By TCM Doctor, Nat Kringoudis.
“I used to think slogging it out at the gym and sweating up a damn storm was the only way to keep my weight in check. Turns out, I had to learn the hard way how wrong and counterproductive that was! Eventually, I learnt that less is more for me and sweating it out for hours on end was actually useless. In fact, it was making me gain weight. Now I’m by no means saying not to exercise, but it’s all about exercising smarter and not always harder. By this I mean intensity is key, not necessarily duration.
Are you one of those people who exercise to no end without results? I want to tell you something today – it’s never going to work. In fact, it’s time to break up with the mentality that if only you exercised another 30 minutes or pushed yourself that much harder you’d see results. The effects of over-exercising can be darn straining on the body, so much so it sees it as stress. Long-term stress eventually leads to weight gain as it whacks out the balance of hormones, which sees an increase in oestrogen. And what releases oestrogen? Fat stores. So more fat stores, more oestrogen production equals more weight gain.
Fortunately, exercising like a teeny tot on red cordial isn’t the solution. In fact, over exertion makes you tired and fatigue is one of the greatest reasons for over eating. When we are exhausted, we often misinterpret the signals our bodies are sending to us – we tend to eat more to make up the balance when in fact all our body is asking for is a rest.
It’s time to get clever when it comes to exercise. We know that exercising the entire body rather than specific body parts works best – activities like surfing, yoga, jujitsu or Taekwondo or bushwalking are great examples of entire body workouts. But take it a step further – make your day-to-day activities your way of movement. Think gardening, cleaning, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking to the next train stop and simply integrating movement into your everyday life. Not only does your body love this kind of activity, it’s effortless – because you have no choice in the matter really! It’s called living. And ease is key in this modern world. Imagine if generations before us saw how many of us exercised at the gym, on stationary bikes staring at a TV. They’d think we were mad! They didn’t slog it out at the gym, they certainly weren’t overweight and they were toned and fit because they were constantly active but what’s more, their stress was completely different and not the kind that involved sitting at a computer or being caught in a traffic jam.
The key to all this is balance. Understanding how much movement your body needs to be healthy and to keep your digestive system and hormones firing along – this is the secret to keeping your weight in check. Less strain on the body means it’s free to work exactly as it has been designed to – to allow your digestive system to make nutrients to best fuel you, and with this means effortless maintenance of weight. It’s not about slogging it out at the gym. It’s about being healthily active, including movement in your day-to-day activity and applying diet and lifestyle principles that serve you each and every day. So next time that thought pops into your head that you need to slog it out to lose weight – think again and opt for some gentle movement and downtime. The results will surprise you!”.