Exercise: Planned and purposeful physical activity that challenges the physiology of the human body.
Like eating vegetables, everyone knows that having a helping of exercise daily is good for us. Unlike vegetables, however, too much exercise may not necessarily be a good thing. Here at Hilton Head Health, when it comes to implementing exercise into a healthy lifestyle, we believe that quality is always more important than quantity. During our weight loss program and wellness program, we offer our Guests over 50 different fitness classes as well as fitness adventures to help improve fitness, as well as help with weight loss and wellness. However, we also understand that moderation is key.
Maybe you’re thinking to yourself, “No I need quantity. I need to burn as many calories as I can as quickly as I can to shed all of this weight off”. If you’re thinking like that, listen carefully. If you’re not thinking like that, good for you and continue reading to find out why you should be proud of yourself. Regardless of what you’re thinking right now, the point is that quality is more important than quantity.
When we exercise, we are essentially damaging our bodies. Luckily the human body does an amazing thing and it heals itself! Not only that but when we challenge our physiology the way we typically do when we exercise, the human body does more than just heal itself. It makes itself even better! It does this so that the next time it is challenged in the same way, it will be able to accomplish that task more efficiently. Like mankind inventing the wheel, your body has the ability to re-invent itself in new ways in order to make your life easier.
In order for these physiological adaptations to happen, your body needs proper nutrition and time to recover. It is not uncommon for people (especially those on a weight-loss journey) to not only overexercise but also to skip meals. However, remember exercise is technical damage. Imagine that your cells and hormones are like little engineers and construction workers in your body. When you exercise, you are bulldozing old structures to make way for newer better structures. When we fuel ourselves with proper nutrition we are supplying our engineers and construction workers with tools to re-design and re-construct. So combine constant bulldozing with minimal new supplies. All that gets you is a giant junkyard. What does that mean for the human body? Injury! Overexercise (A.K.A. too much quantity = injury). When we reach this point, we not only have to re-design and re-construct; we also have a lot of cleaning up to do before we can even start. This clean up that results from injury will slow you down with your health and wellness goals. So while quantity may sound appealing at first, it may be counterproductive in your healthy lifestyle endeavors.
Well, now exercise seems like a bad thing. I don’t want to injure myself. What should I do?
The American College of Sports Medicine (The Golden Standard) recommends that we aspire to reach 5 or more days/week of 30-60 minutes/day of quality exercise. This 30-60 minutes is your time to challenge yourself. This is your time to bulldoze the parts of yourself that you don’t want anymore. Make these workouts count! During the times you are not exercising, be sure to get in a quality breakfast, lunch and dinner sprinkled with a few healthy snacks in between. Be sure to get 7-8 hours of sleep. And be sure to include stretching, rolling out and massage as a priority in your healthy lifestyle. These times of eating right, sleeping well and relaxing are the times that your body’s construction workers and engineers need in order to re-design and recreate a better you.
Keep in mind that rebuilding a city does not happen overnight. Neither does changing your body. Work interdependently as a team with your body in order to make the most amazing city you’ve ever lived in! Make your city a quality city, not a junkyard!
Remember, moderation is always key!