Rumor has it, the more you exercise the healthier you will be or, more is always better when it comes to exercise. Truth is, sometimes training your body too hard and/or often not only ruins the enjoyment of the experience it could lead to several potential risks to your health, mind and body. Overtraining occurs when your body cannot recover fast enough after repeated workouts.
Signs when your body has had enough:
Longer workouts and/or training harder is not always better if it begins to interfere with your health and wellbeing. Listen to your body. Taking a break from exercise to allow enough time for the body to recover is just as important, if not more important, than exercising.
The key to staying healthy is doing everything in moderation. Know your limits; avoid doing too much too soon. Exercising to the point of overtraining is not good for your overall health and will cause burn out in the most conditioned and disciplined people.
Keeping and exercise journal and schedule is just as important as the exercise itself. It allows you to keep track of your workouts and schedule rest days. Push hard and work hard, but take time to recover.
Embracing the "Relapse"
Uh-oh! There is that word. RELAPSE.
For the past month you have been eating clean, making time for exercise and developing healthy coping mechanisms for stress.
Then, it happens. LIFE.
Months of exercising, and eating healthy has become a struggle and those healthy coping mechanisms you developed are slowly slipping away. Now you're feeling guilty, ashamed, and defeated.
This is not a setback, it is progress.
It is also a reminder that you are human and “relapses” are a part of the journey.
"Relapse" comes with a negative stigma. “To fall back into a former mood,state, or way of life, especially a bad or undesirable one, after a period of improvement.”
There is a positive association as well, which is relapse is a major part of change, it's inevitable. It allows you to take a step back and reflect on what may have caused this state. The most important thing to remember;
Don't look at it as “The end of the world” but instead acknowledge it as being a continuing part of your journeys “cycle of change”
Relapses may occur for different reasons; time, injury, illness or just good old fashion stress. Acknowledge and embrace these obstacles.
This is the time to develop plans to overcome them and also strategize to avoid facing the same barrier in the future. Instead of feeling like a failure when you fall back into old, unhealthy behaviors, embrace them.
Take the time to laugh and realize that your relapse is a big milestone on your journey of healthy living.
Yes, you are human
Calculating Your BMR
Our BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) is what your body needs to maintain normal functions like breathing and digestion. This calculator will calculate your BMR; the number of calories you'd burn if you stayed in bed all day. If you have noticed that every year it becomes harder to lose and or maintain your weight it’s due to your BMR decreases as you age. So, knowing your personal number can help you to create a smarter strategy for weight loss and/ or maintenance.
Once you know your personal BMR, you can easily calculate your daily calorie needs based on your activity level. This is done using the Harris Benedict Equation as follows:
If you are sedentary (little or no exercise)
If you are sedentary, multiply your BMR (1745) by 1.2 = 2094. This is the total number of calories you need in order to maintain your current weight.
Once you know the number of calories needed to maintain your weight, you can then calculate the number of calories you need to eat in order to gain or lose weight
Calories Needed To Lose Weight
When we consume more calories than expended we are in positive energy balance which results in weight gain. When more calories are expended than consumed we are in negative energy balance which is necessary for weight loss. The Dietary Guidelines recommends if your goal is to lose weight aim for a 500 calorie deficit per day. Over the course of a week the 3500 calorie deficit should lead to a loss of 1 pound; as there are approximately 3500 calories in a pound of stored body fat. This can be achieved through a combination of decreased caloric intake and/or exercise. The combination of both is best for long term weight loss.
Exercise & Nutrition For Your Body Type
The most recognizable names we have for body types are Endomorph, Mesomorph and Ectomorph. Bodies that tend to have more of a pear shape and carry a little extra fat are considered Endomorph. Mesomorphs tend to have a naturally fit body and/ or their body tends to lean more toward an hour glass shape and it is fairly easy to gain and/or lose weight. Ectomorphs have a naturally thin body type and may find it extremely difficult to gain weight and/or tone.
All of this information is correct but did you know that hormones also affect your body type and ultimately your health? Hormones and organ function play a major role in how we gain and/or lose weight.
There are four body shapes that are determined by the activity and functionality of our hormones and organs: Adrenal, Ovary, Liver and Thyroid.
The Adrenal body type has wide shoulders and strong limbs. The trunk is straight up and down with little waist. This body type tends to gain weight near and/or around the mid-section. Adrenal types tend to crave foods that are high in cholesterol and salt. According to Dr. Berg, “When too much stress builds up, our fight-or-flight response kicks in, it triggers the hormone cortisol to protect our bodies unfortunately it also aids in fat storage as well. Due to a majority of weight loss programs entails cutting a significant amount of calories this may cause further stress on the body which may result in weight gain.”
Nutrition and Exercise
Lower your calorie intake by eating frequent but small meals that packs nutrition density. These small meals should consist of foods that are low in salt and fat, fresh fruit and whole grain carbs.
High intensity cardio and/or using moderate weights at a fast training pace, allowing for little rest between sets and exercises.
The Ovary body type have small to medium narrow shoulders and wide hips, (hour glass) and tend to be heavier in the lower part of the body. Like the thyroid shape, too much estrogen triggers the ovary shape, which can cause certain people to be both shapes in their lifetime. Sugar has a very toxic effect on this body type. This body type struggles with the conventional low fat meal plan because weight typically comes off easily from areas where there is not a problem; Ovary body types crave spicy, creamy foods, fats and sugar. The largest protein meal should be consumed for dinner when this gland is more active.
Nutrition and Exercise
Try to avoid spices, heavy creams, butter, desserts, caffeine, fats, oils, sugar, ice cream and all fried foods. Consume raw fruit, soy milk rather than regular milk, lean protein. Your largest high protein meal should be consumed at night when this gland is more active.
Body weight circuits, brisk walking and/or jogging bring balance to the upper and lower body. Strength training can also be done with light weights at a fast training pace allowing for very little rest between sets and exercises.
The liver body type tends to have a protruding belly “pot belly” due to fluid retention from the liver. This type may also experience right shoulder pain, skin and digestive issues. A liver type will often crave fatty/fried foods, chocolate or alcohol.
Nutrition and Exercise
Eliminate junk foods, alcohol, fried foods and soft drinks. Consume fruits, vegetables and lean protein. Detoxing your liver may be helpful as well.
Cardio is your best friend. Cycling, jogging, power walking and interval training i.e. Tabata get your heart pumping!! Incorporating core exercises in your routine is a great idea as well.
Thyroid body typically has fine narrow bone structure and tends to gain weight all over, not in just one place. Thyroid types tend to crave more carbs like bread for quick energy. They often have problems with unstable blood sugar levels, which can cause fatigue and cravings for sugar and stimulants such as caffeine.
Nutrition and Exercise
Eliminate simple carbs such as white flour, white bread, pasta and white rice from your meal plan. Replace with whole grains, vegetables, chicken and fish.
Strength training along with aerobic exercise should be done to get a better muscle-to-fat ratio, which will help to boost your metabolism and assist with weight loss. When you’re training with weights keep a moderate pace, making sure not to rest too long between sets.