Health Tips, Thoughts and Inspirations
The content of this blog will vary, dependent on the topic I feel led to share with you. My prayer is that it will be a blessing to those who choose to read it.
Side Effects of (Not) Exercising
We often hear about why we should get our bodies moving on a regular basis, and that the benefits are numerous. I totally agree. This past week, I found out what some of these are for me personally, but in reverse. I usually work out 4-5 days a week, doing a variety of HIIT, strength training, cardio, and stretching. I have been tired to the point of complete exhaustion lately, so I decided to take a week off, thinking that perhaps my body needed a rest. It is good to get more rest at times, which I needed to do, but in the process I learned how much my body needs the daily movement in order to function properly.
One week off of exercising taught me it's many benefits by showing me how quickly other things in my health can go backwards when I ignore this one piece. Personally, daily exercise goes a long ways in improving my mood and outlook on life. This is even more apparent the past few months. Lovingly moving your body in a way you enjoy releases serotonin and endorphins, chemicals that give you that "feel-good" feeling. How long do you have to exercise for this to take affect? Serotonin is released in about 30-45 minutes, while endorphins may take up to an hour. Most of my workout days are under one hour, but it is apparent that the 30-45 minutes are extremely beneficial for my overall ability to deal with life.
A second negative effect I noticed was that I had even less energy and felt I needed to consume more coffee. In moderation, coffee can have some benefits, but it does need to be balanced out with quality water and other beverages. Coffee itself is dehydrating, increasing our need for water even more than we would normally have to consume to be at a healthy level of hydration. If you are someone who needs a lot of caffeine throughout the day, consider replacing one caffeinated beverage with the equal amount of water, gradually increasing your water intake and reducing other drinks. You will be amazed at the benefits!
One of my most unsettling discoveries was the change in my digestion. If I don't move, my gut is quite unhappy. If our body slows down, our digestion slows down. A sedentary lifestyle can contribute to constipation, which in turn increases inflammation, toxins and pain. If this is a long term problem, we not only end up with toxins in our colon, but also in our bloodstream. Exercise, however, can improve blood flow, relieve stress, regulate weight and speed up metabolism, which can all contribute to a healthy, well-functioning digestive system. It has also been found that exercise can reduce the symptoms of gastrointestinal pain, including that linked to irritable bowel syndrome.
How am I dealing with being too tired now? I am focusing on making it a priority to get to bed earlier and aiming for 7-8 hours of sleep. This means I have to turn off the electronics an hour before bedtime, quit trying to get more things done in the evening (they really can wait!), and avoiding anything disturbing such as news or social media at night.
Exhaustion is one of the biggest concerns I hear in my office, but we can take measures to improve this. For me, cutting back on exercise definitely was not the answer! For another person, it may be necessary. Each individual has different circumstances and needs different answers. There is not a "one size fits all" when it comes to improving our health, and sometimes we need help finding out what our answers can be. It could be diet, hydration, stress management, sleep, movement, needing sunshine & fresh air or focusing on underlying issues to get to the root of things. This is where I can help! Personal consultation is a great tool for finding the cause and heading off bigger problems in the future. If you have questions about any of this, please reach out to me. I would be honored to help you!