Exercise is an activity that should be a part of your life no matter your weight. It is also the best way to lose weight, slowly and with lasting effects. However, while following our dream body goals we sometimes tend to overdo things. You might need some really heavy-duty exercise if you have serious weight problems and need to lose it as soon as possible. But always know that too much exercise has its own backlash on the body.
For starters, too much exercise increases the release of stress hormones, Corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) and Cortisol. The former increases the permeability of your intestinal walls, skin, lungs, and blood-brain barrier, which results in increased movement of fluids, even those that are necessary, through these barriers. High cortisol levels increase wear and tear of the muscles and accelerate aging. Cortisol raised because of intense exercise can also be counter-productive in terms of the goals you have been hoping to achieve. Weight gain, short telomeres, blood sugar problems, knee pain, leaky gut, fatigue, are just some of the backlashes you will have to face if you overdo the exercise.
Thus, like everything else, there is always the need to maintain a balance. Excess or lack of everything is bad. So, here’s a blog with some tips to help you maintain your ideal weight when you have hit the target.
Increase General Movement
Not all movement in your daily life should come from the time you spend at the gym. If exercise is getting too much for you then it is time to start engaging in activities that require extra movement in your daily routine. Walk to work if that is an option for you. If not, then park your vehicle at a distance that adds some considerable movement to get to. If you take a public transport then go to a station that requires you to add extra effort. Take the stairs, rather than the elevator. Shift from high-intensity workouts to yoga and Pilates to give your body the required movement if none of the above alternatives work for you. All this is assuming you don’t have enough time to take out for a walk. If you are lucky enough to be living in an area where you can go for morning or evening walks, then take this opportunity.
Watch what you Eat
Now many of us believe that the fact that we are in our ideal body gives us the right to eat everything we were keeping away from during the process. That is not going to help the hard work you put in getting here one bit. When you get off of your intense exercise regime of weight loss, you need to be more cautious about what you eat. Know that you will now burn fewer calories, and eventually will have to eat in those proportions too. If you were on a diet previously, you don’t necessarily have to stick with it, especially if it was gruesome. Eat what you want to but in limited proportions. Eat half of what you desire, especially food that can contribute more to weight gain like junk food. Eat healthy and fibrous food which can contribute to weight loss and not just fill your stomach. Discipline is the key to every physical transformation story and if you lack that then there will be no time before you see yourself hitting the gym again.
Cut Back Slowly
Once you hit that mark on the weighing scale, you don’t have to suspend your routine the very next day. Walk away from your exercise routine gradually. Don’t just stop exercising the very next day. Reduce the level each week as you start walking back. If not reduce the level, then replace it with an easier alternative. Decrease the time you spend on your exercise each day. Maintaining your weight is a tricky business especially if you are one who gains easily. There is always a chance that your exercise was what kept it all together for you. Not that you need to continue those gruesome routines till the end of time, but don’t go from a gyming freak to a couch potato. We have already talked about increasing general movement, which can also help in this process of maintaining balance while you slowly move away from your current exercise regime.
Another alternative to cutting back is burst training. Burst training is an exercise style where you alternate between strong, high-intensity and low-intensity exercises during workouts. The time that is given to both high and low-intensity exercise prove to be more beneficial for the body than continuous high-intensity workouts. While the body loses enough calories during the high-intensity period, it gets enough time to recover when you engage in the one to three minutes low-intensity exercise. The best part is that this can be done anywhere. Now I don’t expect you to start hitting jumping jacks while standing in a queue at an SBI branch. But all the time that you spend at home or a place that makes this easier for you, can be utilized to aid burst training. For example, when you are out for a walk, you can alternate between running and walk. While waiting for the water to boil in the kitchen you can add some intense exercise to the time consumed. This only aids your increase in general movement. But don’t mistake casual burst training for actual exercise. This can be taken up as a serious thing when you are cutting back on exercise, but if you do it casually then it only aids movement and cannot take over workout completely.
Get enough sleep
An emerging area of concern for all age groups and gender these days is the issue of lack of sufficient amount of sleep. Insomnia is a leading problem in most people from all walks of life. This lack of sleep leads to weight gain, skin imperfections and many other related problems that directly or indirectly affect your health. Getting enough sleep is important even when you are on your path to weight loss. It becomes more important when you try to adjust back to normal life. The repair that your body undergoes during sleep is important to get to a healthy life after a heavy-duty workout. Sleeping at least seven to eight hours a day is very important. If you can’t do that in one night, then try going for naps whenever you can.
Take time to recover
You might think you are doing yourself a favor when you overwork your self at the gym. But guess what? You are not. High-intensity exercise does a lot of harm to your muscles and other body functions. Hormones suffer the most because of this. Summer is almost here and most of you are probably going gaga over weight loss, much like I am. However, you won’t be thankful for it if you look tired all the time, have a reduced sex drive because of affected sex hormones, and thyroid that is going down. The body needs its time to recover from the stress of workouts. Thus, it is always best to take a few days off of your workout to give your body the much-needed rest it deserves.