Day in and day out you, drag yourself to the gym and climb on the treadmill where you jog for hours on end. You’re wearing yourself out in your effort to shed pounds and you’re wondering why you’re not losing like you thought you would. The more you exercise, the more calories you burn, right? Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. There is such a thing as too much exercise. The trick is finding the right balance.
For good health, you need 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week. Some exercise scientists recommend 60 minutes of exercise a day if you want to lose weight. Unfortunately, this can backfire. Here’s why.
Physical activity requires energy. When you expend a lot of energy, your body’s energy stores must be replenished. A post-workout snack is a recommended part of fitness. Your muscles worked hard and need nutrients to repair and grow. This is why after a workout, it’s normal to feel hungry. But after an extra-long workout, what do you feel? Extra hungry.
Studies show those who exercise for an hour or longer end up eating more throughout the day. The danger comes when you excuse your food choices on the intense workout you had that morning. Those miles of running certainly give you the right to a milkshake at lunch, right? Wrong. Wouldn’t a candy bar be a great reward for a hard workout? No. All the calories you burned during your workout can be gained back in a few bites or sips if you’re not careful.
After a tough workout, you must be extra picky about what you choose to eat and be on your guard against overeating. Many people find that keeping a food journal helps them control their eating habits.
A second reason those who engage in half an hour of moderate-intensity exercise end up losing as much or more weight than those who exercise more than an hour has to do with the effect exercise has on your energy level. You know one of the many proven benefits of regular exercise is a boost in energy. That’s why anyone who’s feeling depressed, lazy, and dragged out would do well to get up and move around. However, exercising too hard and too long can have the opposite effect.
Yes, you burned a great number of calories during your long workout, but the rest of the day you feel depleted and fatigued, so you wind up burning fewer calories as the day progresses, as all you do is lay around and play video games or surf the web. Those who limit the length of their workouts are energized for an active lifestyle and move around more throughout the day.
Calorie Burn Plateaus
Researchers say your body is programmed to expend around the same number of calories each day. Exercise is good for you, helps burn calories, and aids in weight loss, but only up to a point. So if you burn a lot of calories during an intense workout, your body will burn fewer calories at rest. In a sense, your body adapts to exercise, hits a plateau, and stops burning as many calories. When your body overdoes it during a workout, it’s like your body prepares itself for expending the same amount of energy on an ongoing basis and holds onto extra energy stores for the future.
All that to say, you’ll lose as much if not more weight from a moderate amount of exercise. That’s good news, right? So get exercising!
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If you live in the Gilbert area, treat yourself right by calling or emailing today to get started on an exercise program that will change your life for the best.