Appreciate the healthy life you are living and achieve more through EnerG coach, Ellen Goldman. Your questions on balance, motivation and your healthy lifestyle are answered through these simple tips and solutions. Get more out of your life with the help of Identity.
Ellen Goldman EnerG Coaching
Question: Now that it is cold and flu season, how do I know if it is OK to work out when I am not feeling healthy, but not needing to stay in bed either? I hate missing my workouts.
ANSWER: Certainly, good old common sense should help you decide. If you are feverish, headachy, feeling extremely run down or fatigued, something is most likely brewing. Staying home from the gym would be wise. Rest and lots of fluids such as water, tea and soup are called for to get you healthy again.
However, if your symptoms are more annoying than anything else i.e. a runny nose, watery eyes, etc., a lighter than usual workout might actually make you feel better.
However, if you do go to the gym, be mindful of others. Wash your hands often, cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze, and wipe equipment with alcohol wipes after usage to avoid spreading your germs. A good rule of thumb to follow is this: if your symptoms start below the neck, such as a sore throat, cough, chest congestion or stomach/body aches, it’s best to give yourself a break from exercising. If you push yourself when you are ill, there’s a good chance you’ll slow recovery and end up missing many more workouts than if you took the day off to rest.
Question: A friend of mine told me that one of the reasons I might be struggling to lose weight is because I stay up really late and don’t sleep enough. Does this make any sense?
ANSWER: Yes, not only does it makes sense, we have the research to prove it is true. An article published in the journal “Sleep” reviewed 45 research studies. The combined findings showed that individuals who get five or fewer hours of sleep per night are 55 percent more likely to be obese and less healthy than those who clock in for eight straight hours of sleep a night. Not only do those that stay up into the wee hours of the morning do more noshing, but sleep deprivation may cause the hormones that signal hunger to increase, and those that signal satiation to shut down.
Add to that the fact that when we are fatigued our willpower decreases, our emotions are off, and we tend to reach for sugary, high caloric snacks and drinks to help us stay alert, it can easily add up to a surplus of excess calories which aren’t healthy. Along with a nutritious diet and exercise, a good night’s sleep should be included in your weight loss program and will overall help you stay healthy.
Question: If weight loss is my goal, should I concentrate more on increasing my exercise or changing my diet?
ANSWER: Although an increase in exercise will certainly help expedite taking off excess pounds, without a doubt what you put into your mouth is the most important aspect of weight loss. Research shows that for shedding pounds you must be in a healthy caloric deficit – in other words, consume less than you burn each day. The number of calories we burn is a function of our metabolism. Metabolism is a function of our body weight, gender, body composition, genetics, the energy needed to function, normal daily activities, the calories we burn in digestion, and exercise. Exercise represents a very small percentage of that total.
Too often, individuals overestimate the number of calories they burn during exercise, and see exercise as an excuse to “treat” themselves to excess food that isn’t needed. Where exercise does play a vital role is in helping to maintain weight once you achieve your goal; exercise helps to keep your metabolism revved and by increasing muscle mass, which will ultimately make your body a better calorie burner no matter what you are doing. In the ideal situation, following a healthy, nutritious diet and a sound exercise program would be best. However, if you initially can only handle changing one aspect of your lifestyle at a time, and weight loss is your priority, focus on a healthy food plan.
Question: I’ve always considered myself a rational, even-tempered individual. Lately however, I find my moods are all over the place. One moment I am focused on a work task, and then a slight interruption sends me into a frenzy. I find myself easily irritated with friends and family, and the most inconsequential things make me cry. I’m not pregnant, so I can’t blame my hormones, and there isn’t anything particularly stressful going on in my life. Why is this happening and how can I make it stop?
ANSWER: Actually, you may be able to blame your hormones. There are a lot of reasons why your emotions might be on a roller coaster, and fluctuations occurring in estrogen, progesterone and testosterone levels could be the cause. Woman’s hormonal balance can change due to many things; our monthly menstrual cycles, perimenopause, menopause, going on and off birth control pills or other medications, and metabolic disorders are some of the many events that can cause shifts.
All of which can affect our moods. My suggestion is to first examine your current lifestyle for any alterations – Have you changed your nutrition plan? Stopped your regular exercise routine? Are you getting less sleep than normal? Experiencing a major life change, such as marriage, a move, or loss of a loved one? If nothing stands out as dramatically different, see your doctor for a physical, and request a full blood screening. A workup with a gynecologist and/or endocrinologist should bring insight into your emotional upheaval and help you get back on the road to feeling like your healthy self again soon.
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