Workout smarter not harder

“Chronically elevated cortisol levels can cause weight gain in some people, especially around the abdomen area. … It may sound surprising but training too hard can contribute to high cortisol and actually sabotage your health or weight loss goals.It may be why you are not seeing results from your workouts.” source

I like to keep cardio workouts to 30-45 minutes (shorter bursts for HIIT and Tabata; longer for low intensity steady state “LISS”) and strength/resistance (weight) training to 45 minutes in order to reduce negative impacts of cortisol.

Exercise training improves memory

Tons of evidence-based research is available online touting the benefits of working out…and while reducing weight/body fat and increasing energy may come to mind at first, cognitive benefits have just as much positive impact on quality of life and healthy aging.

In this Harvard Health article, read how the benefits of exercise – from reduced insulin resistance and inflammation to improved mood and sleep have a positive impact on cognition as well. Other “findings indicate that aerobic exercise training is effective at reversing hippocampal volume loss in late adulthood, which is accompanied by improved memory function.”

Forgetting and Falling- Research supports that exercise can help prevent both!

The top 2 fears I hear related to ageing are falling and becoming forgetful (dementia and Alzheimer’s disease). Fortunately, there is really strong evidence supporting the positive impact of lifestyle, particularly diet and exercise on reducing risk of both. From a few recent articles:

Exercise treatment is a very promising intervention for Alzheimer’s patients and is even an effective treatment for cognitive impairment in patients without Alzheimer’s.  …promising studies have shown that exercise enhances cognition in Alzheimer’s patients and also reduces the accumulation of amyloid plaques in the brain, which are a physiological hallmark of the disease.” source

Exercise can also help prevent falls by making muscles stronger & more flexible, improving balance, and increasing how long you’re able to stay active. source

What Lifting Weights Does to the Harmful Fat Around Your Heart

Use of Physical Activity to Decrease Fall Injury Risk

At Risk for Alzheimer’s? Exercise Might Keep it at Bay

Fruit and Veggie Challenge

Win $30 to Whole Foods!

I LOVE and eat a ton of fruits and veg, but it is easy to get in a rut and eat the same things week after week. The first major results (here) from The American Gut Project found that participants who ate more than 30 unique plants per week produced the most abundant and diverse gut microbes and also had fewer antibiotic resistance genes in their gut microbiomes than people who ate 10 or fewer plants.

I have never really tracked how many different plants I eat, so I thought it would be fun to keep track & encourage my clients to do the same!

I’m hanging this sheet on my fridge & will write down each fruit & veg I eat, with a goal of >30 in mind.

If you want to join in, keep a log of your fruit & veg intake from Monday, June 24-Sunday June 30 & post a pic of it on Instagram by Monday, July 1 at 6pm (must tag @goalfitmethod and use the hashtag #goalfitfruitvegchallenge). I’ll pick a random winner from all the postings to receive a $30 Whole Foods Gift Card (for residents of the US only, not affiliated with Instagram).