the way you used to in your early 20’s??
Anything that is exhausted cannot work effectively, our electronic devices, us and certainly not out adrenals!
On the flip side when you work out harder and more intensely (to crush the calories and burn the fat) your brain doesn’t know that you’re not being chased by a sabre tooth tiger so to keep you safe it sends the signal to the adrenals to release some more cortisol which exhausts the adrenal’s further and prevents the fat buring.
As if that wasn’t enough, when we work out too intensely we take out heart rate out of the fat burning zone (it’s very low in comparison to your maximum heart rate).
Of course, we do need to be getting out of breath and hot and sweaty to protect our heart health when we work out, particularly as our hormone levels decline but as with all things, we need balance, especially if inch loss and feeling energised is your end goal.
There is nothing wrong with running long distance or doing cardio everyday as long as there is an adequate amount of rest and recovery, of calming and supporting the adrenals and nourishing them with food, water, sunlight – yes, we are basically house plants with emotions!
This is of course a huge topic and whilst I still don’t intend to return to teaching face to face group exercise classes I am so passionate about movement and moving well and this conversation.
So much so I have created a brand new 7-day re-set programme where I’ll be sharing all my favourite wellness information around gut health, hormones, bone health, sleep and stress as well as 7 brand new purposeful workouts.
I’m also re-running my Happy Hormones workshop online on Monday 23rd August where again I’ll be digging deeper into adrenal health, movement and much more.
You can find all the details for both below.