Exercise: Less Is More

I have been discussing the importance of exercise for healing recently on the trulyglutenfree blog. Z, a gluten- sensitive, chronic fatigue and joint pain patient, had improved greatly but then hit a plateau. She wrote to tell me how she had used exercise to pull herself out if it.

Z needed something gentle and recommended a video for us:

I’ve had a really good 3 months health wise (TOUCH WOOD, I hate saying that as it always tempts fate! :-) I’ve been sticking with the TGF diet but I think I’ve found the missing link that was stopping my energy levels from recovering- exercise!

I’d previously been too weak to contemplate it and the joint pain made it impossible but I found a DVD called ‘Beat Fatigue With Yoga’ and have been gradually building up doing this for a few mins each day.

I can now manage a gentle 30 min yoga workout every day and my energy levels have massively improved and joint pain is barely there at all. I first got thinking about exercise when I saw one of the glutenology emails about how important it is to aid the healing of the gut- so it might be worth recommending this DVD to some of your other patients who are in the same boat. It specifically targets people with chronic fatigue but definitely relevant for anyone struggling with their energy levels. 

I couldn’t find anywhere where Dr O specifically says exercise aids gut healing to link to for you, but building muscle is likely to help, of course. This is the DVD Z is using:

Fiona Agomar & Sue Delf - Beat Fatigue With Yoga [DVD] [2006]

Just click on the image to find it on Amazon. Z explains:

The first workout (Sue Delf)  is gentle yoga building up to slightly more serious yoga and the second one (Fiona Agombar) is specifically for CF sufferers so starting off with really gentle breathing and stretching that I can manage even on my lowest energy days!

Then, I got to thinking what if you need something a bit more challenging than that to start you off exercising again? Anyone who knows me knows I don’t hold with the long workout, get out of breath theory, mainly because I’m too lazy to do it myself probably! That said, my belief is actually based on research, I promise! For example, see this post recently from Dr O at the Gluten Free Society:

In a new study published in the American Journal of Physiology, scientists found that 30-minute workouts resulted in the same amount of weight loss as 60-minute workouts.

This despite the fact that the 60-minute workouts burned TWICE the calories (600 per workout) as the 30-minute workouts(only 300 calories per workout).

At the end of 13 weeks, the 30-minute workout group lost 8.8 pounds of fat, while the 60-minute workout group lost 8.4 pounds…only slightly less, of course, but still, you’d 
expect MORE fat loss if you trained TWICE as long, right?

Strange, isn’t it?

In fact, the scientists couldn’t even explain these 
disappointing results from the longer workouts. But they DO know that there is some type of compensation that occurs giving your LESS results from LONGER workouts.

Bottom line: 
Long 60-minute workouts aren’t necessary and may even lead to overuse injury, thus keeping you from being able to exercise at all.

I have long said this and, in fact, my 10 Minute Mind and Body Exercise ebook is based on this very premise. I think 10 minutes a day is plenty if you’re doing the right stuff, but if you want a longer workout some days, just do more and add some more 10 minute combinations.

Choose one or both and get yourself up and, er, walking more swiftly, again…

 

 

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