It is a common fact that the more you exercise the more fat you will burn. Energy in, versus energy out.
But sometimes, adding more exercise, into an already jam packed, active, busy life, does more harm than good. Including storing fat rather than losing it.
- Exercise is a stimulant that triggers the sympathetic nervous system. This is the system in your body that notifies the body it is in a stressed state and needs to respond to that state.
- It increases blood glucose levels in you blood, releases the cortisol hormone and adrenaline.
- All of these are required in order to give you a burst of energy that you need, in a stressed state.
- However too much of anything can have adverse effects.
- When your body is in this state constantly, it is too busy trying to battle the stress and does not have the time or ability to focus on much else, including breaking down fat.
- Think about an engine that is being overloaded; eventually it will overheat and blow its stack.
- The same happens to our body.
- When we rest, it is similar to letting the engine cool down before taking on the next production load.
Chillax! It helps you re-boot your system:
- To help your body re-set, rest and recover, you need to trigger the Parasympathetic nervous system.
- This is the system that notifies the brain it is time to limit secretion of cortisol and adrenaline as it is time to wind down and chillax.
- It is during this time that the body is then able to:
- Repair any damaged cells
- Grow new cells
- Regulate bloody sugar levels
- Regulate blood pressure
- Lower your heart rate
- Calm your mood
- Regulate your emotional state
- Reduce anxiety symptoms
- Metabolize and burn fat
What can you do to relax if you are wired to the max? What triggers the Parasympathetic Nervous System?
Reduce your exercise load or take a few days off:
- If your body is struggling with stress, exercising harder is going to have the adverse effects on your fat loss goals. Instead of burning fat, you will store fat!
- Always ensure that you include a rest day in your training program. It is not ideal to be training 7 days per week.
- If you already lead a stressful life, you may need to reduce exercise down further splitting the week up into 4 training days and 3 rest days.
- Alternatively, you can include 1-2 wellness routines per week, including Yoga, Mat Pilates, Tai Chi, Meditation, Mobility & Recovery, Breathing exercises and Hydrotherapy.
- If you are finding yourself unable to recover after training, where your muscle soreness just will not settle, you are getting constant joint pain, your body feels like it is throbbing constantly, you are struggling to sleep, and feeling totally and utterly exhausted, you may need to listen to your body and take a few days off. It is time for a re-set to let your engine cool off and avoid breaking down.
Reduce caffeine intake:
- If you rely on caffeine to give you energy, you definitely need to rest more!
- Caffeine is a stimulant. The more you have, the more stimulated your adrenal glands get. Your adrenal glands secrete hormones. If you are constantly stimulating them and they are constantly secreting high levels of hormones, you are going to keep increasing your wired state to the point you can’t calm down.
- Over time you become accustomed to that level of energy and need a higher and higher dose of caffeine in order to get the same level of buzz that is going to keep you going. Think cocaine. Over time, addicts need higher doses to get the same buzz.
- Eventually the adrenal glands become over worked and exhausted, and stop functioning properly, so that your hormone secretion ends up all over the place. This leads to an array of different healthy issues.
- By reducing your caffeine intake (no more than 2 per day), you give the adrenal glands the chance to calm down, so they can secrete the right hormones at the right time of the day. Including melatonin, your sleepy hormone. This will help you sleep better at night, the magical time when you burn fat the most.
Read a fiction novel:
- Let your mind take you to a world of make believe; escape the day to day of your life. Reading for just half an hour per day, is a great way to trigger the Parasympathetic nervous system that notifies the body it is time to relax.
Sit in some sunshine:
- As little as 10 minutes per day is enough to trigger the Parasympathetic nervous system, calming your body, allowing it to re-set, build muscle tissue and burn fat.
- Go for a walk
- Take a warm bath
- Get off social media
- Complete a puzzle, crossword, find-a-word
- Crafts such as knitting, card making, drawing, sewing, cross stitch, scrap booking
- Color in
- Write in a journal
- Write a gratitude list