Sleep Longer And Better
Sleep is one of the most underrated self-care treatments to improve health. A regular and effective sleep schedule can provide your entire hormonal system much needed TLC, promoting hormone balance, as well as rejuvenating your body for the following day.
For adults, a good nights sleep generally means 7-9 hours of uninterrupted rest. For better quality sleep, you can take actions like making your room as dark as possible or using an eye mask. You can also try avoiding technology before bed, or give yourself a massage around the temple area of your forehead to relax.
Exercise For Energy Not Exhaustion
If you are feeling exhausted at the end of each workout, then you are likely increasing stress in your body. Our culture teaches women that they must exercise excessively in order to lose weight. I invite you to reflect on these limiting beauty standards and instead, exercise to help yourself feel good. The work out should leave you feeling energized not depleted.
How:If you experience exhaustion after a workout, consider exercising for less time but with more effective fitness techniques. Even if you only have 20 minutes to spare, get the most out of your workout and leave feeling great. You may consider introducing a different type of workout into your routine. Always customize healing through exercise to your specific needs.
Top 5 Exercise Pitfalls For Adrenal Fatigue Recovery
Was there a time when you could pride yourself on your ability to maintain 5-6 workouts a week?
Did you previously feel energised from your exercise but now not so much?
Do you fear that if you dont exercise you will gain weight or struggle to maintain your weight?
I hate to have to be the bearer of this news but if you are suffering with issues related to adrenal fatigue your exercise may have been one of the contributing factors or it may be contributing to the intensity of your adrenal fatigue symptoms.
I CRASHED AND MAYBE YOU DID TOO!
I was always a regular exerciser from my early days of playing competitive tennis and into the days when I owned a womens gym. My exercise routine has changed over the years but I was able to maintain a balanced exercise routine and maintain a good level of fitness until I crashed under the stress of a business and relationship that wasnt working. After too much chronic stress for a period of 12 months or so, my system crashed and I experienced severe adrenal fatigue.
NOTHING IN THE TANK!
As I tried to engage in my regular exercise program, I became more and more tired, in a way that didnt feel right to me. I kept pushing on, but honestly it eventually felt like I had nothing in the tank.
The truth was the effect of what had now become chronic stress, had caused my adrenals to become severely overtaxed, they were exhausted, and the way I was exercising was not appropriate for me.
1. HIGH INTENSITY CARDIO EXERCISE IS OUT.
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How To Exercise With Adrenal Fatigue
Partaking in exercise with adrenal fatigue is not impossible. This could mean taking a walk in nature with your dog or a friend. The benefit is that you find yourself in a pleasant environment. Whatever activity you choose, make sure that you do not engage in anything too taxing.
For exercise intensity, the idea is to keep your heart rate down while still breaking out in a sweat. A heart rate monitor is useful to ensure your heart rate keeps under the threshold that can trigger excessive adrenaline. Furthermore, try working out two to three times a week for between 15 and 20 minutes at a time when you feel strong. Do not overdo exercise. This exercise may not be intense, but the regular movement is good for your blood flow and aerobic capacity.
Please pay attention to the state of your health at all times. If you feel more tired than before, try reducing your exercise. As soon as you feel better, you can increase your pace and period of exercise. Your aim is to feel energized after exercise, not deathly tired.
Is Exercise A Good Idea For People With Adrenal Fatigue
Adrenal fatigue typically comes along with a host of symptoms that make exercising difficult. Whether youre struggling with low energy, low motivation, or sleeping problems, your symptoms can make it feel impossible to exercise. Certain exercises can even make your symptoms worse.
So, whats the solution? Should you even try to exercise? The short answer is yes. The longer answer is that you need to choose your exercises carefully. A safe exercise routine looks unique for every person who suffers from adrenal fatigue.
Exercise puts stress on your body, causing it to release cortisol. Thats a natural phenomenon and one we want. However, after the exercise is finished, we want your bodys cortisol levels to return to normal as quickly as possible. This means you need to carefully choose your exercise for adrenal fatigue.
High-intensity exercises, like cardio or an aggressive circuit, tax your adrenals by putting them under a lot of strain. High-intensity resistance exercises with only short breaks can even be worse than prolonged cardio when it comes to adrenal fatigue.
The best exercise for adrenal fatigue is low-intensity cardio and resistance workouts with plenty of rest in between sets.
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Little Did I Know I Was Once Again Literally Running Myself Into The Ground Emotionally And Physically
But I couldnt see through the race that was right in front of me. My type-A competitive side wasnt giving up.
I was determined to go through with my training and finish the race. And I did.
After the half marathon I backed down on my training in both crossfit and running I needed a break. Some days I was so exhausted I could barely get out of bed for work. My digestive symptoms hadnt really improved, even when following such a strict elimination diet. I was discouraged, but I had finally realized that food would be my medicine, and my medicine would be my food. But something was telling me I might have to take it a step further.
Develop An Exercise Plan
Theres no one-size-fits-all kind of an approach when it comes to developing an exercise plan, considering that a plan should be developed around a persons biology, age, goals, diet, free time, and other variables. But it is highly recommended to at least work through following 3 steps before you get started:
1. Assess Your Starting Point
Although you might have some rough idea of how fit you are, assessing and recording baseline fitness scores can give you a benchmark against which you can measure your progress. To assess your overall fitness consider recording:
- Your pulse rate before and after you walk 1 mile
- How long it takes to walk 1 mile
- How many pushups you can do at a time
- How many situps can you do at a time
- How far you can reach forward while standing straight. Can you reach your toes?
- Your waist-to-hip ratio. Use a tape measure to record your waist and hip circumference. Then divide your waist circumference by your hip circumference
- Whether you can hold an abdominal plank position for 2 minutes
2. Develop Your Exercise Program
Its easy to say that you are going to exercise 3 days a week, but youll still need a plan. As you develop your exercise program, keep these points in mind:
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Should You Still Workout
YES! While it may seem counterintuitive to exercise if you are suffering from adrenal fatigue, incorporating some movement is still recommended. The type of activity and intensity will vary from person to person. As such, it is equally important to listen to signals your body is giving you when its time to rest, when intensity is too much or when pain replaces discomfort.
One way to ensure that you are not overdoing it when you are exercising is to monitor how you feel during your workout. Heres a great self-monitoring tool I use with my clients and myself: If you feel like you can do another 5 more reps, consider that a good place to stop. You want to ensure that youre not overdoing it, and that extra 5 means there is still some fuel left in the tank! When youre finished your workout, assess whether you could do it all over again immediately. If the answer is no, youve likely pushed too far.
What Is Adrenal Insufficiency
Unlike adrenal fatigue, this is a recognized disease that can be diagnosed. There are two forms of this condition, and both are caused by damage or problems with your adrenal glands that result in them not making enough of the hormone cortisol.
Symptoms of both forms include chronic fatigue, loss of appetite, muscle weakness, weight loss, and stomach pain. You might also have nausea, vomiting, low blood pressure, diarrhea, depression, or darkening of the skin.
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The Problem With Over
Excessive exercise burns stored up glucose, which can lead to low blood sugar. This is especially problematic if you already deal with low blood sugar issues. This will force your body to make more cortisol to bring blood sugar back up. It does this by breaking down lean muscle mass and even your own gut lining to free up amino acids to use for fuel. This is catabolic stateyour body is breaking tissue down.
If youre under stressemotional stress, dietary stress, or otherwiseyoure already in a catabolic state, so you dont want more catabolic activity.
How To Treat Adrenal Fatigue: The Hidden Cause Of Over
- PostedNovember 20, 2014
In 2004, my wife Meaghan was having a terrible cross country season. No matter what she tried, her running performances kept getting worse.
Workout splits got slower. She felt exhausted, stressed, and couldnt sleep. The muscle aches she thought were from training kept her up at night.
After talking with her coach, seeing the Athletic Trainer, and finally discussing her symptoms with a doctor she found out she likely had adrenal fatigue.
Adrenal fatigue is different from classic over-training as its a collection of non-specific issues. While its not a proven medical condition, Web MD defines it as:
Fatigue and other symptoms are caused by a poorly working adrenal gland in people who are under mental, emotional, or physical stress.
Your adrenal glands make hormones. One of these is cortisol, which helps your body deal with stress. According to the adrenal fatigue theory, if your life is too stressful, your adrenal glands may not pump out enough hormones, leading to a wide variety of symptoms.
Those symptoms can include:
- chronic fatigue, making it difficult to get out of bed in the morning
- trouble concentrating, poor motivation, and a feeling of overwhelm
- higher susceptibility to colds and infections
- cravings for salty and sweet foods
Adrenal fatigue is often compared to fibromyalgia because theres no proven cause or cure. Frustrating, isnt it?
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Diffuse Essential Oils Through The Day
A proven way to balance hormones is to use essential oils. Natural scents like lavender, black spruce, pine, and frankincense are highly potent ways to calm the nervous system and boost adrenal function.
The key is to apply these essential oils in ways that help directly affect your body. Inhaling them through a diffuser is the best way to get these calming scents in but its not your only option.
Using a roller and carrier oil like jojoba, mix in a few drops of essential oils for adrenal fatigue. Apply this blend using the roller to the lower back. You can also roll some on the soles of your feet, known in reflexology as Kidney 1 pressure point.
Is It A Myth
Thereâs no science to back it up. The Endocrine Society, the world’s largest organization of endocrinologists , flatly says that adrenal fatigue is not a real disease. And it says the symptoms of adrenal fatigue are so general, they can apply to many diseases or conditions or stem from everyday life.
And the society says some of the treatments can be dangerous. Improving your diet will probably make you feel better, no matter what ailment you have, but taking unidentified supplements to help your body produce extra cortisol if you don’t need them may cause your adrenal glands to stop working, it warns.
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Exercise Boosts Adrenal Hormones
Aggressive exercise causes your adrenal glands to release more hormones.One study on 304 human endurance athletes found that they had elevated cortisol levels 4compared to the control group . They measured cortisol levels in hair, since hair averages out short term spikes incortisol.
These data suggest that repeated physical stress of intensive training and competitive races among endurance athletes is associated with elevated cortisol exposure over prolonged periods of time. 4
The adrenal hormones adrenaline and noradrenaline havebeen shown to increase up to20 times during exercise6.
It is this adrenaline rush that makes people in stage 2 adrenal fatigue feel better …. at least for a while.
When you get to stage 3, aggressive exercise should not be part of your adrenal fatigue treatment plan. It is
If you are not familiar with the stages of adrenal fatigue , consideringthe article Stages of Adrenal Fatigue.
Final Thoughts About Exercise For Adrenal Fatigue
Exercise can be a challenge at the beginning.
Finding the motivation, making the commitment, and being patient with yourself isnt easy, but if you stick to it, the outcome is sure to be a positive one.
Remember: If you have been dealing with a health issue and you are now at the point where you can begin to work out, you have come a long way!
Dont forget to look back, see how far youve come, and keep moving forward!
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The Three Stages Of Exercise
So lets talk a little bit more specifically about exercise now, since that was the focus of Jordans question. So remember that exercise is a stressor, and as I said earlier on in the podcast, not all stressors are negative. In fact some stressors can be hormetic, which means that they trigger a positive adaptation. So think about lifting weights. If you lift weights, you lift, lets say ten pounds, and you lift it until you cant lift it anymore, your body interprets that as a challenge essentially to its survival. And so you break down the muscle in that failure and then when the body rebuilds that muscle, it rebuilds it a little bit stronger so that it can hopefully meet that challenge in the future. And as I said, thats a survival mechanism because that wouldve been an adaptive change that would help us survive in a natural environment.
So if you do manage stage two well, then eventually you end up at stage three, where your metabolic reserve is rebuilt and you can resume your full exercise activities. But you have to remembereven if this does happen, that you need to continue focusing on making deposits and not making too many withdrawals into the account. Unfortunately, as I said before, most people in the industrialized world have a tendency to do this. Meaning not enough deposits and too many withdrawals.
Okay, I hope this was helpful, everyone. And please do keep sending your questions. ChrisKresser.com/podcastquestion. See you next time.
Favor Health Over Looks
Going right along with the above point, this is also a time where you MUST put your health goals over your aesthetic goals. Its a hard one, I know from experience. With high/low cortisol, also comes changes to your body composition. And its not something that can be controlled with diet and exercise, as weve entrusted in the past. I can tell you this with 100% certainty. The quicker you can make your health a priority, the quicker you will get back to homeostasis, and the quicker your body will respond physically.
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Why Is Exercise With Adrenal Fatigue Difficult For Most People
Exercise with adrenal fatigue tends to be difficult due to the various implications of the condition itself. This is because certain types of exercise increase cortisol release and exacerbate the issue.
Depending on your stage of adrenal fatigue, your body is already subject to high cortisol levels. While doing high impact exercises, you may find an extra demand for cortisol release. The result is an even higher cortisol count in your body. This then overtaxes your already exhausted adrenal glands.
Stress, of any kind, including that resulting from physical exercise, results in a higher cortisol output from your adrenals. This higher cortisol output stems from reactions to stress in the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal axis.
Your hypothalamus , sends chemical messengers to the pituitary gland in response to stress. In turn, your pituitary gland sends chemical messengers to the adrenals which produce higher quantities of cortisol. The dysfunction in your HPA axis impacts your entire body, such as your hormone production, heart rate, blood pressure, and gut function. The effects mentioned are the result of your NeuroEndoMetabolic stress response, which is an autonomous function over which you have no control.
Here Are Some Common Symptoms Of Adrenal Fatigue:
A tendency to be a night personHair lossWaking up in the middle of the night with difficulty falling back asleepYoure a slow starter in the morningFeeling keyed up and having trouble calming downLow blood pressureClenching or grinding your teethChronic low- or middle-back painDifficulty maintaining chiropractic adjustmentsChronic fatigue or getting drowsy oftenAfternoon yawningPain on the medial side of the knee or kneesNeeding to wear sunglassesDizziness when you stand upDifficulty losing weightGaining weight around the waistlineGetting upset or angry easily
Doesnt that sound like modern life? No wonder people are having so many endocrine issues!
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