Wait…did I read that right, stopped working out? I know, it’s crazy for me to believe as well. I used to be a collegiate cheerleader, I spent over 4 hours a day, 6 days per week being active. I have never known anything but that because that is what my sport required from me. However, it wasn’t until I “retired” from collegiate cheerleading and started to work an 8-5 that I quickly learned just how harmful that had been for my health. The more educated I became through my supervised practice to become a Registered Dietitian, the more I learned about alternative health options and testing techniques. I began to research studies, read books, attend professional conferences, and even get the testing done myself.
Personally, I had the luxury of finding a physician that would test all of these things for myself to determine my baseline. Although most of my general serum labs such as blood sugar, lipid panel, thyroid, electrolytes, etc. came back within normal limits, my intracellular nutrient analysis did not (see image). How could this be, I eat a whole foods diet (and a lot of it) rich in organic fruits and vegetables, grass-fed meats, and very rarely enjoy processed foods or alcohol?! The sad truth is that our food supply today is not nearly what it once was. Even buying organic produce, you are getting a fraction of the vitamins and minerals that you would have 50 years ago. Despite this, I was chronically stressing my body day in and day out. Although I was only working out for about an hour-in-a-half, 5-6 days per week, this coupled with my life stress was clearly too much for my body to handle. My antioxidant and immune testing results came back SEVERELY depleted for my age group. Being that my own father suffered with cancer just 3 years ago, this was of huge concern to me since oxidative stress is the main culprit in chronic diseases like cancer. This opened my eyes that something needed to change and although I was eating a pristine diet and exercising daily, this clearly wasn’t working.Here is what I have learned and how that influenced me to completely 180 my lifestyle.
So are you telling me to never work out again? NO! I still believe daily exercise and movement is super important for general health, disease prevention, cognition, stress-reduction, and more. However, I believe there is a fine line between its benefit and its harm. If you know that you are currently under a great deal of stress at work or with life in general, dialing back on your physical activity may be more of benefit to you. If you are sacrificing a solid 7-9 hours of sleep every night just to work out before work in the morning, it may benefit you more to instead sleep in and skip your morning workout some days. Remember, your hormones rule all. If your hormones aren’t happy, then you are running an uphill battle. Far too often when we are stuck in a weight loss plateau it’s not because of lack of physical activity or our nutrition, it’s due to stress and hormonal imbalances that are preventing us from shedding those unwanted pounds.I would love to hear what your experience is with life stress and physical activity. Does it help you or have you noticed it just makes matters worse?#METABOLISM #sportsnutrition #vitaminsnutrition #nutritionscience #dietitiannutrition #nutritioninformation #nutrition #supplementsnutrition #micronutrient #testing