The whole calorie balance concept has made us lose our way when it comes to ‘getting enough exercise’. Exercising to get rid of those calories you ate can be really draining. But the biggest sacrifice we have made is in the quality of exercise we do in order to burn more calories.
When exercise is just about burning calories, we tend to multitask to just ‘get it done’. You miss out on the mindfulness and stress reduction benefits that exercise has to offer. One of the best parts of exercise is that is it a time away from the stressors of life. Watching the news or working while exercising lowers the quality of exercise.
When distracting during exercise to just get it done, you also miss out on the neuromuscular training. Neuro = nerves, muscular = muscles. Your nervous system, from your brain right down to the nerves that connect to your muscles, tell your muscles what to do. They are what make your muscles stronger. If your brain is distracted, you have lowered the quality of exercise because your nervous system is less ‘available’ to tell muscles the right way to move. Your body is more likely to move in straining rather than strengthening ways.
Lastly, to burn more calories we are often told we need to push our body harder. More is not better however. Discomfort with exercise teaches your brain to avoid exercise whenever possible and choose something more ‘comforting’ instead. Yep! that ice cream looks much more appealing to your brain than the gym when exercise is uncomfortable. There is no gain in pain. Really!
Keep moving (with high quality) and be well,