Why “Less is More” for Exercise

Why “Less is More” for Exercise

“Eat less and exercise more”.

You’ve heard that one before right? Unfortunately, the “more is better” mentality has left us disappointed. Logically, it would make sense to think that the more you exercise, the better shape you will be in, but too much exercise is a real thing, and one that can be detrimental if you’re not careful.

One of the biggest lies you’ve been told is that 2-hour gym sessions 5-7 days per week and a ton of cardio is the answer to your weight loss prayers. It is not realistic OR sustainable to think we can spend that much time working out.

Don’t get me wrong, exercise is FANTASTIC for our bodies, however most people go about it completely the wrong way. On January 1st, we all pile into the gym ready to get fit. We drop our calories way down, ramp the exercise way up, and maybe lose a few pounds – awesome! But then what happens? Nothing! Plateaus hit, and everyone is out the door and fizzled and exhausted by March, and you spend yet another bikini season disappointed. Sound familiar?

Believe it or not, exercise is a form of stress on the body. With all of the life stressors we face in today’s world, over-exercising just isn’t something our bodies can handle. Hitting the gym every single day and sweating it out for 1-2 hours will only provide you with temporary results.

When you exercise, your body breaks down your muscle tissues, so you actually leave your workout in worse shape than when you went in. Your body then repairs and restores those muscles while you rest and sleep. If you are not giving your body adequate time to repair, proper hydration and nutrition, sleep, and managing stress effectively, then you will only continue to break down tissues further, increase inflammation, and not see the results you think you should from your hard work at the gym.

Start small, and give yourself plenty of rest between sessions. If you find yourself in a high stress state, you will see much better results from focusing on more restorative types of exercise such as walking, yoga, stretching, pilates, etc. Actually get outside and do exercise you enjoy like hiking or playing with the kids! It’s a very foreign concept to wrap our heads around because we’ve been told different for so long. But let’s be honest, if it worked you wouldn’t be reading this right now would you?

Stick to strength training 2-4x week for 20-45 minutes, and cardio no more than 3x per week at a moderate intensity. It is OK to do 1 day per week of high intensity training (HIIT) as long as you are getting proper rest, sleep, nutrition, and hydration.

For a more individualized approach to your exercise program, talk to us about customizing you a program by emailing us at support@nutritionvixen.com.