So far this month, I have posted blogs on The Cardio Myth and Building Muscle to help those of you who have a goal of losing excess body fat.
The final blog post of the month continues on the path of exercise and fat loss.
If I can summarise my last two posts, I would say that a combination of resistance training to build or at least maintain muscle, plus high intensity interval training is a great combination to help reduce excess body fat.
One of the most overlooked areas when it comes to fat loss is over-training. Believe it or not, the truth is that you can over-exercise and gain body fat. How does that work I hear you say?
Well, it follows on very nicely from my previous two blog posts. We need to maintain or increase muscle mass to increase or maintain our metabolic rate. To build or maintain muscle mass, we need our anabolic hormones to be at normal levels. However, if we over-exercise, it causes a stress response in the body.
When our stress hormone levels rise, our anabolic hormones are reduced. So, on the one hand our muscles are being broken down and on the other our anabolic hormones are too low to rebuild them. This results in reduced muscle mass, reduced metabolic rate and a higher likelihood of storing more body fat.
So what does this mean to you? On the one hand you can obtain an Adrenal Stress Profile (we can arrange these) that assesses your hormone levels and then adjust your exercise regime accordingly with professional guidance. Alternatively, if you aren’t getting the results you want or you are feeling drained after your exercise sessions, you may need to do less ‘working out’ and more ‘working in’.
Forms of ‘Working In’ include gentle forms of yoga, tai chi and qi gong. By moving slowly without raising your breathing or heart rate you actually increase energy levels rather than reduce them. ‘Working In’ will help lower stress and help re-balance your hormone levels.
How much working out versus working in you need to do will differ from time to time. Try perhaps four workouts and two working in sessions per week. See how you feel. Change the amount each week and see what works for you best.
Until next time…