Today lets talk about balance.  I believe balance is very important to success and long term happiness in most aspects of life.  You show me someone who is extreme in an activity and I’ll guarantee you they won’t last long in that activity.

Lets look at a couple examples specifically relating too exercise and nutrition.  First, lets start with exercise which I think runs parallel to life principles.  A lot of folks start an exercise routine and they jump in doing an hour a day of cardio along with 1 hour of strength training.  Individuals think that exercise must be hard, long and painful.  Since they have been inactive for many years they have a lot of time to make up, right??  Soon after they start this extreme approach (which is my opinion) they find them selves totally exhausted.  This whole process takes about 2 weeks to go from start to exhaustion.  They wake up on the 3rd week and there is no way they are going to the gym to workout.  Their body hurts, muscles ache, and besides they haven’t lost any weight in fact they weigh more.  All that work hasn’t gotten them closer to their goal.  Now this individual wants nothing to do with health, working out, or eating right.  No way!!!   I don’t blame them.  Do you?

Now lets look at what went wrong.  First, we are taught in school or media that exercise must be painful, and consist of long workouts.  Besides we all have seen what happens on “The Biggest Loser.”  Let me set the record straight.  Exercise should not be painful.  Exercise should stimulate your muscles by choosing proper exercises, rep ranges, form, and frequency.  Exercise should be intense and brief.  Many, many times I recommend clients to strength train 3 days per week for 45 minutes per session and perform cardio 3 times per week for 20 minutes.  That is less than 3 hours of workout time per week.  Compared to the individual working an hour and a half a day 5 to  6 days per week.  I promise you if you are choosing the right exercises you won’t need more work than that.

Finally, lets look at the reasoning behind the above example actually gaining weight from this extreme exercise program.  Working out for more than 1 hour tends to be very hard on the body.  Long exercise sessions tend to drain the immune system, excessively break down of muscle, cause production of cortisol (hormone that wil cause your body to hold on to bodyfat), and many other negative effects.  After this long exercise session the individual is now completely exhausted and to make up for this exhaustion they overconsume nutritionally in an attempt to recover.  That is what causes the weight gain.  The overtrained person is actually causing too much damage to the body and they are  over eating in an attempt to have energy to function.

Balance is the key.  Balance of exercise, balance of nutrition, balance of cardio.

Have a Great Day and Stay Strong,