The Impact of Fitness on Weight Loss & How to Optimize Your Routine
Photo by Bruno Nascimento on Unsplash
If you’re like the majority of the world, weight loss is difficult. You’re making sure to take the right vitamins, eat the best foods and stick to a workout regimen. But how does fitness actually help to maintain your weight loss?
Here’s the thing – you actually need to understand how your body’s hormones work in order to determine if the exercise you are doing will work best for you. Sometimes a HIT or high cardio workout may not be the smartest option for you.
The Fitness Hormones
When you exercise, you are releasing hormones – CRH and cortisol. This is why you feel get into that relaxed and euphoric-state after a good work out; you are releasing the chemicals that would otherwise cause you to feel stress. But overexercising, if the exercises are not right for you, can actually be harmful.
Cortisol levels have been shown to rise with rigorous exercise like running, which can actually lead to wear and tear on the body (especially your joints!) and accelerate aging. You may actually have to tone down your work outs in order to be sure your body – especially your cortisol levels – are not too high, as intense workouts have been shown to increase cortisol levels in the body.
Of course, “toning down” your workouts do not mean to sit them out completely. Inactivity is not healthy; for example, sitting too much has been shown to increase your risk of diabetes and heart disease and can contribute to back pain and stiffness.
Maximize your workouts, without over or under-doing it, according to Sara Gottfried, M.D.
- Aim for bursts of movements, like a one-minute burst of dancing or 12 push-ups. Start small – add one to five minutes of new movement to your routine each day during the week.
- Burst-training, or fast-twitch muscle bursts, of alternating movements like walking for three minutes fast then at a normal place, can help.
- Recovery is key to a workout. It “increases muscle mass and keeps the mTOR gene turned off.” A great recovery method is to have a whey protein powder shake after a good workout. Whey protein, especially in isolate form, provides essential amino acids and protein in order to help build lean body mass and help restore muscle proteins.
- A healthy sleep routine is important for optimal weight loss and energy. Can’t get or stay asleep? Turn to adaptogens! These are herbs or plant extracts that can help the body adapt to stress and fatigue. Nutritionists, herbalists and integrative doctors agree that they have the ability to help “adapt’ our bodies to the demands of modern day stressors, especially Rhodiola and Ashwaghanda.