If trying to stay healthy wasn’t already confusing enough, now science has come along to crush everything we thought we knew about getting fit.
Yup, you might have signed up for every HIIT class under the sun after inhaling half a box of roses, 25 roast potatoes and eight litres of wine (rough estimation).
But now an expert is here to tell us that exercising too much might not be helpful in shifting that extra festive weight.
According Australian nutritionist Jessica Sepel, over-exercising actually prevents you from losing weight as it can stop your body burning fat.
“From clinical and personal experience, I can tell you that over-exercising can do more harm to your weight than good,” she wrote in her blog.
“When you work out too much, your cortisol levels spike (remember, your body doesn’t know the difference between exercise stress and normal stress).
“Then, when you stress out about working out, your cortisol levels go CRAZY. And high cortisol means your body can’t burn off fat – it’s too busy trying to balance out your parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems.” Makes sense.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean you can give up your gym membership, put on an episode of Friends and stick your feet up for the whole of 2019 (soz) as the benefits of working out still stand.
Instead, Jessica recommends that you should mix up your HIIT sessions with restorative fitness including yoga, Pilates and walking which can help you sleep better, increase your energy level and lose weight all at the same time.
“Let go of any guilt you feel around exercise and stop putting the pressure on yourself every day to be exercising intensely,” she said.
“We know that moderate exercise for 30 minutes a day, maybe two sessions of interval or high-intensity training a week and then lots of yoga, pilates and walking, seems to work.”
She also added, “A rested body is a healthy body – and it is incredibly important to commit to resting daily.”
What a great excuse to lay off the burpees this week.