Monday, September 3, 2018

How Exercise Affects Adrenal Fatigue

My battle to recover from Adrenal Fatigue has been long and arduous.

To be sure, there have been factors that have contributed to the battle: comfort eating, not recognizing my load limits - just to name a couple.

In fact, last year I nearly gave up on recovery. I was so discouraged by a major setback when my entire right hand was rendered almost useless by severe eczema. The dermatologist told me that the cause wasn't allergy related, but glandular.

I knew what that meant.

It was getting worse, not better.

I finally told the Lord that if this was meant to be my "thorn in the flesh", the thing that would keep me humbling coming before Him for the strength that could only come from Him, I would accept it.
Although deep inside I knew that this couldn't possibly be His will. My family needed me! They needed all of me. Not a shell of me.

There was one thing that holding me back, and I knew it.


I have always hated exercise.

Being more of a book worm and nerd, I would much prefer to stay indoors and read a good book, listen to music, cook, bake, clean, research...just about anything else.

In my imagination I would love to be an outdoorsy gardening type - but let's face  it. I'm not. I'm trying to be, and I'm confident that I can learn to be.

For Christmas I received a gift card that enabled me to buy a pedometer. I decided to invest in a good one, so I bought a FitBit Zip.

It tracks my steps, calories burned, miles walked and synchs with My Fitness Pal where I track my food. With the App available, you can compete against other FitBit users as well as track your food and weight loss progress.

This was key to getting me moving.

Now - before I began using the FitBit, I claimed I was "moderately active". I wore the pedometer for 2-3 days and didn't change anything. I wanted to see how active I really was.

They say that an active person tracks a minimum of 10,000 steps. I tracked barely 2,000.

The challenge was on!

I immediately began to search for ways to increase my number of steps and was amazed at how creative I became. But that's not all that amazed me. After only one week I noticed my energy levels increasing.

I have been active and exercising consistently now for a month and the change in my body and metabolism are incredible.

The brain fog I used to have is gone and while I'm sometimes wake up in the morning feeling fatigued, it is significantly less than before.

How Exercise Affects Adrenal Fatigue

Those who suffer with Adrenal Fatigue need to be very careful about exercise. While exercise and physical movement is good for the body, because it increases our  heart rate and releases endorphin levels - the "happy hormone" - and thus increases our metabolism, going overboard can actually be counter productive.

Too much exercise can put stress on the body, which puts stress on the adrenal glands, and therefore exacerbates the problem.

To start, simple walking is good. Just walk. Get those muscles moving. As you begin to building stamina, you can begin doing low-impact exercise and strength training; then slowly build up.

I am now jogging  in 4-minute intervals between 1-minute strength training exercises for 20-25 minutes a day. 3 days a week I add a 30-minute walk up a steep incline near our house.

I saved this article for last because I wanted to illustrate how I had all the other elements in place: I had destressed, I was eating healthier, and taking all the necessary supplements - but this piece of the puzzle was missing. This was the key to my recovery.

You have to have every piece of the puzzle present to make it work!

Adrenal Fatigue recovery is possible. It is a long journey, but there is a destination and that destination is normal, healthy, vibrant living. But you need to be consistent, disciplined and determined to do what it takes to make it happen.

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