There are a multitude of benefits to be derived from exercise; physical, emotional, energetic. However, there is a delicate balance between ‘just the right amount of exercise’ and ‘over doing it’.
A TCM Doctor asks; “are you one of those people who exercise to no end without results? I want to tell you something today – it’s not 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”.
Is this ringing a bell?
We want to ask; when and why do you exercise?
For stress relief? For weight loss? To feel well?
We then also ask; is the exercise solving the intended problem? Or covering it?
Let’s look at the physical effects of over exercising. TCM Dr. Nat states; “It 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”.
So, over exercising in order to achieve physical goals, can back fire. Literally.
In Chinese Medicine theory, energy is derived from the digestive system. It creates our stores and holds our stores. If this is under stress and constantly being depleted, then what is the body running off in order to effectively digest food and function in totality?
A TCM Doctor goes on to say; “In fact, over exertion makes you tired and fatigued and 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”.
So have a think – are you feeling so exhausted that you can’t bear the thought of going for a run? Yet your jeans are feeling a bit tight and you don’t want to bust out of them?
Stop. You would literally be running on nothing. Running on nothing, literally; will knock those hormones out of whack, deplete a digestive system that is already exhausted… nothing good will come from exercise when you’re exhausted.
A TCM Doctor says; “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”.
Maybe even a cry, or resolving that problem that’s stressing you. Only you know what your body needs. Take a listen to it, it may be quiet but it’ll always whisper the truth to you.
Moral of the story? Don’t exercise when exhausted!
Yours in dry spandex,
Image via @bestyoga