Tag Archives: exercise

The ten percent rule for exercising with the quickest results

When you want quick results for weight loss, the temptation is to start exercising more. But what we are learning about the body, and the brain, is that more is not necessarily better!

A smart way to exercise for the quickest results possible is to respond rather than react.

Take a moment to check in with the reason your weight is up in the first place. If its inflammation, you need exercise to help calm your nervous system and not create more stress. Doing too much too soon will only add to the problem. Try some mindful movement and other forms of exercise that calm you. That means if you are short on time, find something that is very doable in the time you have available. If you are embarrassed about your weight, exercise at home or somewhere you feel comfortable. Stay away from competitions and challenges that can cause you to do more than your body is ready to do.

Use exercise to help you sleep. Lack of quality sleep has a strong connection to weight gain. Exercise can help you sleep better when used well. Notice the type of exercise and time of day that has the best impact on your sleep. For some, this is higher intensity exercise to help calm anxiety. For some its lower intensity to slow down from a busy day. Only you know what is right for you.

Movement science tells us that the body can adapt to a 10 percent increase in exercise per week. If you are walking for 30 minutes, that would be a 3 minute increase the following week. That is not much! The 10 percent rule is just a guide but a helpful one to keep your ideas about how much you need to increase in check.

Most important is listen to your body, start with the amount that does not cause fatigue or pain or soreness, use a slow gradual increases in the amount of exercise you do, and be consistent. It is not easy to be at a weight you don’t want to be at. Thrown in lots of self-compassion to help you focus on what you can do each day and your body is most likely to thank you with not only weight loss but greater strength, stamina and mobility each step of the way too!

Keep Moving, Be Well

Janet

Leave a comment

by | October 5, 2021 · 5:30 pm

Turn your steps into better stamina

You may have noticed the difference this past year had on your stamina. When you were no longer walking from your car to the office or walking around a grocery store, your body ‘forgot’ how to use the equipment it has to keep you moving.

Your activity monitor is a great tool for staying aware of how active or inactive you are throughout the day. The bells and buzzes are great reminders to get up and move. In our new world where you may be moving even less than you were before the pandemic, a step goal can be very useful.

Since most of our daily activities, like shopping, cleaning, yardwork, working are stop and go, our aerobic system does not get much practice for producing lasting energy.

Stamina is the ability to move for extended time without getting tired and needing to stop. It is more than your heart strength, its about your whole cardiovascular system’s ability to produce energy aerobically.

Short term activities where you move continuously for less than two minutes use the anaerobic energy system. This system is designed to get you started, like a match and kindling starting a campfire.

But for you to sustain that energy, your aerobic system needs enough equipment to use oxygen to turn glucose and fat into fuel for cells. That means your heart, lungs, blood vessels, blood cells and muscle cells all need to be reminded to keep the necessary equipment to keep that fire going once the short term system runs out.

Yes your heart needs to be a strong pump, your blood needs to be able to carry the oxygen, and your muscle cells need the equipment to use the oxygen.

When you don’t move for an extended period of time very often, this equipment starts to fade.

The good news is, you can get it back, and fairly quickly too. Here is how:

  • Start stringing those steps together so your body rebuilds the equipment to do more than short bouts of movement. Even if it is brief five-minute bouts to start, that is enough to get your aerobic system working again.
  • go at the pace that keeps your breathing at light to moderate to start. If you go to fast and get out of breath, you are now using the anaerobic system again. Moderate intensity breathing ensures you are telling your aerobic system to get stronger.
  • Repeat often, especially if you can only do short bouts to start. Listen to your body to know when it is ready to increase minutes.

Keep in mind, your body can adapt to only about a 10% increase per week. That means if you are doing a 10 minute walk, increase by 1 minute the following week! Gradually build up to 30 minutes three times a week as your body is ready.

No need to push to high intensity or through pain because this actually slows your progress to greater and sustainable stamina. Working with your body means it will take less time to turn those steps into more lasting energy for everyday life and the fun things you are looking forward to doing again.

Keep Moving, Be Well

Janet

Leave a comment

by | July 13, 2021 · 9:38 pm

Breathe. Go easy on yourself. Keep Moving.

Busy week! Have you had one too? A friend sent me this quote today. I thought I would share in case you needed the reminder to breathe, go easy on yourself and keep moving.

Be Well

Janet

Leave a comment

by | May 18, 2021 · 8:20 pm

Your weight is up! Now What?

Weight gain that has nothing to do with  calories

You get on the scale and UUGGHH!, Up five pounds!!! What? How?

Your mind quickly goes back in time to scan for possible slip ups. Could it have been that cookie? Was it that day I only took 2000 steps? Ugh, I’m so stupid! Why did I do that?!

Then your brain jumps to the future and formulates a plan. I’m going to eat only vegetables and protein today and get on that exercise bike for an hour, twice today. Time to get back on track!

But wait! Before you race off to burn more calories than you take in, stop for a minute and consider what else the scale might be telling you.

Remember the scale measures everything. It will never give you an accurate measure of your success with what you want from weight loss. It is a general guide, best used for a big picture look at if your body weight is trending upward or downward.

The day to day fluctuation in weight are more likely showing your levels of inflammation; the level of fluid in your body. This is still valuable information, but only if you can calm your brain long enough to consider what has been going on recently that could be causing inflammation.

  1. Pain: Are your muscles sore? Have you had an injury lately? Pain is inflammation. Keep in mind, there is no such thing as a ‘good sore‘ from exercise. Soreness simply means you have made more work than your body can handle right now, and it is letting you know. There is no gain from pain caused by over-exercising. (except weight gain that is!).
  2. Sleep: Sleep is when your body heals and repairs and clears inflammation. If you are low on quality sleep your body is not getting enough time for this important task.
  3. Stress: Whether it is from external stressors, such as a family illness or busy time at work or internal stress like self-criticism and self-doubt, your body responds to real or potential threats by getting ready for a possible injury, and that raises inflammation
  4. Illness: You could be fighting off an illness or are you just recovering from one. Consider your energy level and other symptoms that may be telling you your immune system is working overtime.

Inflammation plays an essential role in healing and injury repair. It is there to keep your body safe and healthy. When it goes up, it is a sign your body needs more attention. Exercise is a great anti-inflammatory, in the right dose. Excessive exercise could actually make matters worse by giving your body more to recover from rather than helping it with healing and repair. Listen to your body to know how much is enough to reduce inflammation. Several short bouts of exercise at a light intensity spread out throughout your day, done in a way that lowers stress and helps you sleep can be a great tool for helping your body heal and repair.

When your weight is up, pause and consider all the possible reasons and then give your body what it needs to be healthy and well.

Keep Moving, Be Well

Janet

Leave a comment

by | February 16, 2021 · 6:50 pm

How to shovel snow and does it count as exercise?

It’s snowing again! Two of the most common questions I get on days like this are “How do I shovel snow safely” and “Does it count as exercise?”. Before I went out to shovel, I thought I’d answer them directly in this video. Happy Shoveling!!!

Keep Moving, Be Well

Janet

Leave a comment

by | February 9, 2021 · 7:18 pm