Monday, September 15, 2008

Are you Addicted to Exercise?

It's getting cool where I live. The leaves haven't started to change yet, but I think it's going to happen soon.

Truth be told, I love this season..the time in between summer and fall when it's the PERFECT temperature outside.

And since this won't last long (fall is coming fast) I took some time today to sit outside and catch up on my reading.

There is lots of great fasting research that has come out lately, but what I really want to tell you about is an exercise study that I found to be depressing.

Yes, a depressing research study...let me explain.

Researchers from the UK took 58 women who exercised at least 4 times per week, and forced them to take 3 days off of from exercise.

The Researchers found that compared to the control group, the women who took part in the forced 3 day lay-off had developed a higher level of body dissatisfaction.

So with a 3 day lay off, these active women began to feel less happy with their bodies...

In my opinion this just isn't right.

Just like how I believe you should not be a slave to nutrition and that healthy eating should be simple and enjoyable, you workouts should be enjoyable too.

I see too many people these days who are almost DESPERATELY ACTIVE.

Running, jogging, lifting, sprinting, lifting, stretching, even more lifting.

I get the feeling that they believe if they were to stop, (even for a second), they would start gaining fat.

It doesn't have to be this way. Your diet should prevent you from gaining weight.

And if you have the RIGHT diet, then you don't have to be obsessively working out all the time.

Which means you can actually enjoy exercise.

Enjoy lifting. Enjoy running.

Do it because you want to - not because you think you HAVE to.

My advice is to take the Eat Stop Eat lifestyle approach and apply it not just to your nutrition, but to your exercise plan as well.

Your training routine should revolve around the simplest, easiest methods that get you the results that you want.

If the idea of a 3 day lay off makes you feel panicky, perhaps its time you reassessed your relationship with exercise.

Train hard and train smart,



Stumble Upon Toolbar


sallyb said...

I agree! I've been using the 10 Minute Trainer & I love it. It's really about 14 min. after warm up and cool down, but I can fit that one into my day without feeling pressured to do it.

billy said...

I've always believed that there are artificial levels of fitness. Levels that, if you were, say, sick for a week or 2 and couldn't work out, you would lose.

These, I believe are created by compulsive dieters and exercisers. And they try to desperately cling to the artificial level of fitness they have created...

Alyson said...

I agree with what you're saying, but I'll just add that, being male, you might be missing an essential X chromosome to understand this study. I'm just one woman, but I can tell you that my body perception varies strongly according to what I do, and it ain't because I'm addicted to exercise or desperately active.

On two consecutive mornings I could have equal scale readings and, if I were using the tape, equal measurements; but if I'd had an extra snack and perhaps a dessert the day before, I'd turn sideways and glance at this and tug and tuck that and think, "Oh, bad." And if I'd eaten well or fasted the day before, I'd turn sideways and smile and think, "Doing great! Progress!" Alas. It's the way of being a woman, and perhaps it's related to that silly stereotype in which we reserve the right to change our minds. We really can change our entire take on "reality" based on short-term actions and situations just like skipping three workouts.

Not that your advice isn't still good, and the other commenter Billy has a point about artificial or perceived levels of fitness.