How does exercise affect insulin resistance?
In other words, your signals are broken. Your body doesn’t get the message to let sugar in, so your body releases more and more insulin because your blood glucose stays high. So what does all of this mean when it comes to training?
It’s easier than you think to create big problems with your hormones by doing the wrong types of exercises. As women, when trying to lose weight, we seem to opt for long cardio sessions. Trust me, I get it. For years I listened to “experts” on the Internet and to people who did not understand hormonal disorders. I did workouts that included light to medium weights, full body workouts with no rest periods, instead I skipped doing plyometrics to “burn fat”. I did high intensity metabolic workouts on the days in between, I was low, low carb, and high fat. All I got was inflamed, tired, angry, and no weight loss.
You can go overboard with long cardio sessions like running, which can trigger the stress hormone (cortisol), which is what you were experiencing. You have to think about how your body handles stress and if you have any hormonal problems, then stress is something you need to reduce to decrease the increase in cortisol. Your body doesn’t know the difference between good and bad stress, therefore exercise can be thought of as stress. All your body feels is a pounding heartbeat, heavy breathing, and anxiety, so we have to change what the body is experiencing and make it a less anxious event.
This is where walking comes into play in most of your cardio sessions. I used to think it was the most boring thing I could do until I started paying attention to taking a minimum of 10,000 steps a day and saw an immediate difference in my inflammation. It became a game of making sure to follow in my footsteps every day. I used it as an opportunity to slow down my normal, busy and fast-paced schedule, get outside, clear my mind, and really started to enjoy these moments.
Walking is a hormonal stabilizer and a movement that our body must do every day.
Your muscles are the storage house for excess glucose, and by increasing your lean muscle mass, you help solve your insulin problems, resulting in a healthy body composition. Which translates to a slimmer and tighter body, which is the goal here.
But how do you gain more lean body mass? This is where weight training comes in, but I’m not talking about Barbie bells, ladies. Don’t be afraid to lift heavy objects. To increase the amount of muscle your body has, then you need to challenge the muscle with weights and the only way to do that is to lift heavy weights.
I’m not saying go walk up to the dumbbell rack and grab the larger weights from the rack; you need to lift your weight right now. GOAL … keep in mind that this should change every workout. Challenge yourself each workout by pushing one more rep or lifting a little more weight. Your body will respond and you will start to see some beautiful changes. You should be aware that we are trying to keep our bodies calm, which means that you should also pay attention to your rest periods between exercise sets.
Remember earlier when I mentioned that I would not sit still between my sets, but would instead perform plyometrics.
Well this is where you need to take 1-2 minutes to rest your muscles. I know it seems boring, it took me a little getting used to, however it serves two purposes. First, it allows the muscles to recover so that you can lift heavy weights in the next set. Second, you keep your body calm so it doesn’t feel stressed and starts producing more cortisol.
If you start following the advice I included here, whether you have PCOS, diabetes, Hashimoto’s disease, or menopause, you will begin to see the changes in your body that you are looking for.
If you need help with an exercise program, contact me. I provide one-on-one private training at home and in our private studio, as well as online training programs that include demonstration videos of all exercises. Our programs are tailored to your goals and fitness level.