On this Training Tuesday we are going to span the spectrum for those just starting or looking to start a fitness program all the way to our seasoned exercisers who have been training for years or even decades.
There is 1 missing link when it comes to wellness and training that is often overlooked. You’ve heard the term before and you might be dealing with it right now. It’s called stress.
Can you relate?
There’s a term for how the body responds to stress and that’s called the hormetic response. This refers to how different body types respond to stress. Our bodies are living organisms and each of us has a unique biological make up.
How do you decide what is too much or too little when it comes to getting and staying fit? Or better yet, how about increasing your lifespan and anti-aging mechanisms without running your body into the ground?
We are told to do so many different things. How much to sleep, how many strength sessions, cardio & metabolic conditioning sessions, hot saunas, cold baths, and fasting and the list goes on.
We need a certain amount of stress to survive and enhance our own biology. How do you know what the right dose is for you and your body?
For example. In general the Endomorphic body type usually responds better to longer bouts of fasting and has been proven to decrease high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and controlling blood sugar without medication. They usually can handle more intense training.
Intense exercise and prolonged fasting may not be as beneficial the Ectomorphic body type, leading to an overall increase of stress.
What happens when you are exposed to stress such as too much exercise, prolonged fasting or bouts in a sauna?
What happens when your body is already producing higher amounts of stress through poor sleep, bad relationships or jobs and then you jump into an aggressive exercise program?
When exposed to too much stress or a stimulus it lowers the BDNF or the brain’s derived neuroplasticity function, or the brain’s ability to create new cells. This sometimes shows up in that foggy feeling or fatigue that we try to mask with caffeine.
When stress is elevated this vicious cycle begins to develop:
Increased stress can lead to increased levels of insulin.
Increased levels of insulin can lead to increased levels of cortisol which can lead to increased levels of blood sugar.
This leads to higher levels of insulin again which can increase levels of inflammation which can elevate cortisol again. WOW! Read that again.
Summing that up, too much stress disrupts the cycle of insulin sensitivity as well as the cells ability to manage glucose, balance estrogen and testosterone as well as a host of other functions. You begin to age faster.
You might have heard the term free radical damage or (ROS), Reactive Oxygen Species? This is what starts the “dis-ease” of some of the bodies processes if it goes unchecked.
We are not 20 something anymore. Most of us in the gym right now are somewhere between 35 and 90 years of age, so there’s a broad range. Whatever decade you’re in, the common theme is that you want to move and feel better in your NEXT decade.
When starting an exercise program or sustaining a high level of activity you need to approach it given your current state of function and ability to recover. In Part 2 we’ll get into this in more detail on helping you strike a balance between just enough and too much stress in your daily routine.