In this episode, you will learn:
- Signs and symptoms of overexercising
- The needs of the body vs. the needs of the mind
- The difference between men and women in terms of fat storage
- How women can plan their training around their menstrual cycle
- How to enjoy a healthy lifestyle without compromising your social life
- The 3 most impactful exercises
- Danny’s favorite health investment & gym shoes
- 2 small habits that make a big impact on overall health and happiness
Who is Danny Thompson?
Danny is a Synergistic Performance Coach & former NCAA Division I Athlete with the following certifications: Personal Trainer, Nutrition & Human Potential Coach, and USA Weightlifting Performance Specialist.
Growing up, he struggled with obesity and an unhealthy lifestyle. Through educating himself on nutrition, upgrading his social circle, and changing his mindset, he transformed his health. Now, Danny works with clients full-time on prioritizing health, growth, and performance.
Signs of overexercising
Most people are not getting enough exercise, but a small percentage of people ramp it up too much. Surprisingly, overtraining can suppress the immune system, diminish some of your strength, and increase body fat. It’s your body’s way of begging for a break.
Signs of overexercising include…
- Brain fog
- Disinterest or disability to perform regular day-to-day tasks
- Decreased performance
- Soreness that lasts for more than 1 day
- Increased resting heart rate
- Fat gain due to the body’s prolonged stress response
- Trouble sleeping
Workouts vs. “Work-ins”
Danny recommends a balance between workouts and what he calls “work-ins.”
Workouts are when you’re focused on maximum exertion: high intensity interval training, weight/resistance training, or challenging aerobic or anaerobic exercises. “Work-ins” help us lower cortisol and regain energy, flexibility, & vigor: foam rolling, gentle yoga, walking, and stretching.
Ladies, did you know that certain types of workouts may be better than others depending on which phase of our cycle we’re in? It’s called cycle syncing. Based on the average 28-day cycle, here are some tips to optimize your hormonal health.
Right after menstruation, during our follicular phase (typically, days 7-14 of our cycle), we tend to have more energy because we are able to access glycogen/carbohydrates easily. Therefore, we can push ourselves athletically during this phase.
Also, the American Journal of Nutrition reports that BMR (basal metabolic rate) decreases at the beginning of our menstrual cycle. On days 1-7, it is recommended to incorporate short, intense workouts, such as high intensity interval training to counteract the slower metabolic rate.
During days 8-14, testosterone levels start to increase, making it a good time to enjoy strength training.
However, every woman is different. If you notice pain or discomfort during the follicular phase, try low-impact exercise (swimming, light cardio, Piyo, or yoga).
On days 15 to 28, we enter the ovulation and luteal phase. During the ovulatory phase, our estrogen, strength, and testosterone levels are at their highest. This is a good time to lift heavy weights.
After the ovulatory phase, we go into the luteal phase, a time when our bodies are not primed to workout at high intensities. This phase of our cycle can leave us feeling sluggish due to the hormonal changes occurring. Simply put, estrogen and progesterone are dipping and rising all over the place…
We are also at higher risk of injury during the luteal phase. The Journal of Sports Medicine found that we are more prone to injury due to joint laxity and estrogen-induced changes in collagen structure. ACL tears are 4-8x more likely to occur during this phase. If you are on a weight training regime, supplement with dietary collagen to protect your joints, especially during the luteal phase. Body-weight exercises, lighter resistance training, barre, and pilates are also great options.
Checkout the Flo App to learn more about cycle syncing.
In social situations, always be yourself.
When Danny was losing weight and practicing healthier habits, he noticed that his social life started to suffer. He found himself avoiding certain social situations to prevent feeling tempted around alcohol and food. Danny quickly realized he needed to change his approach if he wanted to maintain his relationships.
When he started going out more often, peer pressure got the best of him. He would drink or eat what everyone else was eating- not because he genuinely wanted it, but because he didn’t want to make anyone else feel uncomfortable.
With practice, Danny has learned to go out and say yes (without guilt!) to alcohol or “splurge” foods if he truly wants it. If he doesn’t want to drink or “splurge,” he politely declines. Danny doesn’t worry about whether or not his dietary choices will make others feel uncomfortable because it’s not within his control.
In life, he practices living his truth without looking for validation from others. The best thing you can do in any social situation is to be yourself. When you have peace of mind and are feeling your best, you’re more fun to be around!
One last thing: when you change your lifestyle, you might find that your social circle starts to change too. Danny has formed friendships with like-minded individuals through wellness events/trainings, such as the Human Potential Coach Training and Runga.
Consistency is key.
In the words of Marie Forleo, “Success doesn’t come from what you do occasionally, it comes from what you do consistently.” Don’t forget to do all of the small things that got you to where you are today if you want to sustain your goals.
Danny’s small habits that have made a big impact on his productivity & happiness…
Danny makes his bed every morning. Why? A small victory in the morning sets the tone for your whole day. Making the bed is a simple task that shifts you into a state of discipline and productivity.
Another habit Danny implements to increase productivity: using a calendar. He schedules his workouts, follow-up calls with clients, morning ritual, etc. He shared, “If it doesn’t go on the calendar, it doesn’t happen.”
Favorite gym shoes
Danny prefers VivoBarefoot gym shoes. By avoiding shoes with excess cushioning and high arches, you can strengthen the muscles in your feet and ankles to be more stable. However, if you’re used to wearing bulky gym shoes with more support, it’s important to warm up to a minimalist shoes. Work towards 10,000 steps per day in the minimalist shoes until it feels natural.