Getting In Shape… Getting started is half the battle!

Exercise and I have never really gotten along well, part of the reason is all my health issues over the years that have made me face daily pain etc. A year ago, just over actually I took the major step to take care of the majority of this pain and although I do still have some pain still I am feeling much better. Ive tried a few very low intensity exercise options that although felt great, didn’t offer me the results I was hoping to achieve. Being someone who is results motivated and gets bored easy, if Im not feeling or seeing any results or am losing interest in the routines I lose motivation. I also wanted and needed to find something to work with my body and my health issues…

The big picture is always the best picture, but the little things are what truly matters most ♥ 🙂

A friend told me about Jillian Michaels and her 90 Day Body Revolution… Ive heard a lot about Jillian’s programs and what a hard ass she is… part of me has been scared – for obvious reasons of course. So I read up on it. With having PCOS, Endometriosis and Hypothyroidism my metabolism is awful, my energy level not great at all, especially if I am having any pain and if/when I eat the wrong food it either sticks like glue or gives me more pain. All these illnesses I have are ones I will have forever and must learn to live with…

From what I read on Jillian’s website it intrigued me. This was designed to kick start your metabolism and the way she has designed it is to keep your heart rate going up AND down during the exercises. One thing that I read is important for someone with PCOS and Hypothyroidism, just doing cardio is not good for your body as its sudden massive spurts of exercise. To further complement what I read previously in Chatelaine they have written another article on exercise and hormones and pointing out its more important to do circuit training – working a lot of different muscles in one session…  See that article here -> http://www.chatelaine.com/health/how-to-balance-your-hormones-with-exercise/ and read the article that Ive pasted below

So Tuesday began Day 1 with Jillian. The day I received my package 🙂 !

I was excited to arrive home, with the kids, go to start dinner to only realize I couldn’t until hubby got home with eggs… well why not just jump right into the program… with not only both kids but now also the dog – wondering what the heck mommy is doing on the floor and not wanting to play with him 😉

The kids had a blast, they were little commentators on every single exercise and just how easy it was lol. They were running circles with me, down on the floor doing push ups and fighting over why they should get to use the weights instead of mommy… then the last 20 minutes of the program I was left alone 😉 The dog realized mommy wasn’t down on all fours to play with him and the kids didn’t need to exercise anymore

Day 2 began early for me. However the dog and boy were already up. At least this time the dog knew mommy meant business and to just stay back until I was done. The boy didn’t bother exercising with me, rather kept up his commentary duties helping me along with each exercise and just how easy they looked. The exercises at this point are “easy” but when put all together they are a friggin fantastic, sweat dripping off my body, muscles feeling a good sore and just overall awesome (out of breath and slightly faint) feeling.

Surprising myself not only did I get up early and do my routine (because I knew we were having company for dinner and wasn’t sure I could get it done, but I also did another routine before bed – Cardio 1!).

Ive now finished week 1 of 12!!!

🙂 I only have 11 more to go!!! AND I am loving it, I am feeling amazing and energized and over all just great! I am also SO happy to have the support of not only my husband, but also my kids!

Ive crossed my fingers that this is finally IT for me. I LOVE how she has mixed up her routines and sessions. It’s a LOT of getting up and down but it keeps it interesting AND so very doable because it is a great mix.

I will not be posting any photos of me working out lol however a blog post just feels naked without a photo… so here is my loves, Friday night playing games! ❤

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How to balance your hormones with exercise

Find what kind of exercise and how much of it is best for maintaining a healthy hormone balance.

The biggest lesson that my patients learn when they first come to see me is that when it comes to exercise and its effect on hormones, I believe more is not always better. As a naturopathic doctor, I find this is especially true for patients who are exhibiting symptoms of adrenal distress, underactive thyroid, compromised immunity, sleep disruption, difficulty winding down at the end of the day, or poor recovery from their workouts. Instead, incorporate the suggestions below to boost your results and balance your hormones this year.

Less is more

Unless you are an athlete training for a specific sport or event, workout sessions that last longer than 45 minutes are not necessary and may even be harmful. Although exercise is a wonderful long-term stress reliever, lengthy workouts can definitely crank up your cortisol levels. Cortisol is destructive to muscle tissue, especially when it’s present without the muscle-protective hormones, growth hormone and testosterone. A study done at the University of North Carolina showed a strong relationship between elevated cortisol and decreased testosterone that was most dramatic 30 minutes after endurance exercise to exhaustion. Keeping your workouts shorter, though still intense, will help prevent excessive cortisol release and will also improve your recovery time.

No rest for the wicked

To achieve both hormonal balance and aesthetic results, I recommend circuit training, which works multiple muscle groups in one session. For maximum benefits, complete your exercises with little rest between each circuit, which keeps your heart rate high throughout your workout. When you use this method, you basically get your cardio workout and resistance training all in one shorter session. Circuit training is also the best type of workout for improving insulin response (up to 23 percent, according to one study!), boosting testosterone and stimulating growth hormone—so you spend less time exercising while reaping even more benefits.

Hormone-enhancing yoga

Along with challenging and stretching your muscles, yoga can lower blood cortisol levels, reduce adrenalin and stimulate brain-calming GABA. Numerous studies, including one by the Boston University School of Medicine, have found that yoga may be superior to other forms of exercise in its positive effect on mood and anxiety. It’s known to reduce adrenalin and stimulate the calming brain chemical GABA. So if you have excess ab fat, sleep disruption or anxiety, yoga is a stellar workout choice. I don’t recommend skimping on the weight training or cardio, but I do advise adding in a yoga session (class or DVD) one to two times a week.

Keep weights and cardio separate

Although I’ve personally used the weights-then-cardio approach for years, I certainly didn’t come up with the idea. A study from the University of Tokyo found that people who did a total-body strength workout before cycling burned 10 percent more fat than participants who only cycled. The author of the study, Dr. Kazushige Goto, also found that less fat was burned and less growth hormone was released by the group that completed cardio followed by weights. At the same time, adding cardio to the end of a particularly taxing weight-training session can cause a spike in your cortisol, because the entire workout ends up being too long and stressful. For these reasons, I recommend you do your weights and cardio sessions at separate times, if your schedule permits. If you do wish to do them together, do your cardio after your strength training, keep it short and stick to intervals for maximum benefits.

Go heavy or go home

Ladies, don’t be afraid to lift heavier weights. Just make sure you use proper form so you don’t run the risk of injuring yourself. Heavier weights tone muscle and boost growth hormone much more than the lighter weights most women tend to use. A study led by William J. Kraemer at the University of Connecticut at Storrs found greater gains of growth hormone in women who did fewer repetitions with heavier weights than in those who did higher reps with moderate weight. His research showed that women who underwent six months of moderate- or high-intensity strength training and aerobic exercise had higher amounts of growth hormone.

Natasha Turner, N.D. is a naturopathic doctor, Chatelaine magazine columnist, and author of the bestselling books The Hormone Diet and her newest release, The Supercharged Hormone Diet, now available across Canada. She is also the founder of the Toronto-based Clear Medicine Wellness Boutique.

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