As a generation fixated on wellbeing, we’ve been so busy imbibing the benefits of exercise that we’d be stunned from our sunnies to our sneakers to think there would ever be anything wrong with breaking a sweat.
Well, hold onto your activewear, a doctor in the US has come out with some interesting information that claims overexerting yourself can actually damage your health. Specifically your gut health.
If you’ve ever been baffled as to why you feel bloated, or can’t shed those few extra kilos, despite eating organic and battling it out at morning boot camps, your very efforts to stay fit and healthy may be the culprit.
Based on a study about the effect heavy exercise has on the gut, you may be unknowingly suffering with gut issues despite ticking all the right boxes when it comes to wellness. “They don’t realise how overexercise can stress the body and deliver a whammy to their digestion,” says Dr B.J. Hardick of those of us pushing fitness boundaries.
The intestinal barrier is designed to keep food particles and toxins at bay, but according to Dr Hardick, a body stressed from too much exercise makes it susceptible to damage and loosening that causes the nasties to leak into your blood stream. This triggers an immune response that increases the risk of autoimmune disorders and metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes. It may also affect your mood and lead to depression.
“Your intestinal barrier keeps out food particles and other things that shouldn’t go through, but when it becomes loose, things not intended to get through the wall suddenly do,” says Dr.Hardick. “What results is intestinal permeability, more commonly called leaky gut.”
So, what to do? For those of you going hard and fast with your sweat sessions, consider a rest day. Giving yourself time to recover is often the secret weapon to a happy and healthy mind and body. And there is nothing wrong with lightening your load, a stretch class can achieve great results and put your body in a Zen space, as opposed to the breathless frenzy.
Add to that a diverse and balanced diet, a good night’s sleep and minimising your stress levels, and your body (and gut) will respond positively – think elevated energy levels, trim and toned physique, and glowing skin.
Watch Kayla Itsines demonstrate a range of different burpee variations. These are her go to exercise for 2016.