This week was all about movement, while still incorporating the ‘real food’ principle introduced in week one.
The idea behind this week is to become fitter, stronger and leaner with daily movement (think incidental exercise, brisk walking versus using the car, parking further away to your destination etc.) instead of a mostly sedentary lifestyle with bouts of structured workouts.
It’s really challenged me to rethink how I view exercise, as I tend to be all about hardcore cardio which has, in the past, been detrimental more than beneficial having suffered from secondary amenorrhea.
As Kate told me, “It’s such a shame that the current paradigm only gives hardcore exercise any value. It’s an attitude that becomes a deterrent to every day activity and movement because people think that it’s not doing anything. Being sedentary is pathological even if you train!”
Having quite a strict outlook on working out has really forced me to see exercise in a more relaxed way, while still figuring out ways to maintain my fitness results.
So what did I do?
– Walk everywhere and anywhere possible instead of taking public transport. It added up to be almost an hour of brisk walking every day. Not a bad way to get fresh air and some vitamin D, too.
– Swapped my high-impact cardio gym classes (Body combat and body pump) for yoga classes (mainly Vinyasa). While it’s still a ‘structured’ type of movement, it’s allowed me to reduce my cortisol (stress hormone) levels that usually comes from vigorous exercise while also getting the strength and toning results I want.
– House cleaning. Yep, vacuuming, mopping up the floor and cleaning the kitchen clocks up some incidental exercise during my day.
Possibly the biggest lesson Kate shares in this week is that for many people (particularly women) exercise can make you gain weight! As mentioned, vigorous exercise increases the stress hormone cortisol, the very one which is linked with abdominal weight gain.
I’ve experienced this first-hand myself, being a slave to working out hardcore style (think running, cardio classes and weights regularly). But I’ve been kinder to my body by committing myself to doing more yoga instead of these vigorous workouts and am surprisingly still getting the same results (hello, toned arms!) without the added stress. Although, I can’t help doing Xtend Barre classes because I enjoy them more than I did running or the gym which means it doesn’t even feel like exercise! Winning 🙂
Will continue to keep you updated on my progress!