I have not been running for at least a year due to time commitment and lack of interest.
I started with a short run of 20 min. once a week. Once I felt stronger I increased the running time to 30 min. every other day. Now I am running almost every day for at least 35 min. and I feel tired, moody, exhausted and I actually gained few pounds.
Today I like to talk about weight gain due to extreme cardio training.
We all know people who lost weight due to starting up a running program. But what happened to them after years of keeping up an extreme running schedule. They all started to plateau and actually age faster.
Let's just assume that each person who follows an extreme running schedule eats a strict diet, no junk food and no overeating. How can a person gain weight by following a program like this.
Here is my answer "STRESS HORMONES". High cortisol levels make it impossible for the body to burn fat!
Stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline are permanently increased if you happen to have a very stressful job, an extreme daily workout routine, and a diet that is low in vitamins and minerals.
Once your stress hormones are increased your body goes into a survival mode, which means that from now on the body will slow down its metabolism to be able to survive its extreme situation. A slow metabolism means all our body's chemical enzyme functions slow down like nutrient absorption, combating free radicals, digestion, liver detoxification.
I have had numerous clients who come and ask me for advice to help them loose that extra 4 pounds by adjusting their diets and exercise programs.
Instead of adding more cardiovascular training I advice them to stop their cardio training and have them focus on Mind-Body exercises like meditation or yang yoga (breathing, chanting).
I also have them start juicing. By drinking at least 16oz of raw vegetable/fruit juice daily, their bodies get flooded by pure vitamins and minerals and hydration. After 2 weeks I have them go back to their cardiovascular training but with the information of only doing short intense intervals no longer than 20 min. a day.
There have been numerous studies that our bodies are actually not meant to run continuously for hours instead our bodies are made for short, intense runs going back to our ancestors hunting and gathering times.
All of my clients have lost at least 5 pounds and gained back their life without feeling hijacked to their workout routine.
As you can see the believe of more is better, is not always true. There are lots of new books out there, that can confirm my own experiences, that hours of running, biking and swimming can actually harm us, make us more vulnerable to disease and weight gain. Here is one book that I like to recommend The Cardio-free Diet from Jim Karas.
Enjoy your summer and remember don't wast your summer evenings with long exhausting and non-productive Cardio routines :)!!
Birgit your Herbalist