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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Is Strenuous Exercise Bad for Me?

Naturally, my curiosity was peeked when I read about this study that basically says strenuous exercise is bad for people.  I thought, ‘Interesting’. Then I thought, ‘Shoot, I hope this study is not well done’.  I didn’t want strenuous exercise to be bad for me because, frankly, on occasion, I LOVE ME MY STRENUOUS EXERCISE!

Let me break down what the study basically says:
  • No exercise = you die early.
  • Strenuous jogging = you die early (“not statistically different than the non-joggers”).
  • Light or moderate jogging = Longest life.  Specifically, a total of 1-2.4 hours per week divided into 2-3 sessions gives a total of 6 more years of life than non-exercisers.  That’s a lot of extra time on this planet!  Not many (if any) medications can do that!

The study was long term and, in my opinion, is decently legit.

Ok.  So that sucks for me, right?!  Strenuous exercise is part of my weekly routine.  Fortunately for me, some easy workouts and some medium workouts are also part of my weekly routine.  

As the conclusion in the Abstract states, “The findings suggest a U-shaped association between all-cause mortality and dose of jogging as calibrated by pace, quantity, and frequency of jogging.” 

Over the years, my professional advice has always been and will continue to be that people should move regularly, EVERY day.  That’s it.  It doesn’t have to be strenuous, but movement is the key and every day is the other key.  That is what I firmly believe.  There’s a reason that it has been said that “sitting is the new smoking”. 

So, this study tells us that regularly exercising lightly or moderately is one of the most effective ways to extend our lives.  6 years to be exact.  That’s fantastic.

The bigger question is...  Does this study mean that I (or YOU) should stop strenuous exercise? 
My answer is, “yes” and “no” and “it depends”.

What this study doesn’t address is the role that inflammation plays in exercisers.  Inflammation is not always bad (ie. after you cut yourself, you want some local inflammation to heal the wound faster).  Strenuous exercise increases systemic inflammation.  Too much systemic inflammation at the wrong time is bad for the body.  When a person does what I call ‘strenuous yo-yo exercising’ (ie. exercise hard just on weekends) along with the Standard American Diet (SAD), they add fuel to the fire and create this systemic inflammation process that does nothing good for the body and in fact, seems to completely undo all the benefits that exercise has on the body.  What I suspect DOES HELP the body is consistent strenuous exercise so that the body gets acclimated to the systemic inflammation COMBINED with proper nutrition.  By proper nutrition, I mean lots of anti-inflammatory organic veggies and fruit that are rich in vitamins, minerals, bioflavonoids, and other nutrients.  Combine proper nutrition with certain added nutrients, perhaps in the form of supplementation, and you can exercise to your heart’s content.

Thank goodness!  Since I’m pretty good about eating healthy food most of the time and I take a few other inflammation busting supplements right before and after my strenuous workouts, I feel pretty confident that I’m way better off than the average strenuous exerciser who adds fuel to the fire with the Standard American Diet on top of occasional and random strenuous workouts.

In short, I’m good with my strenuous exercise regimen.  Are you?

A question: How does this apply to all those who are taking up marathons and distance triathlons?

Of course, lots more study is needed on this subject and I look forward to reading the next piece of info to come out on this subject.

Medical Disclaimer: Information provided in this article is for informational purposes only. The information is a result of years of practice and experience by Yoshi Rahm, DO. However, this information is NOT intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional, or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. 

Do not use the information provided in this article for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing medication or other treatment. Always speak with your physician or other healthcare professional before taking any medication or nutritional, herbal or homeopathic supplement, or using any treatment for a health problem. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, contact your health care provider promptly. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking professional advice because of something you have read in this article.

Information provided in this article and the use of any products or services related to this article by you DOES NOT create a doctor-patient relationship between you and Yoshi Rahm, DO or any other physician featured in this article. Information and statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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