Part 2 – The One Missing Link To Your Wellness
In Part 1 we covered the negative effects that stress has on many of our critical functioning systems in the body.
In Part 2 we will cover a few phases of exercise and what to look for so you don’t push too far. Our mind can push our bodies to do whatever it wants. The problem arises when our biology begins to respond to the hormetic stress in a negative way.
You have heard the concept before. It goes back thousands of years to ancient Chinese medicine and the Yin & Yang.
The Yin is the building or anabolic components and the Yang is the breaking down or catabolic, the go,go,go and lots of stimulation. Hard training, high stress, poor recovery and a lack of quality sleep and will eventually deplete the Yin.
When we’re younger we can get away with this imbalance. However, as we age it becomes a delicate balance of managing stress and emphasizing recovery so that our bodies stay in balance. Listen to your body as well as thousands of years of historical science.
If you’re tired and you push yourself to workout, you will feel better after the workout. Your body can run off of an adrenaline based stimulus.
Every time you exercise you get a very powerful D.O.S.E of positive stimulants:
D – dopamine
O – oxytocin
S – serotonin
E – endorphins
These are all great things for your body if they are delivered to a system that is not under a ton of stress.
If you are always pushing the needle and don’t respect it, your body has unique ways of slowing itself down. This can come in the form of chronic fatigue, bloating, inflammation, a leaky gut, brain fog, just to name a few. Your body will become dis-eased.
If you go from no exercise or movement right into a program that is too intense you won’t give your body time for the adaptation phase. What that means is that your body has the ability to build more mitochondria (the power-house of your cells) buffer the lactic acid response as well as transfer oxygen to working cells and muscles. These can take 2-3 months to really get going.
If you’re just starting out, perhaps start with only 1 set of each exercise for the first week or two. If you have the mentality that you need to go hard and fast in order to make improvements in your fitness you may create a more stress based state in your body.
If your body is under stress, as we mentioned in part 1, it can actually down regulate your metabolism or energy based production. This means that your body, under stress, needs less calories to maintain its functions.
When we start exercising we want to increase our metabolism to build muscle and burn fat.
Ideally you would need to run some functional medicine labs to tell the whole story. However, for the purpose of this post, here are some basic signs if your body is under too much stress (while trying to start an exercise program):
Losing muscle mass / tone
Higher state of irritability
What to do?
This is just from an exercise perspective as there could be more underlying issues. Keep in mind pre and post workout nutrition as well as taking in enough micro and macro nutrients will play a big role in combating this stress.
Don’t stop moving, just limit the intensity. Instead of 3 sets, go back to one set and not to total fatigue.
Limit your overall selection of exercises. Pick one for each segment such as 1 pushing, 1 pulling, 1 lower body pressing and one for core stability.
Keep it here for a few weeks. If you are no longer fatigued and sore, then work with your coach to slowly begin to ramp it up by adding 1 more set. Your body is beginning to adapt to the stress. This is a positive hormetic effect and your body will become stronger.
The positive effects of exercise go way beyond body transformation and fat loss. Exercise is about balancing the body, overall wellness and longevity and should be part of every person’s life in some capacity.