Movement is one of BePure's 10 Pillars of Wellness—setting the foundations for a good health, and an enjoyable experience of life.
If we can connect the ‘why’ or the ‘benefits’ to our actions we are far more likely to consistently do them. I’ll also touch on different types of exercise for different people and situations, as well as how to get more movement into your day-to-day life.
Benefits of Exercise
Our state of health and wellness is not governed by one factor such as just the food we eat, or just how much we exercise. On the contrary, it's the sum of all the little decisions and behaviours we partake in on a daily basis.
Exercise—or movement as we like to call it—is just one of those things, and it has a whole host of incredibly supportive benefits.
There's a lot of emphasis out there in the world for people exercising for their appearance such as losing weight or gaining muscle. We all have our own goals, but it's important to be aware that the impact of exercise goes well beyond how we look.
In a nutshell—regular, moderate exercise supports:
- Energy levels
- Mental clarity and mood
- Stress relief
- Mental and physical resilience
- Gut health
- Hormone health
- Blood sugar level stability
- Cellular cleansing
Supporting Healthy Body Systems
Exercise is important for healthy body systems. It activates the lymphatic system to help the body’s detox pathways, is critical for mood, and can help increase insulin sensitivity.
For men, exercise is important for two reasons:
The first has to do with improving the function of their liver and the second has to do with improving hormone balance, particularly testosterone.
Exercise clears the liver by removing fats and sugars out of the bloodstream which then allows the liver to release some of the stored fats and glycogen. This frees up space, stabilises blood sugar levels due to decreased insulin production and can help with cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Exercise also helps to burn testosterone. Testosterone is used in men’s fight or flight response—that is when their body perceives danger in times of physical or psychological stress including exercise.
If testosterone is not used, it converts to oestrogen which promotes fat storage. In men this can lead to oestrogen dominance, and fat stored around the chest and tummy areas. You can read about the effects of oestrogen dominance and what to do about it here.
For women, including weight-bearing exercise is crucial for maintaining muscle mass and supporting healthy hormones. Muscle mass naturally starts to decline from 35 onwards alongside key sex hormones such as progesterone.
Incorporating some strength training or specific weighted exercises at the gym will help maintain your muscle mass.
The super powers of exercise are boosted when done in conjunction with the some or all of the other Wellness Pillars like eating whole foods to nourish your body, getting in your nutrients, and getting adequate and quality sleep.
Watch Ben's short video below to learn more about the benefits of exercise.
The Right Exercise For You
Striking the right balance of consistent exercise is key for long-term health. Stress is stress whether we perceive the action to be stressful or not. Chronic intense exercise is incredibly stressful on our bodies.
Intense exercise has its place. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) can improve mitochondrial function and improve your metabolism, but it needs to be short, intense and relatively infrequent with lots of recovery time. Think twice per week for twenty minutes or less, not boot camp every morning for one hour.
In a person with optimally functioning adrenals, high-intensity exercise can be a helpful addition to their wellness regime. For those of us with compromised adrenal function scaling back our exercise routine is critical for recovery. Contrary to conventional thought, doing less may actually result in weight loss as your hormones normalise.
It's important to keep moving, but if you’re recovering from injury, are highly stressed, low on sleep or recovering from adrenal fatigue opt for breathing based exercises such as walking, yoga or pilates. You don't need to stress your body right now with intense HIIT or weight training. If you still want to continue with weights, scale back the intensity—maybe focus on body weight exercises—and lift less frequently with more recovery.
Learning how to balance out your stress levels with exercise requires practise. It can be helpful to know how your adrenals and your body are responding to stress currently before you choose what type of exercise you do. We have a handy adrenal fatigue questionnaire to help you determine your current level of adrenal function and how your body is coping with stress.
Let’s Get Moving!
If you’re ready to make movement a regular part of your lifestyle, we encourage you to move in any way you like for at least 30 minutes each day!
We’d also love to see how you are bringing exercise into your day. Share your pics with us on Instagram using #bepurebenwarren.
This blog is part of our 10 Pillars of Wellness series. Each week we will deliver content, recipes and challenges relevant to each pillar of health that we believe are the foundations for living a healthier, happier, more energised life. The idea is that if we focus on making progress in one area each week it will be easier, and more sustainable, over the long-term.