Dr. Scott Collie D.C.C.N

Categorized | Getting Fit

Can Too Much Exercise Go Against You?

Many people believe that the longer and more frequently you exercise the better shape you will be in. This is not necessarily true.

Burning too much fat too fast can actually cause more weight gain and even chronic health issues to slowly develop. You can see these people at the gym who basically live there and never seem to change, lose weight, bulk up and may even appear unhealthy. There are certain individuals that are healthy enough to exercise more frequently and make gains but very few. You see, exercise is stress to the body and the stress of exercise needs to be physiologically handled just like any other type of stress that comes into contact with us such as emotional stress, dietary stress, toxic stress, painful stress, stress from medications etc..Our bodies do not differentiate stresses. So for instance, if a person has a high stress lifestyle, doesn’t sleep well, poor inorganic diet, is on several medications and has chronic neck or back pain the last thing this person should do is exercise for hours a day several days a week. This result of this leads eventually to adrenal gland fatigue (these are the powerful little glands that rest right on top of you kidneys that are responsible for acting under stress) This also leads to a chronic inflammatory state and even blood sugar issues allowing the possibility of weight gain partially due to this. The body is unable to recover and grow from exercise because chronic inflammation and high cortisol (the stress hormone that the adrenal glands make to “cool off” inflammation) block Growth Hormone which is the powerful hormone necessary to build muscle and allow fat burning. High inflammation and high cortisol also down regulates this persons thyroid from functioning properly, in turn, slowing down metabolism and again promoting weight gain. This snowball of dysfunction just gets bigger and I can go on forever but bottom line this person is just a big sugar burning factory and unable to burn fat. Hormones like insulin and cortisol and an inflamed body stimulate Lipoprotein Lipase, the enzyme responsible for fat storage. The best advice for this person is to address the stress and health issues first by seeing the right physician and keeping exercise down to a level where they are just keeping it mellow with walking, bike riding, yoga, low intensity Pilates etc…

Once this person addresses their health issues to where they are eating healthy, sleeping soundly, not experiencing chronic pain and some reduction in their high-stress lifestyle they may be ready to become fat-burning machines and exercise is a great way to take advantage of this. You see we burn fat not while we are exercising but much later than the actual event, up to 48 hours! Fat burning takes place by stimulating hormones like testosterone, growth hormone, glucagon and adrenaline. These hormones stimulate the enzyme Hormone Sensitive Lipase. This enzyme is responsible to allow free fatty acids to be released from adipose (fat) tissue, lipolysis, or “fat burning”. So how is the best way to stimulate these fat burning hormones? The best way to stimulate the hormones in order to stimulate the enzymes is to perform high-intensity short burst exercises, like sprints for example. This type of exercise is not necessary for more than 20-30 minutes a day to obtain results. Over training this way can again cause too much stress to the body putting you back into the snowballing effect previously discussed above.

Also do not get discouraged if the scale moves slow on this type of regimen, for you can truly only burn up to about 2 lbs. / week but it is true fat burning and the way to a better, leaner YOU!

Leave a Reply