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4 weight loss mistakes. Part 3

3.they miss out on one or more of the pillars of exercise

young woman exercising in a parkWelcome back to the third part of this newsletter series on the four mistakes people make when wanting to lose weight.

In part one uncovered the roadblocks that have up until now prevented your weight loss.

Part two was all about debunking the biggest myth in the dietary industry and that is that fat make you fat.

This week it’s all about exercise.

For many of us we have been led to believe that we can exercise our way out of poor eating habits.  This simply is not the case. For most of us at least 80% of body composition comes from how we eat – yep that’s right 80%.  Dr Kirby says it best – “Abs are made in the kitchen not the gym”

This doesn’t mean that exercise is not important – in fact it’s essential, it just doesn’t play the kind of role in fat loss that many of us have been led to believe.  Exercise , when performed properly plays a pivotal role in just about every area of your wellbeing, allowing your to feel great and have loads of energy.

The centers of dx control list inactivity as the 3rd leading cause of death and many of my clients have been surprised to hear that your level of muscularity is inversely proportional to your likelihood of dying.

Whilst the growth of gyms and the fitness industry in general is a good thing I am continually alarmed at just how misinformed most people are when it comes to how to exercise.  For the past five years i have been going to same gym twice a week – it has become a part of my weekly routine. Over this time I have got to know many familiar faces and develop some lovely friendships.  I have also had the opportunity to watch the lack of progress of so many of my fellow gym buddies.  Week in and out they struggle doing ineffective or dangerous exercise routines and they wonder why they continue to miss their fat loss goals.

When it comes to exercise the body needs diversity.  Our genetic requirement is  expecting you to run, jump, throw, tumble, dance, fight, flee, stalk, carry, build, wrestle, stroll, climb, drag, hike and sprint.  Whilst I am a big fan of the treadmill and cross trainer there is no way you can meet all your exercise needs on these pieces of equipment.

We also need variation, some days we are meant to be active – really active and somedays need total rest.  Doing the same exercise day in, day out is not what the body needs – in fact a consistent schedule of medium to high intensity workouts (75% max heart rate and above) can stress the body and might even cause you to put on weight – ouch!!!!

Doing too much exercise can lead you to hold onto body fat.  Chronic cardio – exercise that is too long, too intense and too often raises cortisol levels and lowers important health giving and fat burning hormones. Chronic cardio increases the risk of injury, muscle fatigue and inflammation. Rest is essential.

Let’s take a moment to uncover the three pillars of optimal exercise – slow, heavy, fast.  Engaging in all three pillars means that you will be getting your genetic requirement for exercise and maximizing your health and natural fat burning potential.

Let’s take a quick look at each of the pillars:

Slow

These are the low intensity cardio vascular session. We need somewhere between 2 -5 hours a week of this pillar.  It can be achieved by walking, hiking, cycling or other low level cardio exercise 55 -75% max heart rate.  It is important to realize that you should finish these sessions feeling energized and refreshed (not fatigued and hungry)

Suggested activities:

Fit person: vigorous hilly hike, moderately hilly bike ride, medium intensity cardio machine or slow to medium jog

Unfit: slow to medium hike, flat bike ride, easy cardio machine, very slow jog

Heavy

This is all about strength training, and you might be surprised to hear that our muscularity is inversely proportional to our likelihood of dying -i.e. the less muscle you have the more chance you have of dying early!

Women in particular are often wary of strength training and tend associate this with the big muscles of bodybuilders.  Becoming over muscled is not something that happens easily or quickly.

It is best to focus on full body functional exercises. My favorite movements are:

Squat, Lunge, Plank, Sit Up, Push Up, Pull Up

 Fast

Fast session are often referred to as high intensity or interval training and this pillar is the most underutilized component of most peoples exercise habits.

Our body was designed for the occasional all out intense effort – our hunter gatherer ancestors had to sprint either to hunt or prevent from being hunted.

Fast sessions flood the body with health giving hormones, you will feel rejuvenated, energized and ready to take on the world after these sessions.

One of the great benefits of the “fast pillar” is just how time effective it is.

14 minutes of interval training has shown greater improvements in body composition (helps you lose more fat) and greater improvements in both VO2 max and power production than 30 minutes of steady state training.

The work period of the interval should last between 8-60 seconds. Repeat the work period 6 – 8 times and rest 10 -120 seconds in between each interval.

These sessions can be done with almost any exercise imaginable -bike, running, swimming, rowing and even strength exercises mentioned above.

1-2 sessions each week

No of course if you haven’t exercised in years then I am going to suggest that you speak to one of the Chiropractors at Life Chiropractic before beginning and we can give you some direction.

For those of you that are a little more experienced have a look at the pillars above and ask yourself “am I meeting my exercise requirements”.  Fill in the gaps and enjoy the benefits.

Next week we’ll be looking at the impact that sleep has on weight loss.  This topic is not only fascinating but is one of the keys to lasting weight loss and optimal health.

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