Thursday, April 3, 2014

Too Much Exercise?

Melissa's Tip of the week is designed to help you and your family live happier, healthier lives.

Is there such a thing as too much exercise?

Quite simply, yes.

Most folks don't have this problem, of course, but since I'm on class number 6 in just 48 hours, let's examine what happens to your body if you work out too much.  There are a couple of really important words to discuss:  catabolic, and anabolic.

Things that are catabolic (destructive metabolism) break down your body, and set it up for either injury or illness, or both.  When we lift weights, for example, we are creating microscopic tears in the muscle tissue.  Then we REST those muscles for 24 hours, and they get stronger from the stimulation.  However, if you don't allow the rest portion, you keep breaking down tissue, and you end up breaking down your body, rather than building it up.  So while I needed to keep my regular class load, and cover for some fellow instructors, 6 weight lifting based classes in that short a period of time isn't recommended.  Even if you lift less than normal weight, you are still asking your body to do too much of the same thing.

Things that are anabolic build in a positive way--constructive metabolism.  Mixing your types of workouts to include cardio, weight lifting, and plenty of restorative stretching are ways to build up your body in a positive way.  Building muscle is still initially a destructive process--to stimulate we overload--but giving the muscles recovery is what separates the wheat from the chaff.

So be sure you are giving your body recovery through different types of exercise, and be sure to have 24 hours between lifting sessions.  One way to be sure you are getting enough recovery is to alternate muscle groups throughout the week:
Monday, legs
Tuesday, chest and back
Wednesday, arms and core
Thursday, legs
Friday, chest and back
Saturday, arms and core
Sunday, rest
This is just one possibility among a myriad of ways to approach exercise is a healthy way for your body.  But most importantly, listen to your body.  If it's crying out, you are hurting it.  Too much is as bad as too little.  Find the balance that's right for you.



  • 1 red bell pepper, quartered and seeded
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  • 1 green bell pepper, quartered and seeded
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  • 1 yellow bell pepper, quartered and seeded
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  • Cooking spray
  • 1 1/8 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups dried lentils (about 3/4 pound)
  • 1 small onion, peeled and halved
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2/3 cup chopped plum tomato
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  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/3 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped pitted kalamata olives
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fennel pollen


  1. 1. Preheat grill to high heat.
  2. 2. Lightly coat bell pepper pieces with cooking spray. Place bell pepper pieces, skin side down, on grill rack; grill 12 minutes or until skins are blackened. Place bell pepper pieces in a zip-top plastic bag; seal. Let stand 15 minutes; peel and chop bell peppers. Discard skins. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Place bell peppers in a large bowl.
  3. 3. Rinse and drain lentils; place in a large saucepan. Cover with water to 3 inches above lentils; add onion and bay leaf to pan. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until lentils are just tender. Drain lentils. Discard onion halves and bay leaf. Add lentils to bell peppers. Add remaining 5/8 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, tomato, and remaining ingredients to lentil mixture; stir well.
Mini workout of the week:
25 crunches

25 mountain climbers

25 side leg raises (per side)

1 minute plank

Repeat 3x
Side crunch on Bosu!  This is a great one to work the obliques.  Aim for your waist to be toward the top of the dome, and give yourself a nice base for support, with the legs bent.  Come up sideways, squeezing your ribs and hips together on the side.  I challenge you to 2 sets of 12 this week!

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