Monday, October 12, 2009

Too Much Exercise Can Stop Weight Loss Success

I know this goes against conventional wisdom...but lots of "conventional wisdom" is not wise--as in, not true.

My own personal experience has proven to me that working out more does not necessarily result in weight loss...or even fat loss...but recently that theory has been supported by others so I wanted to share that with you.

I watched The Ellen DeGeneres Show the other day...I Tivo it, so don't ask me what day it actually aired! One of the guests was Jason Bateman. Jason is now 40 and was mentioning that he runs 6 miles a day and still isn't the weight he would like to be.

Hmmm. Is the answer to give up? Is the answer to run more? Is the answer different exercise?

Well, it is definitely not either of the first two! Exercise is great for our bodies and our minds, even when it doesn't appear to be getting us to our weight loss goals. And if you enjoy running, then run by all means. As for me, I don't enjoy running. Well, that is a massive understatement. I don't mind a short trot to the car or mail box...things like that...but actually running??? For exercise? Yuck. Double Yuck.

Whether you like running or not, the answer is NOT to increase the distance or time you are running.

Sometimes you can be getting too much exercise...or at least, too much of a particular type of exercise.

There are (at least) two different schools of thought about what is the best exercise for dropping fat. One group claims that cardio (or aerobic exercise) is the way to go. The other claims that strength training is the best way.

It really isn't an either or situation. Like most things, there is no one perfect answer for each and every body. But in general, a variety of exercise is the best for overall health. Some aerobic and some strengthening as well as stretching is going to be the best solution for long-term health and fitness...including weight loss success!

Brett Blumenthal wrote in her blog on Sept 24 a great article that supports that yes, you can overdo the cardio. I love the title "Ma'am, step away from the treadmill!"

In it, Brett supports my findings..."there is no need to do more than 30 minutes of cardio...when you workout" and she continues "If you are trying to lose weight, yet you aren't seeing results, it may be because of too much cardio."

What happened to me, and happens to a lot of people--especially overweight people who are trying to lose weight fast--is we get injured. This can happen from too much cardio and from not stretching properly before--AND AFTER--your cardio session. Especially if you are extremely overweight you need to be careful about your workouts. You will have faster success if you take it slow and build up your strength and energy rather than getting hurt because you pushed too hard. One injury, even a "minor" sprain can set you back for weeks and really derail your progress.

The other issue most of us run across is getting bored. So, if Jason enjoys running 6 miles a day and it feeds his spirit, awesome! But if you don't like it, or you are bored at the thought of running (or walking) over and over every day be sure to mix it up.

The best exercise for weight loss is a routine you can keep up. That means have FUN! Do something you enjoy. Add some variety to your workout. Yes, get some cardio and by all means get some weight training in...and some stretching.

You don't have to do it all every day. And you don't have to be an expert at it.

Start where YOU are. Do what YOU are capable of. Then increase it a little bit every week. The key is to move your body...be more active...and have fun while you are doing it and you will have weight loss success!

2 comments:

FatBurningFurnace said...

The food and liquid that our body takes play a vital role in gaining body fat. One efficient way to burn it is to work out the whole body during the whole week. This way, the more energy consumed the most likely to shed off the body fat.
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Fat Loss Facts

Laurie Tossy said...

Certainly we can't eat ice cream and cookies all day and expect to have a healthy body (slender or not!) however, what is going on in our mind also plays a "vital role"...in my experience a more vital role in our achieving our weight loss goals...than the specific foods & liquids we consume.

Exercise is important for a healthy body also...but too many people think they have to workout for an hour (or more) every day to achieve health...and that is just not true. Does the body consume calories and burn fat if we exercise--sure, but by itself that is not enough. You have to exercise a lot to burn off a single candy bar.