Is Exercise Bad for You?
As with most things in life, exercise is different for each person. An intense workout for one person may involve a slow walk around the block while someone else may think nothing about a ten mile run. Some people prefer to exercise at the gym, others had rather work outside, some lift weights while others do cardio, some play basketball; the possibilities are endless. However, there seems to be one common objective in all exercise programs – an exercise program must be good for you!
According to the Natural Standard of Integrative Medicine, exercise is any form of physical activity that helps to promote overall health. Most movement of the body is considered beneficial, as long as it is done in moderation and at the skill level of the person involved. Physical activity that does not promote health should not be considered exercise no matter how much it makes a person sweat.
In other words, and contrary to the opinions of many exercise buffs, perspiration is not required in an exercise program. The only requirements seem to be A) physical activity and B) it must be beneficial. As long as those two criteria are met, anything goes! However, on the other side of the coin, physical activity that is not beneficial to the body should not be part of an exercise program.
Although this may be a statement of the obvious, there seems to be quite a bit of evidence that the “good for you” criterion is often overlooked. Exercise that causes extreme pain or discomfort is considered by many experts as decidedly unhealthy. This may even cause permanent damage to the body, and yet this type of exercise is promoted by those who wish to build muscle mass.
Here in the United States, sometime in 2011, the number of obese people exceeded the number of those who are malnourished. In order to combat this dilemma, the general consensus of the medical community is that they must continue promoting intense exercise even though research has proven that when it comes to exercise, more isn't always better.
What we call exercise here in the United States, has a dark side; a dangerous enterprise that affects thousands of people each day. There is a vast “fitness industrial complex” made up of sports drink makers, manufacturers of gym and fitness equipment, gym club owners, clothing, shoes and dietary supplements that depend on all of us to “buy” into the idea that the more we sweat, the better; even to our own detriment.
The truth is that consistent exercise causes the body to produce endorphins, which are hormones secreted by your pituitary gland to block pain, decrease anxiety and create feelings of euphoria. But endorphins are chemically similar to the drug morphine. Although endorphins are produced naturally by the body they may not pass the “good for you” criteria. As for endorphins being natural, keep in mind your body also naturally produces uric acid but you probably don’t want to drink it.
Is Exercise Bad for you?
One study from the British Journal “Heart” followed 1,038 patients with heart disease for 10 years. Their research found that those who vigorously exercised daily were more than twice as likely to die of a heart attack or stroke than those who exercised only two to four days a week. Admittedly, those who did not exercise fared even worse.
Wear and tear from years of heavy-duty workouts can weaken heart muscles – predisposing you to a condition called “ventricular arrhythmia” in which the heart beats erratically. This is probably due to damage to the right chamber of the heart. This condition has literally put an end to several endurance athletes.
Believe it or not, exercise seems to promote Type II diabetes because after an intense workout many gym rats head to coffee shops and bakeries. Then after engaging in daily chronic consumption of big “healthy” muffins, baked goodies, bagels and artisan breads, they eat pastas, lasagnas, spaghettis, pizzas, and more carbohydrate laden foods. In between meals there is a constant, steady intake of sugar packed energy bars, energy gels, energy drinks and energy chews. The constantly surging blood sugar levels vastly increase risk for Type II diabetes as the cell surface receptors for insulin eventually become less and less sensitive.
Intense exercise can increase oxygen utilization to over 20 times the resting state. All this extra oxygen consumption then increases production of free radicals, which are produced as the oxygen is used to convert energy into ATP for muscle contractions. This enhanced free radical generation causes oxidative damage to muscles and other tissues resulting in wrinkles and early aging.
Exercise activates the adrenal glands which produce hormones like norepinephrine, cortisol and DHEA. These hormones allow your body to respond to physical or emotional stress while in the “fight or flight” state. If the intensity and frequency of the stress becomes too great, then the adrenal glands can become exhausted. The hormones that they produce can become depleted, resulting in serious imbalances that can cause issues like estrogen dominance in women or testosterone deficiencies in men.
The end result is a tired, chronically fatigued individual who has disrupted sleep, low libido, worn-out looking eyes, a set and stressed jawline, and a “skinny fat” body look no matter how much exercise they do.
At the Life-Wave Living Center we promote the idea that all exercise should be good for your body. Our Rikian Exerciser™ provides the ability to get a good work out without stress, endorphins, ventricular arrhythmia, cortisol, free radicals or any of the negative effects associated with traditional exercise. So join us at the Life-Wave Living Center and find out about the healthiest form of exercise there is – the Rikian Exercise! #exerciseisbadforyou