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5 Tips for Balanced Exercise and Weight Loss

Springtime can cause a buzz about fad diets and new exercise crazes that promote weight loss, and while some may work, in the long run, I have found that it causes imbalance in the body and in the mind! At one time, I was a complete exercise-olic!! (A made up word, for addicted to exercise) :). I participated in two marathons, did weight training, spinning, boxing, etc. It never dawned on me to ask myself if i wanted to work out, rather it was when will I fit the hour into my already very demanding schedule! Some days I would leave feeling energized while other days I would feel wiped out, but continued with it all over again the following day!  Yes, at the time it felt like this was the best way to take care of myself, and although the marathons did bring a sense of accomplishment, I later discovered how out of balance this way of living was. Also my adrenal glands became completely drained, which caused extra weight and water to hang on to my body. Today I have a whole different perspective on exercise, which is about balance, and a peaceful mind/body connection!

Here are five facts and tips about exercise and weight gain:

1. Exercise to tap into your body, not to burn calories: The focus of exercise should never be about a reward mentality  For example, “I am going to run 3 miles today so I can have chocolate cake tonight.” This automatically sets up an imbalance in your body by creating a negative feeling behind forcing yourself to exercise and also eating the chocolate cake. Both should be enjoyable experiences, not I must to this so I can do that!  If the feeling behind exercise is one of anger and frustration, you will only be setting yourself up for more anger and frustration, hence weight gain! If the intention behind your exercise routine is one of feeling good, enjoying the way your body feels and allowing your mind to be present to the activity, you will reap the benefits of whatever it is you choose. Which leads us to the  next tip!

2. Choose a routine that you love: This can change over time or even daily. It can be a casual walk with your dog, or going for a bike ride.  The point is to find something you really enjoy that doesn’t stress you out. You shouldn’t have to eat more or drink caffeine just to make it though your exercise routine.

3. Excessive exercise can cause weight gain: After time the adrenal glands become taxed which causes your body to go into fight or flight syndrome. The body thinks it is under attack and needs to hold onto food for extra energy and survival. Think of your whole nervous system being in a constant state of stress. The body has to work overtime to function which causes it to hold on to extra weight and water, especially in the mid section. If you feel like your body is working way to hard to maintain your routine, it probably is. You may having signs of: needing more caffeine, waking up sluggish, inconsistent bowel movements, low energy in the morning, unable to sleep at night, feeling jittery throughout your day, unable to sit still, experiencing mood swings. This is your body’s way of telling you to slow down, it needs a rest.

4. Listen to your body:This is easier said then done. We all have a million and one things to accomplish in a day and with all of this comes noise: street traffic, radio, kids, coworkers. Along with your own thoughts that race through your head, this can make it very difficult to listen to our bodies and go on automatic pilot ie; eat when you are not hungry, over eat, exercise when  your body needs to rest, push yourself to get more “stuff” done.  It is important to start paying attention to signals that your body will send you, this may take some alone time and you will possibly find some activities and food choices that do not serve you any longer.  Find courage and strength to listen and take the action of letting go of what your body does not like and replace it with a healthier choice.

5. Be Mindful of Food Choices: One of the easiest ways to create a healthy body is to feed it higher quality foods; Greens, fresh fruits, vegetables, smoothies, Legumes. If you are a meat eater, go organic or try incorporating a vegetarian day or two out of your week.  Eating foods that are unprocessed promote healthy cells, help with cleansing the system and in turn allows the body to become balanced naturally, without the manipulation of exercise or trying to control it in any way by “dieting”. The body is constantly renewing itself, replacing old with new. Cells in the stomach take about four days to renew, skin cells are renewed every month. Start renewing yourself at any time with healthier food choices;

Where can you make healthier choices with your exercise mind set? How can you feel more balanced in your body? I would love to hear your thoughts and comments, and I welcome any questions you may have.

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