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Whittlesey Natural Health News

Welcome to fall. I hope you all had a good summer.  I am looking forward to the cool weather. I am will be sending out printed newsletters. I still have a lot of patients who don't have email addresses.  It will go out in a couple of weeks.  I am continuing to work on my Diplomate in Clinical Nutrition. I still have over a year to go.

7 Reasons Exercise Recovery Can Be Difficult

Is it hard for you to recover from exercise? Does it feels like it’s ruining your days and sapping your motivation?  You may be suffering from loss of exercise tolerance. Exercise is supposed to make you feel better and give you more energy, not make you feel worse.

The occasional off day is nothing to worry about, but if you find you’re consistently having a hard time handling your workouts, it’s important to discover why.

Symptoms of poor exercise recovery

  • Can’t complete normal workouts
  • Difficulty recovering after exercise
  • Pain that doesn't go away
  • Need a nap after exercise
  • Unexplained depression
  • Loss of general motivation or enthusiasm
  • Unexplained change in weight
  • Aggression or irritability for minor reasons
  • Weakened immune function
  • Loss of menstrual cycle
  • Symptoms of leaky gut

Seven things that can cause poor exercise recovery

1. You’re overtraining: It’s possible you’re simply working out too hard. Anyone can make this mistake. Try backing off for a couple weeks; if your symptoms change, this could be your answer. Do fewer reps. Don't run so far.

2. Your body wants a different kind of workout: Ways to exercise include extended aerobics, high intensity interval training, and weight training. Try a different form of exercise for a few weeks and see how you feel.

3. Insufficient protein intake: The U.S. RDA for protein is .08g per kg of body weight per day (1lb=2.2kg). Macronutrient requirements vary depending on age, health, and diet, but for some this may be too little to recover. Many active people feel better eating protein at rate closer to 1.4 to 1.8g/kg daily. Do the math and experiment with your protein intake.

4. Inappropriate carbohydrate intake: How many carbohydrates one should eat is a controversial topic, but at the end of the day we’re all unique. If you frequently feel run down you may be eating too many carbs … or too few. Too many carbs can cause blood sugar to skyrocket and plummet so energy levels crash. Too few can short you on fuel so that energy lags. This is especially true if you have adrenal fatigue and are struggling to adapt to a low-carb diet. Experiment adjusting your carb intake with healthy produce-based carbs, such as sweet potatoes.

4. Not enough sleep: Sleep is key to exercise recovery. Are you getting the recommended seven to nine hours a night? If you’re having unexplained sleep problems, ask my office for advice as many health issues can cause poor sleep.

5. Micronutrient deficiencies: Staying well nourished can be difficult if you’re busy. If your body is low in vital nutrients such as Vitamins D and B12, iron, magnesium and other minerals, it can affect your ability to recover from exercise. Ask my office about making sure you’re meeting your micronutrient needs.

6. Low adrenal function: Your adrenal glands are the walnut-sized glands atop each kidney that manage your body’s ability to deal with stress. Americans are stressed out and as a result many people suffer from compromised adrenal function. too much exercise can also deplete your adrenal glands. This is a common cause of constant exhaustion and an inability to recover from exercise. If you’ve lost your get-up-an-go, adrenal function is one of the first things to consider.

7. Chronic inflammation: If you have an autoimmune disease that is not being managed or that is constantly flaring, or if you suffer from chronic inflammation, this will hamper your ability to recover. Examples of autoimmune disease include Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism, type 1 diabetes, or psoriasis. Low grade infections can also cause inflamation. Symptoms of chronic inflammation can include joint pain, digestive difficulties, inflamed skin, or brain fog. If your body is already struggling to function in the face of chronic inflammation, exercise will put it over the edge and recovery will be difficult.

These are some common factors that can hamper exercise recovery, although there are many more, such as compromised thyroid function or a defect in your MTHFR gene, which plays a role in detoxification and metabolism. Untreated MTHFR can affect energy levels. Fortunately, it’s easy to diagnose and treat.

Any time you notice a change in your energy level or ability to recover from exercise, there is a reason. Don’t push it, and don’t ignore it. As you can see there are several causes of poor exercise recovery.  Give me call, if you need more help.

Here is a great recipe for the fall:

Chicken Chili with Sweet Potatoes

    2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

    Olive Oil

    1 large onion, chopped

    3 cloves garlic, minced

    2 cups cubed sweet potato (1/2-inch)

    1 medium green bell pepper, chopped

    2 tablespoons chili powder

    2 teaspoons ground cumin

    1 teaspoon dried oregano

    1 15-ounce can low-sodium cannellini beans, rinsed

    2 cups low-sodium chicken broth or homemade chicken stock

    1 cup frozen corn

    2 cups cubed cooked chicken (1/2-inch; about 10 ounces)

    3/4 teaspoon salt

    1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

    Sour cream, avocado and/or cilantro for garnish

    Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, sweet potato and bell pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are slightly softened, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in chili powder, cumin and oregano and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1 minute. Add beans and broth (or stock) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, partially cover and simmer gently for 15 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high and stir in corn; cook 1 minute. Add chicken and cook until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes more. Remove from heat. Stir in salt and pepper. Serve topped with sour cream, avocado and/or cilantro, if desired.