Believe it or not, going hard at the gym isn’t always the best way to shape up. Pushing yourself is important, but over-doing it can cause cortisol — the stress hormone — to spike and could lead you to a state of burnout before you hit your goals. If you’re all about the HIIT life, or struggling to get started on a fitness journey, these tips from Dr. Sara Gottfried are for you.
The hormone expert, best-selling author and long-time TCM contributor is a wealth of information for women who want to get down the nitty-gritty of living well and to see real results from the effort. Snag her new book, Brain Body Diet, then read up on why strength-training should be your new go-to (and how to do it right)…What Should Women Know About Strength Training?
Resistance and strength training reduces anxiety.
Moderate exercise prevents your telomeres from wearing down — these are the tips of chromosomes that are a marker of biological aging. Marathon runners don’t fair as well as moderate exercisers. People with a lot of stress who don’t exercise have the worst telomeres. Exercise buffers stress when performed correctly and at the right dose for you.
Adaptive exercise is ideal because it’s good for cortisol. Yoga has been shown to lower cortisol and raise GABA, nature’s Valium. It also raises IL-6, which helps the immune system.
Less is more with exercise. Believe it or not, sometimes a nap or getting seven to eight-and-a-half hours of sleep is the better option than the gym.
Recovery time is essential. This will help you avoid burnout and prevent you from working yourself too hard.
Treat your body gently, while still working out, and you will see better results.