When it comes to exercise what are your first thoughts? Is it time consuming? A source of punishment for you? Trying to reshape your body comp? These are a lot of different misconceptions about exercise, however, no one is talking about optimizing them for YOUR specific make up.
As an exercise physiologist and a soon to be Primal Health Coach, my conception of exercise was challenge. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends healthy individuals get 150 minutes per week of moderate-vigorous exercise (usually cardio focused). However, going through the Primal Health Institute, that recommendation for exceeds what humans need in both duration and intensity.
However for me, everyone should be active but it should be to the intensity and duration your body needs. It is recommended to workout at 180-age to equal your maximum aerobic heart rate. This is the sweet spot for optimal results. The important thing is to remember that exercise is the icing on top of the cake in changing your body composition. If you truly want to change your physique, look at your diet as you can’t exercise off a poor diet.
You may feel overwhelmed with all this information as it challenges everything you thought exercise was. It isn’t about “no rest days” or the “gym grind” it is about optimizing your gene expression to reflect the goals you want to see. Try doing these 4 tips and see how your body and mind change in regards to exercise!
Tip 1: Don’t focus on Calories Burned vs Calories Consumed
This is a hot topic in the exercise world as many make it seem that it is only about calories in and calories out. The only possible way to get those results is by being in a lab. What you should focus on is how the calories are utilized. In a chronic exercise state, the body becomes more dependent on carbs for energy via glucose and storing that energy (in the form of fat) for the next bout of exercise. A way to optimize your fat burning ability is to keep the intensity are 180-age, quick bursts of energy through sprinting, and lifting heavy things.
Tip 2: Focus on Feeling Refreshed and Energized not Fatigued
A lot of people work out at too high of an intensity or for too long to feel the burn. After these intense sessions, you often feel tired, consuming excessive carbs, and disturbing the stress recovery balance. To avoid this pick activities that make you feel energized. This could be going for hikes, Pilates classes, weight lifting, etc. The goal is to ensure that you allow your body to recover and use the calories as fuel not storage.
Tip 3: Increase your Overall Activity Level
There is a new phrase on the block called “the active sweet potato”. These are individuals who exercise for an hour minimum, but then are sedentary the rest of the day. This is just as harmful to your health as being completely inactive! Therefore, it is important to be more active throughout the day. A great option is going for a 5-15-minute walk after each meal, taking the stairs, walking to the furthest bathroom, and more!
Tip 4: Do a 21-day Primal Reset
Lastly, this doesn’t really have to do with exercise, but about how to optimize your energy levels for exercise. This 21-day diet focuses on primal ancestors diet of lots of vegetables, minimal fruit, high quality proteins, healthy fats, and nuts and seeds. This means removing processed foods, sugar, grains, gluten, dairy, soy, and legumes for 21-days. It may seem intimidating, but your body will thank you for this! You will change your genes to use fat for fuel, reduce risk of cardiovascular diseases, reset your gut, balance your hormones, and reduce the effects of again!
Personally, I would recommend the primal reset to give your body a fresh start if you aren’t already consuming a paleo diet. However, for those who have their nutrition on point, but feel stuck try out the 180-age method in your next workout! Don’t forget to share this your friends, relatives, or anyone looking to revamp their exercise routine!