Why Over-Exercising May Be Sabotaging Your Health

April 14, 2017

What!?!?  Is Julie actually implying that exercising is detrimental to my health?  If that’s what you’re thinking (and now your confused or worried), hang on a quick minute and let me explain.

Many of you are familiar with my health issues over the years, but more likely, my health in the past six months.

For those of you that are new around here, here’s the quick and dirty story: (Oh, and hey, welcome!)




In late November of 2016, I was diagnosed with low cortisol. Our adrenal glands (they sit on top of our kidneys) produce all of our essential hormones, including the stress hormone cortisol.  Cortisol is an essential hormone to our body as it assists the body with it’s response to stress.

How did I get low cortisol?

I basically burned it out and was running on nothing.  If you’ve heard the term “burn out” before, that’s the unofficial description of adrenal fatigue. I’ve done this at least three times in my life. And, when you’ve had it once, it’s easy to teeter off into burnout again.  The symptoms of low cortisol include:

Dizziness
Fatigue
Unexplained weight loss
Dark rings under the eyes
Palpitations
Cravings for salty food

I’ve since made and re-established some nutritional and lifestyle changes to shift my energy.  And, a proper supplementation plan is definitely key as well.




Okay, so let’s talk exercise. And, I’m framing it to women who may or may not be diagnosed with a high or low cortisol (there are both) or an adrenal issue but who have low energy, and perhaps are having a hard time losing those last five (or more) pounds.  Let’s face it, many of us don’t know that there is a diagnosis for those with severely “low energy” and those symptoms listed above.

There was (and quite frankly still is) a time where I would work out daily and still not be able to lose weight or “tone up”.

Do you know when I feel my strongest and healthiest?

When I exercise for 30-40 minutes a day, take a walk in nature, and of course, yoga.

Why do you think that is?

My body is telling me that it prefers to be more in a resting state versus a period of high impact movement that either creates a surge of cortisol or taps out my adrenal glands.




That is also why many of us come back from holidays, not only looking rested, but looking like we’ve lost weight and looking a whole lot healthier than when we left!

High cortisol can have devastating effects on the body. That’s why intense exercise may not support your health, at least for the short term. Studies have shown that intense exercise can increase cortisol levels. And high cortisol does not allow fat to be burned. In fact, when we’re in a state of stress, the body panics and stores glucose into your gut region (to save for later). That’s why those that lead very stressful lifestyles will likely have excess weight in the gut.

Now, I would never EVER say to stop exercising but you definitely need to take a look at the best forms that will support your overall health.  I talk about some options in my {FREE} Weekend Stress Detox Program which you can get HERE.




I’m personally drawn to yoga, weights, and as much as possible, walking and hiking outdoors. Since my health has improved, I’ve actually recently started to run as I am training for a 5 km race for charity. Some other recommendations could be:

Pilates, and Barre programs
PIYO which is a combo of pilates, yoga and some cardio
Light interval training may be an option but pay attention to any fatigue during and after.

Now tell me: what exercise do you think best supports your health goals? Let’s have a discussion so tell me in the comments below!

Eat Life Balance and its materials are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. 
All material on Eat Life Balance is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health related program.