Is the “Intensity Mindset” Failing You?

NEWS FLASH: The harder and longer you exercise does NOT mean the more results you will see, the more calories you will burn, and the more you will boost your metabolism. In fact, my dear readers, it is often quite the contrary.

As a wellness professional, my job — my vocation — is to help my clients learn about how their bodies work so they can take control of their days. I challenge them to get to know what is best for them, not their friend, not someone they heard about in a podcast or read about in a blog. Them.

I also continue on my vocation to teach them:

  • a calorie is not a calorie;
  • calories aren’t bad;
  • fat is good for you, especially as we age;
  • “burning calories,” as the popular media and fitness industry wants you to believe, doesn’t happen the way they have been told time and time again. Oh, yes, and…
  • metabolism doesn’t work the way you thought it did.

So, today, I’m introducing another shocking revelation for you my dear readers: if you are engaged in high-intensity exercise, like a 5am bootcamp, HIIT-focused workouts, getting in your swift 10,000 or morning five miles, checking your Fitbit or Apple watch for calorie expenditure or “activity levels,” you may want to heed some of the latest research around what is called the “Intensity Mindset.” You may want to reconsider how you measure “progress” in your fitness and really in your wellness.

Ever felt like this?

  • You start to feel tired or sore all the time, but you push through it?
  • You have nagging injuries starting to creep up more often, yet you keep going.
  • Your strength and/or endurance aren’t really getting better, but you convince yourself it’s only because you’re still not doing enough.
  • Work and/or home life is stressing you out, and…
  • You’re not sleeping well, yet…
  • You think the best way to relieve stress is to sweat it out in the gym.

Over the past two decades, many fitness methods have developed around the concept that the harder you train, the more you measure it on a device, the more weight you’ll lose, the more toned your body will be, or the stronger you’ll become. And, of course, the happier you will be.

Ever feel like this?

Even worse, if you are training hard and not seeing the results, then you must not be training hard enough. Then, you choose another, more challenging method, because clearly if the former one didn’t work, you must need to work harder.

So, is this you?

Stay tuned for next week’s recipe for how you can really achieve the wellness and fitness you want by actually dialing back your fitness (shhhhhh…and stress levels). In the meantime, email me at adrien@fitnessotherun.net if this article is totally talking to you.

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