Have you ever told yourself when you want to lose a few pounds that you had better start exercising more?

The idea of exercise has turned into prescription of sorts and over time, it has actually become counterproductive and out of balance. We have been taught that in order to lose weight, we need to kill ourselves in our workouts. That we have to hit the treadmill for an hour a day. That we need to run or walk until we’ve hit the calories that we need to. That the only way to lose weight is to hire a personal trainer that will run us to the ground with burpees, sit-ups & Crossfit challenges. This kind of thinking has been engrained into our heads.

The reality is that when we over-exercise, we physically and mentally put our bodies into a stressed state. In this state of physiologic stress response, our bodies produce extra cortisol and insulin. When these hormones are produced in excess it actually signals the body to not build muscle, but to store fat. Thus, not losing weight, but storing it!

Some people thrive on intense exercise. They enjoy it & it’s a fun challenge for them. Others are only doing it to burn calories and are hating every minute of it. If this is you, then listen to your body! If you have any negative emotions towards intense exercise, then you are at more risk for having emotional stress during exercise and thus more adverse effects.

Instead, think about other ways you can move your body that you actually enjoy. There are so many possibilities! Hiking, yoga, sports, fast walking, etc. Think about it…our ancestors weren’t pumping iron & sprinting on treadmills everyday. Their life contained other forms of exercise. Yours can, too!

Even adding little things to your day will help reach your movement goal…parking further away, riding your bike instead of driving, stretching breaks, taking the stairs, all these little things add up!

Focus on moving your body instead of this definition of ‘exercise’ we have created.

Move your body, put yourself into a happy state, this is where weight loss will begin.