I’ve written in the past of the many important benefits of exercise. Exercise plays a pivotal role in brain health, mood balance, stress relief, heart health, weight control, blood sugar balance, and joint health.
Here’s the simple fact: almost everyone knows that diet and exercise increase longevity and aid in overall health, yet very few people actually adapt these practices that encourages the body’s innate healing response (see my website for the latest research on food constituents and health).
I think one of the main reasons for this discrepancy of knowledge and follow through is that people are already stretched for time and trying to figure out the correct exercise for you can become a headache waiting to happen–I mean it’s information overload, people!
Sigh… all these “trends” in exercise. First in the 80s, it’s Jane Fonda, high tops, big hair, and sweat bands. In the 90s, were told that’s not enough and we start to inch our way into the intimidating weight bearing machine exercises, which look like contraptions derived from outer-space! Then, in the age of technology, who can keep up….it’s burst training and bare foot, it’s walking and yoga, it’s running a marathon then falling down with joint pain, it’s…….ughhh!!!
If you weren’t stressed out already, boy would you be by the time you get to the gym and start to analyze the scene. You try to determine if you should hit the pool (good for the joints, right?), join the kick boxing class vs. spinning class, or push that muscle head out of the way for the thigh cruncher and….didn’t your naturopath say to do some burst training and to burn fat with weight lifting, and isn’t the pool filled with toxic chlorine that kills your thyroid??!!
You haven’t even taken a step, and your heart rate has already gone through the roof. Your heads spinning enough to make you turn around, sweat bands and all, and stomp out the gym door (of course you’re measuring that your heart rate doesn’t exceed maximum fat burning capacity as you do this!).
Furthermore, now, not only do you have to worry about what to do, but what to do after. Exercise, can increase oxidative stress, according to some studies , and by now you are sweating from your venture forth and forgot to remember to take your gogi berry juice and alpha lipoic acid after you’ve burst trained. Great, now your muscles are eating themselves, you’re hungry and irritable and were you supposed to drink that whey pro before or after?? Do you add the fat and peanut into the shake or where you supposed to just do strict carbs to increase insulin resistance sensitivty, or was that protein? What increased fat burning vs. weight gain….AUGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.
Then, this whole thing with adrenal stress! You consider yourself definitely burned out, so you are advised now to do gentle stretching and breathing exercises to get rid of that pot belly insulin resistance stomach, when what you really want to do is grab your running shoes and sprint around the block pushing away any innocent bystander who happens to get in your way!!
Ok, ok, enough with the detailed description. Here’s where your trusty Naturopathic Doctor and Integrative Medical Specialist comes in. Good news. It’s about bio-individuality, what works for you, what your body is signaling, and the results you’re getting!
Recent research has showed that even light activity aids in overall health:
CONCLUSION: Being physically active reduces the risk of all-cause mortality. The largest benefit was found from moving from no activity to low levels of activity, but even at high levels of activity benefits accrue from additional activity.
So, at least move your buns around the block, maybe throw in a few sprints, and then run (maintaining your fat burning threshold heart rate) to your nearest integrative practitioner that can help you decode your body’s signals, bio-chemistry, and what is optimal for you…if that doesn’t cause more stress….which increases weight….which…..
Hope I made you smile!!
Dr. Sarah J
Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine. Volume 222, Number 3 Pp. 283-292.