So you have adrenal fatigue. You want to continue with your active lifestyle and you’re looking for a type of exercise to compliment your healing.
Or you’re wondering if exercise is even a healthy choice when you’re healing your adrenals.
I get asked these questions often.
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer.
The truth is that certain forms of exercise deplete your adrenals even further, which sets you back on your healing journey.
You might be committed to a gym membership and be proud of your time spent in spin class or running several 5k’s a week. When you’re stressed, we are often told to turn to exercise to burn it off. However, exercising like you did when you were healthy can add more stress to your body and mind.
Many women with severe adrenal fatigue feel really drained during or after exercise. This is a sign that it is too much.
However, you can still exercise when you have adrenal fatigue. The type of body movement you choose depends on what stage of adrenal fatigue you’re in.
Put simply, this is how exercise impacts adrenals:
Vigorous exercise while your adrenals are fatigued causes your body to react as if you were in a state of emergency. Your body behaves as though you are going through a time where you need your body fat around for survival.
Instead, the best exercise for adrenal fatigue is one that allows the soothing parasympathetic nervous system time to settle into the body. This is why you need to gear your level of activity accordingly until you are completely healed.
What’s the best exercise for adrenal fatigue? Here are some guidelines:
-Moderate intensity cardio over 30 minutes such as long distance running is the worst for depleting the adrenals. It puts your body under stress and elevates cortisol levels. If you have adrenal fatigue, you shouldn’t be doing this type of exercise.
-HITT and weight lifting sessions under 30 minutes is gentle on the adrenals if you are in stage 1. HITT doesn’t impact cortisol and helps balance your blood sugar. However, if you are stage 2 and 3 you may need to take a hiatus from HITT because it may put a lot of strain on your body.
-Hot yoga can stress your adrenals because you are sweating and physically exhausting yourself. Try practicing 2 times a week and keep listening to your body for any signs that you’re pushing too hard.
-Gentle yoga and taking walks is best for anyone with stage 3 adrenal fatigue. When you feel your body is really depleted and low energy, focus on stretching and your breath.
In order to find the best exercise for adrenal fatigue, you need to listen to your body; get to know how your body reacts when you are depleting your adrenals. Body literacy trumps all advice!
When in doubt use this barometer:
If the exercise energizes you then keep doing it.
If the exercise drains you and takes you a while to recover, it’s not right for you at this time.
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