According to the latest statistics from the Centers for Disease Control, more than one-third of U.S. adults and approximately seventeen percent of children ages 2-19 are obese. That's just one reason why a regular exercise routine is so important for all of us. Equally important: being careful not to overdo it.
There is a tendency in our success-driven culture to think that if a little is good, then more must be better. When it comes to exercise, that's not necessarily true. In fact, it's quite easy to overdo an exercise routine if you don't know what to look out for–and the last thing anyone wants is an injury!
Here are a few helpful hints to get you pumped up the easy way!
Exercise and Your Body
Glycogen is what your body uses for energy during your workout. After about 45 minutes of exercise your body runs out of glycogen and begins to produce a hormone called cortisol.
Cortisol's normal function is to turn stored carbohydrates, protein and fats into usable energy. But when cortisol levels are elevated for extended periods of time it can lead to decreased performance in your workout and–get this–more stored body fat.
How extended? For most of us, there's a diminishing return with workouts longer than 30 minutes. According to WebMD, "30 minutes a day of moderate physical activity is enough to help prevent things like diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure."
If you're exercising to lose extra body fat, remember that fat loss occurs all by itself with proper diet and moderate exercise. So, there's no need to "get extreme" with either diet or exercise to get the body you've always wanted.
Consider carrying 3x5 cards with you and writing down everything you eat immediately after you eat it (or just use the 'notes' feature on your cell phone). Then weigh yourself each morning without clothing.
After a few days, you'll find you have almost immediate feedback on how your diet and exercise is affecting your body. But, more importantly, you'll be able to make the right adjustments to your diet and exercise routine easily and intelligently.
How to Keep from Overdoing It
Watch The Clock: Unless you're entering a competition, it's not really necessary to exercise any longer than 30 minutes a day for your regular routine.
Listen to Your Body: If you notice you are having any health troubles–for example, insomnia, muscle aches, fatigue, headaches, or loss in appetite–then reward your hard work with some well-earned recovery time. Also, consider that your exercise routine may need some adjustments and don't start exercising again until you're fully recovered.
Avoid Super-Stressing: If you've had a tough day at the office it might make more sense to kick-back at the beach rather than kick it up a notch with the latest Beach Body™ Workout. Sometimes relaxation is just as beneficial as exercise for your physical and mental well being.
Rest Up: Your body builds muscle while it's resting, not while it's working out. Make sure to get at least eight hours of sleep every night or your gains, and likely your health, will start to suffer.
Muscle Is Heavy: Muscle weighs more than fat with much less volume. So if you start to gain weight after working out, don't fool yourself into thinking you need to work harder. You'll have visual results soon enough.
It's always a good idea to consult your doctor before beginning any diet or exercise program. And remember, a little exercise really can go a long way.