Exercise is Medicine by ACSM

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14 Jan

BLOG 302 THE TRUTH ABOUT ALCOHOL

Alcohol is a major part of our society and they more you think about it the more, you more you realize how most social occasions, eating, and events, involve alcohol. For me, it takes on a very negative connotation as of a result of life experiences, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be around it or still be in settings that have it. There are a lot of common questions when it comes to this beverage and I’m always asked on fitness journeys tricks and traits to still be able to enjoy a cocktail or two and reach goals. Thus, I had to do some research and found a documentary called, “The Truth About Alcohol”, to help me out.

They say on average people (both men and women) should consume no more than 14 drinks per week. But what is a drink?? A drink should be measured as a unit. 1 shot of whiskey is 1 unit. A glass of wine depending on size is 2-3 units. 1 pint of beer is 2-3 units. As such, most do exceed 14 units.
Alcohol has many effects on the body. The brain functions differently when drinks are involved. Hand-eye coordination is not as sharp because self-control is impaired. Your attention is divided and multi-tasking is out of the question. Your mental energy is very limited, hence poor decision-making results.

It may appear that some people get drunk quicker than others. This has to do with one’s blood alcohol concentration. The amount of water in the body is the key. A person with more water in their body gets less drunk. Essentially, the water is diluting the alcohol. And hey, they also say the more muscle you have, then less drunk you get (that’s up my ally). But the reality is that the bigger you are size wise, the more water you will have in your body and that is why someone petite gets drunk a lot faster.

Alcohol is also calorie rich and all of these are “extra” counted to the daily total intake. 1 shot has 59 calories, 1 glass of wine has 180 calories, and 1 pint of beer has 215 calories. Studies have shown alcohol makes you want to eat more. In fact, someone who drinks usually consumes 11% more than those who don’t in a social setting. That means having nearly 300 extra calories on top of the alcohol calories and not even knowing it. Eating before drinking can however help with processing alcohol in the body. The liver isn’t left on its own and the food helps absorb the beverages and slow them down as they come and move through the body.

Have you ever heard of the French paradox?? Well the French have a diet high in fat but the lowest rate of heart disease. They say the culprit is red wine because of its possible benefits to the heart. Wine dilates blood vessels because it is made up of polyphenols. The best type of red wine, noting that the darker the better, is called Sacration. But the counter argument is that you don’t need wine to help with heart health. The same benefits come from 24 grams of walnuts, 360ml of tea, or 85 grams of blueberries.

Does a night after drinking help with sleep?? The famous “night cap”. Truth is that it may help you fall to sleep quickly into a deeper state, but then the rest of the night is interrupted and light.
Finally, there are some studies relating alcohol to cancer. This is definitely true of the liver and pancreas. But some don’t know that alcohol does alter hormone levels, especially in women. This is the controversial link to breast cancer.

Alcohol and your fitness journey don’t exactly mix well, but I realize that this beverage is a big part of our culture. We always refer to moderation but must keep in mind the designated number of units and don’t exceed that. Again, choices, choices, choices, buy maybe this Blog will make you think twice. That’s what I do right haha??

“The Truth About Alcohol”, 2016, by David Briggs.

07 Jan

BLOG 301 BUTTERFLIES

Well each of you know how much butterflies mean to me and their significance (don’t worry I will fill you in if you don’t). Butterflies are symbolic of our fitness journeys in a number of ways, most obviously revolving around the idea of change. In this Blog, I will discuss both the scientific and symbolic elements of a butterfly. May this spring fill your surrounding air with beautiful butterflies….

So the basic childhood story we learn begins with the caterpillar who eats lots of leaves and grows bigger and bigger over time. It sheds its skin a few times in the process and eventually hangs itself and spins a cocoon. In time, the cocoon emerges into a butterfly.

There are a number of symbolic meanings associated with this process. The butterfly emerging from the cocoon represents a new life and freedom. From a brown and gray cocoon, out comes a bright and colorful flying creature. The stages a butterfly goes through in the process of its transformation are very much like that of our lives and fitness journeys. We experience growth and moments of vulnerability. We are undergoing a transformation ourselves. The caterpillar is unrecognizable in the end. I love to hear clients share stories of when they encounter people in their lives who have not seen them in some times as they have undergone their very own transformation. The compliments and praise are encouraging reminders of the hard work one has accomplished. There are religious and faith related symbols of butterflies as well.

A funny thought I had was the caterpillar’s life revolves around eating. It is in constant search of leaves in order to feel completely stuffed so that it can grow. I’m sure some of us have had that feeling on our fitness journeys as we learn portion control. I’d be a rich woman if I charged for every complaint I heard about never feeling full at first when we start to replace old eating habits. Our weak moments cause us to over indulge, but we learn that we don’t have to be stuffed to be satisfied.
Butterflies are also symbols of lost souls. For me a butterfly represents my mother’s spirit. After her passing, it seemed that any significant occasion, holiday, or moment, was somehow marked by the appearance of a butterfly lingering in my presence. I just knew it was her bringing her love and spirit to be with me. As a result, my husband and I released live butterflies at our wedding (a project my brother was assigned to haha) and our guests were camera ready for the one butterfly that sat on a flower the entire ceremony. It was her.

I remember being told as a child that if you touched a butterfly it would no longer be able to fly. However, this is definitely not true. They’re actually playing dead. I have been to exhibits and personally touched quite a few so don’t be fooled. Some of you might “act” too sore in order to do chores around the house or tasks you want to avoid haha, so you “play dead” to procrastinate.

Well, this Blog served as an emotional release for me as well as sending a little personal touch about myself to you all. For those of you who see my tattoos, now you know their meaning as well. I’d love to hear about your butterfly symbolism if you have any. Go spread your wings now, continue to work on your transformations, and embrace the changes to come on your fitness journeys.

01 Jan

BLOG 300 FDA

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is an agency we that is readily apart of our fitness journeys. Many of our choices and selections are a result of their regulations. We might see the term “FDA Approved”, but what does this mean?? So let’s explore this topic further….

The Food and Drug Administration ensures the safety of our daily choices. Essentially, the FDA makes sure that the products regulated are, “safe, wholesome, sanitary and properly labeled; ensuring that human and veterinary drugs, and vaccines and other biological products and medical devices intended for human use are safe and effective” (http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/Transparency/Basics/ucm194877.htm).

A noteworthy piece of information on our fitness journeys is that dietary supplements don’t have to be FDA approved. The claims about these products shouldn’t be false or misleading, but that is up to our discretion of course once we purchase and use them. Many nutritional health stores carry items of this nature, so again we have to be careful. The best way to obtain any vitamin or mineral is definitely from our food. In any case, we should always read labels and even more carefully if they don’t state the term “FDA Approved”.
Companies undergo a series of vigorous approval tests. Part of this includes testing the products on animals and humans. Data is compiled and the agency takes it from there. Products continue to be regulated while they’re for sale on shelves so that no new products slip in.

The responsibilities and products the FDA is in charge of is quite extensive, but here are the most common taken right from their website (http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/Transparency/Basics/ucm194879.htm):
Foods, including:
dietary supplements
bottled water
food additives
infant formulas
other food products (although the U.S. Department of Agriculture plays a lead role in regulating aspects of some meat, poultry, and egg products)
Drugs, including:
prescription drugs (both brand-name and generic)
non-prescription (over-the-counter) drugs
Biologics, including:
vaccines
blood and blood products
cellular and gene therapy products
tissue and tissue products
allergenics
Medical Devices, including:
simple items like tongue depressors and bedpans
complex technologies such as heart pacemakers
dental devices
surgical implants and prosthetics
Electronic Products that give off radiation, including:
microwave ovens
x-ray equipment
laser products
ultrasonic therapy equipment
mercury vapor lamps
sunlamps
Cosmetics, including:
color additives found in makeup and other personal care products
skin moisturizers and cleansers
nail polish and perfume
Veterinary Products, including:
livestock feeds
pet foods
veterinary drugs and devices
Tobacco Products, including:
cigarettes
cigarette tobacco
roll-your-own tobacco
smokeless tobacco
This Blog is just a helpful reminder about choices because we are bombarded with daily decision making. It’s important that we read labels, and always consider the risks and benefits. The FDA is on our side, so use them as a tool to help with this task. Safety is important for the longevity of our fitness journeys.

24 Dec

BLOG 299 MEANING OF FOOD

We live in a food centered society that’s for sure. Every street is lined with food locations; commercials bombard our televisions; cooking is a hobby; and at least 3 times per day we think about eating. Let’s face it, we like to eat and it makes us feel good. Food has many symbolic meanings as well. This blog is even difficult to write as my stomach growls waiting for my next meal.
We know that food fuels our bodies, but it means so much more than that. Socially, food is shared and meals are eaten together. Check out this synopsis: “Food is almost always shared; people eat together; mealtimes are events when the whole family or settlement or village comes together. Food is also an occasion for sharing, for distributing and giving, for the expression of altruism, whether from parents to children, children to in-laws, or anyone to visitors and strangers. Food is the most important thing a mother gives a child; it is the substance of her own body, and in most parts of the world mother’s milk is still the only safe food for infants. Thus, food becomes not just a symbol of, but the reality of, love and security” (http://www.sirc.org/publik/food_and_eating_1.html).

We associate food with celebration and have acquired certain meals to symbolize these holidays and events. The most obvious would be the courses Thanksgiving is composed of, but think about birthday cake, hot dogs at baseball games, pizza for any occasion (haha), potlucks at work, Cinco De Mayo or St. Patrick’s Day, the list goes on and on. When I got straight A’s in school, Baskin Robbins ice cream was the reward to celebrate. A lot of these ties relate back to religious customs that most of us aren’t even aware of.

Food means prosperity. Having an extravagant feast is how kings and queens showed their affluence. The same holds true today in that we are able to impress others with the spread of choices or which location to meet and dine at. Being the host with the most holds value. So yes, even class can come into play with food. We even tend to associate eating organic as fancy compared to pre-packaged cheaper choices.

Eating truly can be an experience. When I returned from Italy, countless times I was asked about the food. And yes, the Italian food culture is different. To us, spaghetti in heaping portions is dinner, but to the Italians this is just one course and it was a smaller serving for sure. We meet our friends for lunch or drinks and the traditional date involves dinner and a movie. You get my drift. So no wonder food is a constant battle on our fitness journeys. Mind over matter. One better choice at a time. Think about food as fuel not the traditional associations. We can talk ourselves into anything is we really try.

18 Dec

BLOG 298 TRIGGERS

Triggers can result from a situation that has or will happen and are usually associated with a negative emotional reaction. A trigger can be a flashback that sets off a memory that can send a person back to the moment in time of trauma. It’s a reminder. This reminder can cause an overwhelming feeling that produces anxiety, sadness, or even panic. Triggers can come in many forms that don’t have to be physical. For example, the date of an anniversary can be a trigger. Sometimes we can predict what will be triggers. For example, watching a scary movie might cause a person to re-live a trauma in their head. Even smells can set a person off. Certain people can be very hyper-sensitive to their triggers. For example, a person recovering from an eating disorder, might be triggered by celebrities and Instagram models that are extremely skinny when they see them.

When the original trauma occurs, we are in flight or fight mode. During this time, short term memory is faulty. The moment in time gets shuffled around and de-prioritized. The situation doesn’t get filed as past event, rather it remains recent and in the short term. This makes the memory easier to recall. Then when similar situations arise, the brain senses the stimuli and recalls the memory. The brain also falls victim to habits. So let’s say someone always smokes while they drive. The brain soon starts to associate driving with smoking, the two go hand I hand, and hence the habit has been formed. The brain then thinks whenever you drive you smoke, and driving becomes a trigger for smoking.

When it comes to triggers that cause us to emotionally eat or avoid exercise, we have to stop and think about the associations. Are the triggers internal or external? Internal would be memories, emotions, or body sensations. Examples include feelings of anger, frustration, feeling out control, feeling vulnerable, pain, sadness or anxiety. External would be people, places, or situations. These include arguments, T.V or movie shows, car accidents, smells, anniversaries, holidays, seeing certain people, or the way relationships panned out. Whatever the case, our why has to be handled and controlled. This involves breathing, grounding ourselves, relaxing, being mindful, and finding support. A life lived by the fear or triggers won’t work. But if you eat like its Thanksgiving every time you see a certain person, then the trigger needs to addressed. We can’t deny what we don’t want to face or we can’t move forward. Our journey is about growth and change, and also diminishing triggers that aim to harm us.

09 Dec

BLOG 297 BINGE WATCHING

Oh Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, etc….. Episode after episode… you tell yourself just one more. And somehow there is this feeling of accomplishment finishing a series. A simple search leads to a show that could be of your liking, and then eight hours later, you decide to get back to your day. Actually they even do the searching for us and recommend what we should watch haha. We all can’t help but looking forward to that Sunday binge when we find a show that fits our taste. That is what a binge is…. a feeling of satisfaction that comes from doing something in excess. This type of marathon isn’t burning calories, rather it’s creating a deeper dent in the couch.

This indulgence may come back to haunt the many folks who more often than not partake in this endless episode watching. It seems harmless, cheap, and an easy solution to pass the time. But there may be consequences down the line, especially for our youth in their 20s who are readily watching and are of the Netflix generation. The bottom line is that you are sitting. T.V. doesn’t require much cognitive functioning either. Adding to this, it can be isolating and anti-social. Plus, poor diet typically goes hand in hand. Are you having a salad and watching “Blacklist”?? Probably more like a pizza, starting episode one and polishing off more slices around episode 4 or so.

It’s rather interesting when you think about it. Netflix is the answer to a lazy weekend; when you are feeling depressed (it’s a great way to pass the time after break-up); it’s comforting when you feel sick; it’s a way to be cool and do what everyone else is doing; it’s a topic of conversation with friends and at work; and it’s not very expensive while waiting for pay day or trying to save up.

The CEO of Netflix is Reed Hastings. He thought of the idea when he had to pay $40 for returning a video late. Well, he certainly put Blockbuster, Hollywood Video, and all likes to shame. Although the company has been around for 20 years, it’s development has really prospered once big-name Hollywood stars and directors came part of the trend. Through subscriptions, the company now makes about $1.4 million per day. Okay WOW!!!!

At least hit the exercise bike or Elliptical while watching these shows. Hour three and hey, imagine how many calories you burned haha. The point is that all we do in life has to be done in moderation and maybe Netflix should be reserved for your rest day, not your everyday. We have the best intentions to just watch one episode, but let’s face it, we live in a world of wanting more and more NOW. How about feeling double accomplished by exercising while completing the series. At least that’s what I do when I watch “Schitt’s Creek”. Did you really think I could just sit there and watch T.V. 😊

03 Dec

BLOG 296 INSECURITIES

Having self-doubt, questioning yourself, feeling a lack of confidence…. I’m sure we can all identify with bouts of feeling insecure. This could be something very minor like whether your top matches your shoes, or something major like whether your spouse is cheating because you aren’t “good enough”. This negative thinking can be debilitating and certainly impedes on the journey of becoming the best versions of ourselves. But it’s natural to feel this way from time to time. We just need to reel it in and know how to move forward because these feelings don’t validate truths.

It’s human nature to worry about what other people think about us. As a business owner, I constantly am under public watch and have to remind myself that as long as when I turn the lights off when I go home and say that I gave my 100% today, then that’s the best I can do. We live in a culture that seeks approval. Meaning, recognition gives us value.

It takes courage to face what we are insecure about. Leo Babauta from Zenhabits.net discusses the obstacles that a person may face that derive insecurities (https://zenhabits.net/insecurities/)
1. Past criticisms. If a parent or other relatives criticized us while we were growing up, or if we were bullied, we’ve probably internalized.
2. A negative self-image. When people criticize you over the years, you start to criticize yourself. All this criticism, along with unfavorable comparisons of yourself to others, results in a self-image that isn’t so great.
3. Needing approval. The becomes a fearful cycle of need.
4. Lack of trust. We learn not to trust other people to stick with us, to accept us, to see our side of things as understandable.
5. Images in social media & the media. We compare ourselves.
6. Not accepting things about ourselves.

We have to forgive the past, know that the media is not 100% real, trust our intuitions, stop comparing ourselves, and accept ourselves. Certainly easier said than done, but taking these thoughts and practicing them in good faith can lead to better outcomes.

Clients come to me fully aware of their insecurities, but not quite ready to let them go. As we get stronger, more FIT, and develop relationships with myself and others at the studio, we find an uplifting community of acceptance. That is the environment I create. After all, those who judge you are only there in your life for a moment, so move forward without them. There are certain aspects in my life that I don’t doubt or question one bit (like my work ethic and passion for fitness) so I thrive on these elements and focus on letting go of what transpires feelings of insecurity in my life. I ask you to do the same and I will do my best to help you with this.

27 Nov

BLOG 295 DITCH THESE HABITS

We all have our vices. We all have habits we have hung onto forever that we are well aware need to be given up. Somehow along the way, time has flown by, life took over, and we cycle through the stages of giving up our vices then slipping back into our old ways. You can’t deny, “Old habits die hard”. Maybe understanding the implications of these habits on weight gain will be an eye-opening deterrent. So let’s take a look at how smoking cigarettes, alcohol consumption, and drinking soda, can impact our fitness journeys.

A popular idea is that cigarette smoking helps control body weight. For example, cigarette advertisements from the 1930s suggested that women should, “Reach for a cigarette instead of a sweet” (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3195407/). Furthermore, “Young adults who are trying to lose weight are 40% more likely to smoke cigarettes. Because smoking is often thought of as a way to control appetite and weight, quitting smoking means the absence of this control strategy” (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3195407). Rather than eat, one might have a cigarette. I read, “Tobacco companies modified cigarettes to give them appetite suppressant qualities as late as 1999, revealed a 2010 study by Swiss researchers, published in the European Journal of Public Health” (http://www.livestrong.com/article/515745-cigarettes-weight-loss/). The fear of weight gain after quitting is why most smokers don’t want to stop, regardless of all the other health consequences smoking causes. Nicotine does speed up your metabolic rate, so quitting would affect this. However, from an exercise stand point, nicotine does affect your cardiovascular performance and output. Therefore, you are not able to perform at your best. The “smokers cough” impairs one’s ability to really step out of their comfort zone and challenge their cardio. As a personal trainer who believes in lifestyle changes that last, smoking is a habit that over time most clients like to eliminate as they start to see and feel the changes in their body towards a healthier self. But let’s not forget the other side effects of smoking that could also impact overall health such as lung cancer, heart disease, stroke, and COPD.

Alcohol is a very popular part of our culture and is a social activity many take part in. Alcohol does have an impact on our body composition. Simply put, “Unlike macronutrients such as carbohydrates, proteins and fats, alcohol supplies what nutritionists often refer to as empty calories: calories without nutrition. To make matters worse, it is the first fuel to be used when combined with carbohydrates, fats and proteins, postponing the fat-burning process and contributing to greater fat storage” (http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/drobson194.htm). Alcohol has twice as many calories as carbohydrates and protein. And of course when our state of mind changes from alcohol, our decision making is impaired and well…. now the entire bowl of tortillas chips is gone or as us southern Californians tend to do – stop and get a carne asada burrito since it’s late and we are intoxicated. Other research goes on to say, “ Further, studies show that alcohol temporarily inhibits “lipid oxidation”— in other words, when alcohol is in your system, it’s harder for your body to burn fat that’s already there. Since eating fat is the most metabolically efficient way to put fat on your body—you actually use a small amount of calories when you turn excess carbs and protein into body fat, but excess fat slips right into your saddlebags, no costume change necessary—hypothetically speaking, following a high-fat, high-alcohol diet would be the easiest way to put on weight” (http://www.elle.com/beauty/health-fitness/advice/a2451/alcohol-calories-does-drinking-cause-weight-gain-410239/). Everything in moderation as they say.

Ok, I know an ice cold soda tastes amazing and totally quenches your thirst, but those few moments on the lips aren’t worth the resulting effects on your waistline. A study by the American Geriatrics Society found that, “People who drank diet soda gained almost triple the abdominal fat over nine years as those who didn’t drink diet soda” (http://time.com/3746047/diet-soda-bad-belly-fat/). Extra pounds in the midsection has health consequences: “The kind that pads the abs from the inside, called visceral fat, is associated with increased cardiovascular disease, inflammation and Type 2 diabetes” (http://time.com/3746047/diet-soda-bad-belly-fat/). A lot of people are misled by the low calories these drinks contain, not taking into consideration the artificial sweeteners and chemicals that add taste.

The answer: We have to decide to choose the lesser of two evils. In the long run, the initial weight gain that could occur after quitting smoking, far “outweighs” the long term health consequences. And when one decides to adopt a healthy lifestyle, these pounds will disappear over time with the changes. If we are able to have the self-control and drink on occasion, we are can find a balance with the caloric intake that alcohol adds to our day. Limiting alcohol to weekends is a common tool for this. Finally, I don’t have anything positive to say about soda haha. Just let that one go. SMALL changes ARE changes; so start by cutting back and taking it one day at a time. Better yet, go exercise to distract yourself from wanting to smoke, drink, or have a soda.

19 Nov

BLOG 294 BRUISING

They happen to us all. We bump into something, hit a body part against something, and sometimes we don’t even know we caused one. Bruises occur when trauma occurs to the skin, causing discoloration to appear to the site. Blood surfaces to the skin, and we see black and blue appear on our body. “Contusion” is the medical turn for this occurrence.

A bruise occurs as the result of a tiny tears to blood vessels. Blood is actually leaking from the injured area. As we age, blood vessels become more fragile and that “thin skin” is more prone to bruising due to sensitivity. Certain medications can also thin the blood, causing vessels to become more vulnerable. Medications can affect blood clotting. Clots are our bodies response to injury in order to prevent excessive bleeding. Steroids can increase the likelihood of bruising. Here are medications that should be considered if you are wondering why a bruise occurred: “These drugs include many arthritis medications called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (for example, ibuprofen (Advil, Nuprin) and naproxen (Aleve)) and over-the-counter medications, such as aspirin. Warfarin (Coumadin) is often prescribed by doctors specifically to prevent clotting in patients who have had blood clots in their legs or heart. Warfarin can cause severe bruising, especially if the level of the medication becomes too high. Cortisone medications, such as prednisone, promote bruising by increasing the fragility of the tiny blood vessels in the skin” (https://www.medicinenet.com/bruises/article.htm#why_do_bruises_occur_more_frequently_in_some_people_than_in_others).

That mark can last up to 2 weeks but will eventually go away. Your body will reabsorb the blood and the ugly color will go away. For quicker healing, ice can be applied to the area or elevating the bruise above the heart can help with blood flow.
If you easily and frequently bruise, there could be an underlying problem. There could be an issue with your blood platelets or clotting functioning. Bruises can be more common in persons with leukemia, who have liver disease, or who have a gluten intolerance. Sensitivity to bruising can be impacted by some of the following herbs and supplements:
· fish oil
· garlic
· ginger
· ginkgo
· ginseng
· vitamin E
(https://www.healthline.com/symptom/bruises-easily).

No BODY likes a bruise, but they happen. Just don’t bump your limbs on the weights and machines at the studio 😊 Consult a doctor if you think you abnormally bruise. We always want to be proactive as we care for our bodies on our fitness journeys.

13 Nov

BLOG 293 TOO MUCH CARDIO

One of the most common questions I am asked is, “How much cardio should I be doing??” We are told we need to exercise and cardiovascular activities are the first item we refer to doing. There are a multitude of benefits when doing cardiovascular activity, but sometimes you might be doing more harm than good if you are doing too much. Just because you run ten miles per day doesn’t mean the weight will melt right off (even though one would assume this). So let’s take a look at the cardio overload affect and see what happens to the body when this occurs.

There are a number of indications your body will show as signs that you are doing too much cardio. Every BODY is different. Here is what we are supposed to be doing: “The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the American College of Sports Medicine recommends that adults ages 18 to 64 engage in a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise spread over three to five days a week. Or do 75 minutes of vigorously intense aerobic exercise spread over three days a week. These minimum recommendations outlined in the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans decrease your risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and osteoporosis” (http://www.livestrong.com/article/145445-recommended-amount-of-cardio-exercise/). It’s easy to think that the longer I run on the treadmill, the more calories I’m burning, so the more weight I will lose. Wrong!!!!!

Cardio doesn’t have the same after math effects that strength training has for us. Meaning, “Unfortunately, the positive fat-burning effects of cardio exercise are short-lived. Once you stop exercising, your body’s metabolism quickly returns to its normal state. If cardio is your go-to exercise then you are forced to do more and more in order to see ongoing weight-loss results. This becomes problematic because increased cardio training can lead to decreased muscle mass. If your body loses even the slightest bit of muscle, your resting metabolic rate (i.e. how many calories you burn when you’re NOT exercising) dips even further. Your body will begin to shed fat even more slowly…unless you do even more cardio” (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dave-smith2/4-indicators-that-youre-doing-too-much-cardio_b_9321966.html). And cardio is hard on our joints so having to pound the treadmill longer and longer to see results becomes strenuous on both the body and mind. Plus, one can burn through muscle so although we might be getting smaller and seeing the scale drop, we are not re shaping the body appropriately. It’s similar to the effect of not working out after a surgery or injury. The scale might actually go down, due in part to muscle atrophy.

Training smarter, not harder is the appropriate expression here. The cardio myth goes like this, “There is this horrible misperception in our society about fat loss. A lot of people think that if you starve yourself and do two or three hours of cardio each day, the fat is just going to melt off. Actually, performing too much cardio will put your body in a catabolic state and burn hard-earned muscle. The loss of muscle will not only reduce strength, but it will also slow down your metabolism. If your metabolism slows down too much, you’ll have a tough time burning fat” (http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/ask-the-ripped-dude-how-much-cardio-is-too-much.html).
Personally, I can run for hours (literally). But I have learned, especially while training for my competitions, that at some point I’m actually not doing myself any favors. Mentally, I love the clarity of just running and going until I just have to stop. Physically, I don’t want to burn through muscle. There is no science that says how much is too much, but realistically anything over 60 minutes is probably more counterproductive than good. Females love their cardio, but ladies, we have to use strength training to re-shape our bodies and ward off osteoporosis.

When I meet a client and they ask me why they haven’t seen results when they do the Elliptical or jog every day, well, we know that the cardio myth has come into play. It might be breath of fresh air to hear that you don’t have to run for hours on end to see results. Rather, use cardio in combination with strength training to achieve optimal results. Every BODY is different, and we learn on our fitness journeys what methods work best for us. Don’t be fooled I won’t write you a pass for P.E. that says you don’t have to run the mile haha, but I will tell you that don’t have to run 5 miles every day to achieve your fitness goals.