Are you a gym rat or treadmill junkie who has suddenly hit a plateau? Wondering why you are feeling burned out by your bootcamp? Do you feel like you work out all the time but just cannot lose weight? Tune in to hear Ali and Becki discuss the epidemic of over-exercising and how it can create imbalance in the body and why weight loss does NOT come down to a calories in, calories out equation!
In This Episode, Ali and Becki go deep into why you might want to pump the brakes on your workout routine. While exercise can have benefits of improved cardiovascular health, circulation and detoxification as well as body composition change, too much exercise or not listening to your body can actually derail the whole process. From adrenal and thyroid burnout to high cortisol and belly fat storage, this episode breaks down the signs you might be over-exercising and how to start listening to your body again. Learn about how your HIIT workout could be sabotaging your stress response, how long distance running can cause oxidative stress and what exercises we DO recommend as an alternative.
Also In This Episode:
- How Too Much Exercise Can Throw You Out of Balance
- Recovering from Oxidative Damage
- Signs of Over-exercising
- Benefits and Drawbacks of HIIT
- What Movements we DO Reccommend
- Workout Recovery
- Naturally Nourished Grassfed Whey (use code PODCAST20 for 20% off)
- Supporting the Adrenals and Thyroid
Welcome to the Naturally Nourished podcast, that delivers cutting edge food as medicine solutions for optimum health. Ali Miller is a nutrition expert sought out by the media and America’s top medical institutes for her revolutionary functional medicine interventions. From disease treatment to prevention, every episode will empower you with ways to put yourself back in control of your health. Please note, the topics discussed are for educational purposes only. Now welcome integrative dietitians Ali Miller and her co-host Becki Yoo.
A: Welcome to the Naturally Nourished podcast. This is episode 66 and you are joining us as we talk today on over exercising. Ali here, along with my cohost Becki Yoo
B: Hey everyone.
A: And we are super pumped to share this topic that is not talked about enough. In fact many of my clients are believe it or not, the type A over doers and they want to push their body to excellence. However, today we’re going to talk about the ramifications of overdoing it and how you know what your body can handle.
B: Yes you see this is a such a big trend and often with adrenal fatigue clients it’s kind of the last thing they’re willing to give up or willing to try doing less and that’s where we start to see favorable shifts in their fatigue rebounding.
A: Uh-huh, and it’s that my favorite phrase “gentle movement therapy.” We’re going to shift you from your exercise regimen to gentle movement therapy and, believe it or not, sometimes that is the reconfiguration that allows the pound of body fat to just melt. So we’ll talk all about that as a hidden gem but before we get into today’s topic I want to announce I mean pending on what time Brady publishes this, I think we have 24 hours left in the launch of our second round of our Virtual Ketosis Program. So final reminder for you guys, the program is $199 and this includes, or $169 if you opt out of the e-books but at that point you should totally get the e-books guys, it includes access to 6 live classes taught by me and moderated by Becki. It has 2 E-books if you opt into the $199 again which includes 50 recipes + in the Eat Fat Get Skinny Cookbook, and the Ketogenic Kickstart which is the protocol the directions, the research, all of the what’s and why’s behind how ketosis can be used as a cure for a multitude of disease states and symptoms. And we’re offering $50 off with the code KETO2018 so be sure to take advantage not tomorrow, not next week, like right now, like pause the episode, go onto your phone, go down to Alimillerrd.com Book and Programs, add it to your cart, put in KETO 2018 and we will see you next week in our program.
B: Oh my gosh I can’t believe it’s happening already. So exciting.
A: For sure.
B: Or happening again already. So we just wanted to share with you a couple of the testimonials from our participants from last round so we’re just going to read a couple. First one “I thoroughly enjoyed the ketosis class. It was so nice to connect with other participants in the Facebook group which helped me to stay accountable. I feel wonderful and wish I would have done this sooner. I have lost weight inches, improved my energy levels, and have experienced improve mental clarity. I view food differently and have totally eliminated cravings. I also learned how to change recipes to still taste great but reduce or eliminate the sugar and carb content. That’s such a big win.” And then we’ve got another client Maureen who is down 6 pounds since starting this program, but 43 pounds overall since starting to work with us and kind of dabble into keto since March.
B: And she was down 6 pounds in her second week because that was a testimonial pulled from Facebook and she said “I think this is just what I needed to get me over the hump.” So we was just doing a low glycemic diet for the first you know 40 whatever I guess 30 something pounds and then kicked into keto and she was 6 in two weeks and at the end of the program, I believe she got past her 50 pound mark so she’s pretty pumped. And then I want to share a testimonial from an already keto adapted client because, of course, a lot of people come to me after hearing me on other keto or low carb gurus podcasts or have been doing a form of a high fat low carb diet for years, and this one comes to me from Sloane and she says “it’s been one week, one full week, using Ali’s Boost and Burn Supplement. After going keto 11 months ago I finally had consistent blood ketone readings between 1-2 at the end of my 16 hour fast all week. And after the scale either not moving or moving in the wrong direction or the last 3 months, I lost 3+ pounds this week. Putting me at a total loss of 53 pounds in 11 months. I’ve been 4 days of 16/8 fasts thank you Ali your program is doing what I’d hoped it would – tweaking my keto lifestyle for the better.” So regardless of where you are in your journey whether you’ve not heard the term Keto or you’ve been doing Keto, or you’ve’ hit a plateau or you’re even accelerating and you want to learn about functional medicine and want to have comradery and group support this program definitely has a fit for you.
B: So let’s just get rocking with today’s topic on exercise and over exercising. First let’s discuss the dichotomy of exercise versus diet for optimal body composition.
A: Yes we’re always telling you guys, at least maybe my clients, maybe fair enough, not you podcast listeners but we’re always saying, I’m always saying, that it’s not calories, calories out, right? We’re a complex chemistry equation not a calculator it’s not a 1+2=3 equation. There are hormonal influences, there are definitely micro nutritional influences, and we’ll get into those and how exercise can throw both of those off. But generally speaking, the mindset used to be that frequent physical activity should make us slim. You get on the treadmill, you get on the elliptical, you burn the calories, and that’s going to burn those calories off of your body. However repeated studies have shown that many people who begin exercise regimen and program, and are tracked with their progress, show little or no weight loss and some people even gain weight when doing an exercise program. So there’s actually a study in the Journal of Obesity Research done and it actually monitored exercise, food intake, and metabolic rates. And it found that the biggest issue was that the participants’ basal metabolic rate, which is basically your baseline calorie burn when not exercising, their basal metabolic rate dropped as they lost weight, even though they exercise each day. The exercise they were doing was not counteracted by their significant drop in their metabolic rate so even if they were burning 500 calories during an exercise session, their total caloric burn was lower than it would have been if it had been unchanged based on their activity factor. And so they lost significantly less weight than would have been expected and many of them plateaued or rebounded and gained weight because they were used to eating the calories they were burning during their exercise.
B: So exercise can often cause, then, a more dramatic dip in our basal metabolic rate and that extra output would be neutralized is that what you’re saying?
A: Yep pretty much.
A: Kind of depressing when you’re on the treadmill looking to get – we’re often looking to get at least I honestly haven’t exercised in a gym for almost 10 years now it’s almost embarrassing to say but not I’m actually proud of that. But I have not exercised in a gym for 10 years and I remember thinking of it as a video game like trying to achieve a number and that’s just not how it works.
B: And then I think also with clients we see this kind of halo effect of exercise or turning to treat mentality so I did 500 calories on the treadmill, now I get a treat, right?
A: Absolutely. I burned off a doughnut-worth or I get a Crave cupcake because I deserve is and the issue is a lot of gyms invest in the machines because they know people are number watchers like that’s very human nature so you watch on your fill-in-the-blank machines so you’re elliptical your treadmill, that you burned 550 and then you look at that Crave cupcake I mean A) I don’t think Crave puts their, sorry to hate on any cupcake line, I don’t think they put their calories, you know, in writing but many of them are 580+ but even if you think you’re doing a deficit like “Oh, I’m having a 300 calorie cookie” but that machine I burned 500 something, often those machines are inaccurate and ,again, we’re not taking into account that scavenging basal metabolic rate knowing you’re putting out more output so your BMR is dropping an account to that. So it’s not based on a comparable foundational baseline so when your BRM dips, that extra burn is coming from a negative burn, if that makes sense and so often that 300 calories of the 500 you burned could be a gain of 100 calories per say.
B: Well that’s no fun.
A: Yeah, yeah.
B: Ok but we are by no means anti-exercise so let’s start off just by benefits of exercise.
A: Yes and we can re-fluff the exercise. I will just say you know when I show people the visual it’s like “diet is 80-90% or 90+% of your weight loss struggle” so if you guys get anything, there’s definitely more to come out of this episode but the biggest thing is diet is key in your weight loss process. Period. So the benefits of exercise: absolutely can be a big influence for our bone health. We know specifically that sitting is the new smoking, right? Because of the influence of being stagnant and how sitting can reduce or circulatory flow, it can be harmful for our cardiovascular health, it can be harmful to be sitting and not move our bodies as far as circulatory flow so benefits of exercise are all opposing of that. Benefits of exercise it can help our bone mass or our bone density, weight bearing activity in general, cardiovascular health can be improved, our respiratory rate can be improved, our pulse ox can be improved with exercise, we can get an improvement in our circulation and oxygenation in general in the body, and also that can support our detoxification process with sweat and supporting our lymphatic tissue flow. Exercise beyond that can help with composition change, it can definitely help with toning areas enhancing lean body mass, and definitely aiding in bulking in mass and muscle gains. And it’s really the best way, as far as utilization through micro tears and like, you know, fatiguing the muscle and then repairing with nutritional compounds needing that exercise to tear the muscle is the best way to create those bulking fibers to build and maintain muscle. So absolutely it is a piece of a puzzle of body composition change.
B: Ok and the let’s just do a refresh, this is super basic of what aerobic vs. anaerobic exercise is and maybe some different examples of that as well as what we would consider functional movement.
A: Yeah so it essentially breaks down to whether you’re using oxygen so aerobic means with oxygen, anaerobic means without, so I often will tell clients if you can sing a chorus of your favorite song without gasping for breath during it, you are doing aerobic activity and it’s important to note that aerobic activity can actually become anaerobic based on the intensity you’re performing it at. So generally speaking, aerobic movement is dance, walking, jogging, it has cadence it has rhythm and so women or men that you see jogging and having a conversation are in a more of aerobic cadence state. However, people that are still running in a similar activity but doing sprints and sprinting as fast as they can, and shorter spurts of energy so heavy, heavy weight lifting, jumping, like squat thrusts and jumping jacks, jumping rope, again jumping rope could be in a cadence but generally speaking is going to be more intensive anaerobic. So beyond that, when we’re talking about and starting to define pros and cons of exercise, HIIT training or high intensity interval training took a huge surge in the mid 90s and even furthermore I would say, with the birth of CrossFit and the I don’t know in 2010 I guess, I don’t know the date but-
B: I think around there is when I started to hear about it.
A: Yeah the 2000s, but um, yeah you know HIIT training took a big hit of gains in the 90s and onward and the reasoning is that we saw metabolically that when we do these alternate, alternating short bursts of high intensity exercise, with gentle recovery, that that helps to increase your anaerobic threshold, and that also can help with surging HGH, which is that human growth hormone, which can really help to support bulking or lean body mass and optimize fat burn. So that’s when HIIT training took a huge kind of leap or platform. And now, it’s interesting to understand is your HGH bursts from HIIT, occur when you’re unconditioned. So like, yeah, the first 3 months of doing HIIT training or boot camp or your first 3 months, once you become conditioned to high intensity intervals, even if you’re switching up your exercise regimen, you start to have less of an HGH hit and more of an adrenal hits so you actually start to surge cortisol or stress hormones in response at higher influence then you do the HGH, so instead of getting increase of lean body mass and increase of testosterone and favorable metabolic and sexual hormone expression, the cortisol surges actually create more blood sugar imbalance and that blood sugar imbalance can also create less body fat burn and cortisol in excess can even create body fat gain. So definitely for short term, it can be beneficial but have seen over an extensive period of time that can work against you.
B: Ok and since we’re defining these types of movements, let’s talk about stretching and resistance training as other types of exercise.
A: Sure, so I actually love both of those and I’m a huge proponent of barre method and the types of movement that use both the active isolated stretching as well as resistance training and core exercises. So this to me is a great synergy that does not create distress on your physiological system. So the active isolated stretching is holding a stretch for periods of time that works with your body to enhance circulation, and increase elasticity of your muscle joints. And it helps your body to actually target and repair its own tissues and especially in the female body when we’re looking a lot of women have resistance to resistance training. You know they kind of have a push back because they don’t want to quote on quote” bulk up,” “ I don’t want to look masculine, I don’t want to bulk up.” Well looking within your muscle movement and your gains and your resistance training, the AIS or active isolated stretching, you’re actually training more elongation of the muscle fibers that you are forming. So it works really nice and synergy or as an isolated movement itself.
Resistance training and core exercises are amazing I mean, your body has 29 core muscles located throughout you back, your abdomen, your pelvis, fantastic for reproductive health, pre and post-partum for women, so when we’re preparing body for baby when are post-partum really fantastic to focus on the core as an area definitely when we’re talking about things like constipation and digestive regularity, core is huge when we’re talking about aging and back pain, core is huge, so focusing on this as a foundational element of your movement is a great way to not only enhance your body’s function and balance and stability, and optimize aging, but also helps metabolically to support your system. So within those two areas we’re talking about things like Pilates and yoga and like I said, barre method is a great way to incorporate both resistance and core as well as the isolated stretching.
B: Awesome. So let’s clarify then, when we’re talking about exercise being more harmful or deleterious to the body versus beneficial.
A: Yeah, so you know like I started to kind of reference, your body can take quite a toll on a nutritional level or a micronutrient level as well as on a HPA axis adrenal fatigue level, as well as a significant hit to the thyroid gland. So I’ll kind of walk you through each of those. So micronutrient basis, we can see- basically when you’re doing aerobic activity you’re taking in a lot of oxygen so when you’re taking in a lot of oxygen and we’re talking about antioxidants right, antioxidants get depleted through oxygenation so antioxidants get depleted through oxygen, light, heat, free radical exposure. So marathon runners, for instance, tend to have significant antioxidant depletion because of all of that oxidative stress, especially marathon runners in a big city where they’re breathing a lot of fumes and garbage, you know, toxic compounds within that excessive respiratory factor. So antioxidants can significantly get depleted which can cause things like chronic fatigue syndrome, can cause things like higher risk for tumorigenic activity in the body, also things like arthritis with antioxidant depletion so that’s definitely of a concern. We can also get amino acid deficiency from muscle wasting especially if we’re not providing adequate recovery to our muscles post workout. So when we’re looking at things like glutamine and serine these are different amino acid or protein building blocks, if you will, which have other functional roles in the body so serine plays a huge role in memory. It plays a huge role with cognition and has been tied to a lot of research to dementia. So for people who are exercising to have anti aging effects but creating serine depletion, they’re working against the focus on their foundational movement. So definitely important on a micro nutritional status if you are an exerciser, access your micronutrient status at least annually through a blood test and we’ll put a link in our shown notes of our micronutrient test and options of doing that with a 15 minute review or doing that and becoming a patient and then we will work with you with therapeutic food goals to replete the deficiency trends and if you are doing a lot of aerobic activity, I would definitely recommend use of something like our Super Turmeric which has a very comprehensive blend of antioxidants and will help to protect that free radical exposure or oxidative stress. And then absolutely a micronutrient, I mean I recommend good quality micronutrient like our Multidefense across the board especially if you’re going to be in an increased demand or increased use through chronic exercising.
So those are all things to consider as far as supplemental support and why it could be a bad thing. The other area, so the adrenal and the thyroid, I mentioned how cortisol after use of HIIT training or that intensity or demand on the body, that chronic anaerobic activity , can start to go into the adrenals. So cortisol if you think of your body in HIIT training all of a sudden you’re doing jumping jacks and then you’re doing burpees, and you’re sprinting up a hill, it’s like your body perceives still in an adaptive way of running from an cheetah or a tiger, right? So it is in this fight or flight survival mechanism. And your body starts surging cortisol in excess and that again, can start to drive belly fat. It can actually deplete testosterone and it can deplete muscle fibers so it can actually cause muscle wasting which can further lower that basal metabolic rate which is one of the mechanisms, again, of why exercise can cause stubborn metabolism or inhibit your weight loss process. So that’s concerning and cortisol starts in excess and then over time, it actually gets depleted and that’s where we can see adrenal fatigue. So like Becki mentioned, a lot of our patients that we’re working with for adrenal fatigue, if they are chronic exercisers doing a lot of tennis, or high intensity interval type training, they are kind of poofing the little “pff” smoke out of their adrenal glands. The littlest amounts wringing that dry sponge already to surge the cortisol for their performance and then that further prevents adrenal gland recovery so that keeps them chronically adrenal fatigued, it can drive things like brain fog, difficulty concentrating, chronic fatigue syndrome, dips in energy levels, cravings for sugar. It can drive anxiety depression, insomnia, so it can play a huge role in circadian levels and satiation or satiety as well as mood stability and that can all definitely happen, especially the culprit from that intensity interval trainings type activity that mimics a stress response in the body.
B: So both of those just hit so home for me, as a former marathoner and spin class addict and all of that. What about, and I know that, the adrenal piece, it can take a really long time to rebound after that kind of hit to your adrenals or, you know, can be kind of an ongoing struggle. What about the thyroid gland, how does that play into all of this?
A: Yeah, so you know the thyroid is regulated also by this HPA axis, so you know, the hypothalamus can release thyroid releasing hormone or it can release corticotropin releasing hormone CRH so it either make thyroid releasing hormone or it basically stimulate the adrenals and then downstream, the pituitary either makes your ACTH, your adrenocorticotropic hormone or it makes TSH, your thyroid stimulating hormone. And then what gets hit is either the thyroid or the adrenals. So you know that right there, the fact that the HPA axis has to push its efforts towards the adrenals in that survival mechanisms, the thyroid goes in the backburner and the thyroid being the master gland of metabolism, also is a hindrance on that basal metabolic rate so when you’re not exercising, then the thyroid is going to be underfueled or underperforming because of that excess stimulation of the adrenals so it’s definitely interwound and you know just taking that a step further we’re talking about autoimmune disease, you know, we talk so much with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and the influence of things like leaky gut, but we’re really seeing actually there was- and I’ll link this research study in our show notes, that this research study on overtraining and exercise induced adrenal insufficiency, they were calling it exercising induced Addison’s syndrome so we’re really seeing, literally ,disease states driven by exercise and now we’re starting to throw potentially Hashimoto’s thyroiditis in there because the TPO, the thyroid peroxidase, or the inflammation of the thyroid gland, can absolutely be stimulated by over exercise as well.
B: This is something I say to clients all the time, “No, stress on the body is stress on the body your body just knows the darn difference if you’re running from a tiger or if you’re doing a spin class.”
B: So I think this really kind of takes it home.
A: Yeah, and again, you can ride a bicycle in a park and experience nature and listen to birds and do things, right? Or you could, like, be yelled at by a spin instructor, listening to, I mean there’s worse things than listening to Beyoncé, I would love to listen to Beyoncé in a spin class, I really want to do one of those, but other than the Beyoncé spin class, I don’t really need a motivational lecture and a playlist. I can experience nature and my bicycle riding.
B: Yeah. Ok and then even with overuse there can be a negative impact of over exercise on the cardiovascular system, right?
A: Yeah so that might be kind of surprising well but sure you’re benefiting- the same thing, your heart is a muscle, man, so you can overwork it so there was actually a study released by the European Heart Journal in 2013 that suggested that especially for those now have a family history of irregular heartbeats, but overdoing the fat burning workout which is also known as the anaerobic exercise, can contribute to poor cardiovascular health and in fact this study looked at heart rhythms of over 52000 cross country skiers over 10 year, so pretty substantial population size and they found that the risk of arrhythmia was increased with every race completed and was up to 30x higher for those who competed year on year for a period of 5 years. So they found correlation of both exercise intensity, so those who finished the fastest were at higher risk of arrhythmia so the actual performance itself, as well as the intensity, so the intensity of the performance itself as well as the quantity of the performance, so frequency and intensity were the big drivers that contributed towards arrhythmia or overworking the heart and creating irregular heartbeat.
B; Ok wow that is scary.
A: Yeah. Yeah.
B: So let’s talk now about some of the signs to look out for or what to look for if we are over exercising, what are our clues?
A: Yeah, so feeling fatigue for more than 20 minutes post workout it’s definitely normal to feel like “Pheww I killed it” and want to lie down on the mat after your output, but once you’re beyond a 20 minute marker of your exercise and you’re still feeling fatigued, that could be a sign of over exercising and it could be mental fatigue or physical fatigue. Another one would be if your circadian rhythm is off, so this might not be directly related to your exercise time, you could be doing a spin class at 5am but you could have insomnia in the middle of the night. Or you could be dealing with chronic fatigue slumps at 3 pm but basically that’s an imbalance of that HPA axis which shows that probably there is an adrenal insufficiency or an adrenal excess output, and that whole circadian rhythm cycle is getting thrown off from the over exercising.
And that goes next to, kind of, the adrenaline junkie. The ones that need to exercise to relax after a stressful day, often that can be a symptom in itself or an irritability or short fuse would be another sign of over exercising.
Having a hit to the immune system, so being very susceptible to cold or illness, getting, coming down with everything that your coworkers have or even having dermatological changes, that could be another sign of over exercising because the adrenals are very related to your histamine and cortisol response in the body. So cortisol actually has antihistamine properties so dermatological changes, rashes, hives, and even increase of seasonal allergies, so- or use of antihistamines would be another sign of over exercising. We can see this even also with sexual function, so erectile dysfunction. Low libido and then it translating even to mood stability like depression and anxiety that can play another symptom of over exercising. Loss of appetite and weight or on the other end of the spectrum, stubborn weight loss and insatiable appetite can be signs of over exercising. Let’s see, a couple of other ones, weakness and muscle spasms or residual aches and pains, lactic acid buildup would be another big thing, faintness and dizziness or chronic low blood pressure is often a sign of adrenal fatigue that can be induced by over exercising. And then we can see changes in blood sugar so like hypoglycemia, blood sugar crashes, which can be dizziness, shakiness, also that can drive blood sugar, well blood sugar dips which can also dips sugar cravings to kind of get out of that slump, salt cravings on the other hand can also be associated with adrenal insufficiency. You sweat a lot with exercise so when you ever exercise you can throw off your electrolyte stability and we can get significant salt cravings.
And finally I would way we can see some digestive distress to actual food sensitivities digestive disturbances as is mentioned you know we can see amino acid depletion and glutamine is a compound as an amino acid that plays a huge role in sore muscles when it becomes depleted and it is also a building block and fuel source for gut cells. So if glutamine becomes depleted, not only can we have sore muscles but we can also have increased food sensitivity ,we can have more precedency toward leaky gut and then if we throw adrenals in the equation and our cortisol if off we can have inflammation, higher rampant influence in the body which can further perpetuate that leaky gut. So having random, all of a sudden “I’m 35 and I have some food sensitivities” that would definitely be driven by over exercising as well.
B: Ok so that’s quite the long list.
B: There are a lot of symptoms associated. So Ali are there any benefits to high intensity interval training or HIIT training, or is it just depleting?
A: Yeah so, like I said, in the beginning, you can definitely get that surge of HGH assuming that you’re not in a state of adrenal insufficiency to start with, and also assuming that you don’t become conditioned to it. So I recommend in general if you are someone that is not dealing with hypothyroidism, so if your thyroid is healthy, even if it’s not autoimmune, even if it’s just clinical hypothyroidism, I don’t recommend a low thyroid individual to do HIIT, period. But for someone who has a healthy functioning thyroid and they’re not dealing with adrenal fatigue, so a lot of those symptoms I just mentioned, if you’re not dealing with any of those then absolutely the high intensity training could be appropriate 2, at max 3 times a week, and then rotating that otherwise with aerobic activity and then lean body mass resistance training paired with stretching would be a good way. And I recommend regardless taking at least 1, but I recommend taking 2 days a week off and just taking gentle, passive movement on those days.
B: And then any key movements or practices that you would recommend to incorporate?
A: Yeah absolutely so, like I said, this movement is great so aerobic movement, lean body mass resistance, all incorporate cadence and resilient rebounding activities like deep breathing yoga, but toning the core, I cannot emphasize enough, like I said, for hormonal transition for aging, for back health but toning the core is so important for, again, digestive health and for your circulatory and lymphatic flow. Remember that in a restful state, a majority of your blood flow is in your centralized area by all your vital organs and your digestive tract. So upregulating your core through movement enhances your lymphatic flow, your circulatory flow, and that can help with sexual hormone balance and also detoxification. So planks with their many variations, so you know starting in a plank, I don’t recommend plank challenges as far as you’ll see online or on Pinterest like 3-5 minutes plank challenges, I’m not a fan of that because that can actually cause an umbilical hernia like you can actually distress your abdomen muscles, so using planks more with variations and I don’t recommend going over a minute of plank, but doing them for multiple reps I guess would be the term.
B: You can tell we’re not gym people.
A: Multiple reps of planks like doing 5 sets, if you will, of minutes planks are great, and then working variations within planks so beyond the standard plank, doing rocking on your toes, lifting a leg for 20 reps of movement, and then relaxing then doing another plank for 30 seconds and that 30 seconds on lifting up that left legs for 20 movements and then relaxing, then doing a plank and extending your right arm out in the air, all of these different variations of planks are going to work different micro muscles and create different conduction within your muscle which is going to continue to strengthen the core and enhance the circulatory and lymphatic flow, so huge fan of planks and that can be done daily and incorporating variations within that, but again, not pushing each plank movement beyond a minute or so. Pushups would be another awesome things you can do at home for free. Modifications of pushups whether you start on your knees, whether you start on your forearms, whether you start on a wall, putting your feel on a couch or balance ball, this is a great way to incorporate the upper chest are and also the arms and should and upper back. Great way to still work that core region.
Squats would be another thing to work the glutes and, again, all of these things are lean body mass so we’re actually creating more thermogenesis or caloric burn versus like we discussed in the beginning of this episode how exercise sometimes deplete your basal metabolic rate if we’re not creating the micronutrient deficiency and if were not distressing the adrenals and the thyroid were not going to have to see that BMR drop as we would with chronic exercising. So these types of things, planks, pushups, squats are great, even incorporating 5-10 lb. arm weights so this is something that I did pre-Stella and then started doing at like 6 months out because I had this ongoing paranoia of I call it the Hello Irma. It’s like the chicken wing, you know? Yeah the mom arm. I have a huge paranoia of having mom arms and so I do little 5 -7 minute movement with my arm weight for my one show a night that I watch and I try to keep my weights next to the couch so they’re kind of visually there and I just do it. You just kind of surrender and do it so any combination of things like curls, so like whether you’re doing micro curls or macrocurls so macrocurls would be a full arm bend, microcurls would be those little tray lifts which works different areas of the arm, pushbacks would be a great thing for the triceps as well as side adductions, like making T’s with your arms and you can do little circles with your weights above the ahead also for your triceps. So all different movement you can do in reps of 20s and do 2-3 sets and incorporate planks throughout. That’s a great at home resistance training and then walking your dog, walking a stroller, walking yourself and listening to our podcast is a great add-on to this. Another thing I want to mention for you guys that I did a lot when I was doing my research with MD Anderson with breast cancer, was sun salutations. Sun salutations are an awesome thing as far as helping- we worked on this when women were getting their chest expanders put in, after they had had a mastectomy, before they had reconstructive surgery, because a big concern is lymphedema. And so the sun salutations are that kind of classic, and you know more than I do as a yoga instructor, but that kind of classic is it called a shivasan – what is it called – movement?
B: A Vinyasa.
B: A vinyasa is the whole movement. But could do even a modified sun salutation where you kind of reach up for the sky, take a breath and, you want to do it all with breath and then bend over touch your toes, or get as close as you can. It’s the halfway lift and the step back into a plank and the lower down and the up dog and the downdog and then going back is the full vinyasa. Even just doing a modification of that, of reaching up to the sky with one breath, lowering down to the floor with another, looking up halfway and then coming back up would be sufficient.
B: But I like it with the whole plank and the updog because that really works the lymphatic flow and works the core into it and it is intentional and purposeful and it is movement and it really can help to boost your metabolism because it could also help to harness your HPA axis you can actually be working to rebound your adrenals versus burn out your adrenals by doing some of this kind of focused therapeutic movement, so love that, and with that being said, the last thing I’ll mention as far as movement is foam roller. So foam roller I generally recommend patients to use in their evening ritual, or their sleep hygiene, as I call it, and I think adults need sleep hygiene just like babies and children do, so how you can incorporate different movements into your foam roller which can help to get into your fascia and release all of that tension of the day and create circulation of that lactic acid buildup and help with glycine and all of those relaxing compounds in the body that we want to create circulatory flow of and that can help with lubrication because there’s that whole “if you don’t use it you’ll lose it” type thing and you know again, this is not anti exercise episode we want you guys to be moving your bodies on a daily basis and we want you to incorporate beyond just passive movement like washing your dishes and parking your car further and all of those, kind of, whatever things you hear in a corporate meeting. We want you to incorporate intentional movement as well, which enhances your longevity versus burns that candle at high heat and creates the burnout.
B: I love that I think that makes so much sense and it’s well put.
A: Thank you.
B: It speaks to me anyway. So I know you always like to work food into every conversation, so let’s talk about what the best pre- and post-workout fuel would be.
A: Absolutely. So if you are in a state of ketosis or if you pause this and purchased on of the last spots and you’re going into ketosis, you can exercise in a fasted state. In fact they’re doing a lot of studies now and a lot of Olympic athletes and NFL players and professional athletes are using fat as fuel because it can be more sustained, it’s less irregular than glucose or blood sugar so you can exercise in a fasted state. And that would mean you could just drink water and go to the gym. And that goes against everything I used to tell people, but that’s if your body’s adapted to using fat as fuel. Now beyond that, if you want it have a little bit of grounding fat to hold over your appetite, you could do like a fat bomb or you could do keto coffee pre workout and all that could work just fine.
Now of those of you that are not in ketosis and are not fat adapted and are using blood glucose as a fuel, not on the high octane stuff as fat, you do want to have something pre-gym because otherwise your liver’s going to be working in overtime because your liver was just managing your blood sugar while you slept now you’re waking up, the whole point of breakfast is breaking the fast so if you’re not in keto, and you’re waking up and going in to exercise now the liver’s working beyond a 12 hours shift or 8 hour shift and it’s continuing to try to surge and create blood sugar for your system so you don’t crash. I definitely recommend you to have something like nut butter, or even a small or moderate carb like a small piece of fruit with nut butter or a little bit of Greek yogurt with berries pre workout, or you could do just fat and protein like an hard boiled eggs with nuts, but definitely something that incorporates a little bit of fat and a moderate amount of carb or a little bit of protein and al little bit of fat would be fine pre workout.
And post workout is the most important time if you’re doing carbs to do carbs because this is going to refill your glycogen stores, and prevent muscle depletion or a deterioration or really significant breakdown. Things like rhabdomyolysis where we get substantial muscle wasting and can actually get some clinical physiological concerns. So repleting your glycogen stores with glucose or carbohydrate foods would be best within 20 minutes of your exercise, and that’s going to refill that storage in the muscle and also help you with muscle gains. Also, protein within 20 minutes of your exercise at least 20 g of biological protein is super important post workout and that’s going to help to rebuild your amino acids that were depleted or kind of lost in the tearing of your musculature. If you don’t have that protein within 20 minutes, and that’s like a magic number, a half hour would be great, but if you don’t have that protein that soon after workout, your body’s going to catabolize or eat its own muscle as fuel so definitely important.
B: So we could do like a scoop of grass-fed whey with almond milk and even throw that in a ball jar or shaker or something.
B: If you don’t live close by to your gym, because that is a short window.
A: Yeah and you could pair that with a small piece of fruit and call it a day for sure. You could make a smoothie and any of our smoothie in the Naturally Nourished Cookbook would be great options for you there because they all incorporate that grass-fed whey, you could also pre-blend your smoothie pre-workout and then bring it and then kind go just shake it or keep it in a cooler. You could do a frittata like a slice of an egg frittata or have eggs and veggies and that’d be a great time to incorporate sweet potatoes in there, but I love your recommendation Becki of your Naturally Nourished Grass-Fed Whey because it is the most bioavailable so especially if you’re doing substantial muscle utilization in your exercise, like if you’re using weights in a gym, you definitely want to go for the grass-fed whey over something like eggs, because you’re going to be able to use those amino acids or repair that muscle that was torn.
B: Awesome I think that’s super helpful. And then, lastly, if you are experiencing the adrenal fatigue or thyroid issues, what are just a couple of quickies because I know we have episodes on both of these but a couple quick supplements and food as medicine support.
A: Yes so I would definitely recommend the Adrenal Support Bundle, which has the Adrenal Support Supplement which is a glandular, so it actually has adrenal gland in there, it has B6, and it helps to rebound the adrenals so helps with anyone dealing with that chronic fatigue syndrome influence. Then it also has Adaptogen Boost, which is for stress induced fatigue and Calm and Clear, to help to regulate our stress response. Both levels of stress in wired and stress and tired so the Adrenal Support Bundle is a great thing if you are someone that is a chronic exerciser you’re not willing to give it up, get on the adrenal bundle so you don’t burn out those glands or you can start to at least work uphill and recover the glands in the process of active overuse. So definitely an important thing and I have all of Crossfitters on the Adrenal Support Bundle as an example. Boost and Burn would be another one if you’re dealing with that fatigue and you want to optimize your fat burn that has L-carnitine and carnitine converts body fat as the best fuel source. So if you’re done a lot of that anaerobic exercise you want to get the best bang for your back can maintain muscle mass while burning fast, Boost and Burn would be a great option for you there. It also has ribose which can help with energy production and manufacturing in the body.
So great for sustained active energy and using the fat as fuel and then foods, I would say matcha would be a great one to consider so adding matcha powder to your smoothies would be a wonderful things to do, that’s going to help to tonify that pituitary gland which helps to stimulate both the adrenals and the thyroid and can help with things like oxytocin, bliss factor, libido so getting matcha in on a daily basis can help to preserve both the adrenals and the thyroid gland and optimize that pituitary for a while system approach. And about 2 teaspoons can be tossed in to your smoothies and then vitamin C would be another good thing, your adrenals are actually your highest storage gland of vitamin C in the body, a lot of people don’t know that. Check out on our blog the Adrenal Rehab Shake which incorporates the juice of an entire lemon, it incorporates buffered C powder, it incorporates an pretty copious amount of salt, to work with the aldosterone and sodium regulation in the adrenal glands, and I believe maybe turmeric in there but it’s a really good anti-inflammatory adrenal supporting compound and it literally drinks like a Gatorade. So really good also post workout fuel that you could consider adding in in that grass-fed whey to be more of a comprehensive option or you could take it as a shooter and do a smoothie.
B: And then the grass-fed whey, I just want to mention, we do have a coupon code that we’ve had for a while but it is still on. It’s PODCAST20 all caps for 20% off of the naturally nourished grass-fed whey.
A: Awesome, yeah, absolutely.
B: Ok so I hope that we have really allowed some of you listening to give yourself permission to mellow out and focus more on your food and dietary intake as a greater driver of body composition versus beating up your body and expecting it to be good to you all the time.
A: For sure.
B: So on the other hand, be mindful of incorporating movement. Be kind to your body and likely it will respond favorable. And breath is really key and listening to feedback from your body is essential. As always, if you think this is you and you’re not getting outcomes from our simple solutions, just consider working with a practitioner for advanced testing and you can find out more on alimillerrd.com under My Clinic, the Labs tab or you can just apply to become a client.
A: Awesome, so thank you all for listening, as Becki said. Permission slip to mellow out and deep breath and incorporate function movement on a daily basis but be kind to your body. And as always, take a moment if you can to jump over to ITunes, leave us a review it really helps Becki and I to continue our work to put out quality content to you guys and we are happy and thrilled and grateful to continue to support your wellness journey.
Thank you for listening to the naturally nourished podcast. Visit our blog at AliMillerRD.Com for recipes, wellness tips, and food as medicine meal plans. Connect with Ali and Becki at alimillerrd on Instagram, twitter, and Facebook. Until next time, stay nourished and be well.