We all know that exercise is good for us , but only about 20 percent of people move regularly. Exercisers may be drawn to popular training trends such as CrossFit or jumping on the elliptical for 60 minutes, however too much extreme high intensity interval training (HIIT) or chronic cardio may not be the best fit. smart to look and feel better.

Plenty of exercise releases two key hormones

Excessive exercise releases two key hormones : adrenocorticotropic hormone-releasing hormone (CRH) and cortisol, both of which are related to the stress response.

CRH increases the permeability (or leaks) of the intestinal wall, as well as the permeability of the lungs, skin, and blood-brain barrier. Cortisol levels increase with rigorous exercise, such as running, which can cause too much wear and tear and accelerate aging.

High cortisol also disrupts the tight junctions between cells, so small harmful substances can get through the barrier. Additionally, high cortisol reduces intestinal motility, blocks digestion, reduces blood flow to the intestine, and decreases mucus production, an important immune function.

For people with dysregulation of the CRH and cortisol control system, the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, you may need to regress your workouts to fully heal, as part of a comprehensive functional medicine protocol. Even elite athletes must get help from various sources, such as supplementing with probiotics, omega-3s, and vitamin C; however, moderation may be your best option.

Sometimes weight loss is contradictory

Intense exercise , or a lot of exercise , raises cortisol even more, which can cause several later problems: weight gain, short telomeres, blood sugar problems, knee pain, leaky gut, and fatigue.

Going back on strenuous exercise and adding, for example, more adaptive exercises like yoga, Pilates, gyro and barbell classes, help with the HPA (hypothalamus, pituitary, adrenal). You can lose more weight. Your joints are less stressed and happier.

How much exercise is too much

On the other hand, inactivity and sitting too much are not good either. In particular, sitting too much increases your risk for diabetes and heart disease, as well as straining your hip flexors, which can contribute to low back pain and stiffness. Don’t fly too high or too low, there is a middle ground that provides the greatest longevity benefits.

When you don’t get enough exercise , you can damage your immune system, lower your resistance to stress, and deregulate your circadian rhythm. When you exercise too much, too long, too hard, too often, and without sufficient recovery, it can cause problems with your stress response system, which can lead to immune problems, injury, and a leaky gut.

In short, like many things when it comes to health, exercise has a U-shaped association, meaning that moderate amounts are optimal, but low or high levels can be detrimental. The general recommendation is to exercise for 20 to 30 minutes a day four times a week.

These are some basic principles for optimal exercise

What type of exercise is ideal? Targeted exercise: burst training and adaptive workouts, such as Pilates, barre, or yoga. These will stabilize cortisol levels, help you lose weight, and keep your muscles toned.

1. Move less but more often

Aim for bursts of movement that adapt to your natural rhythm. Do a rousing flurry of dancing one minute after waking up. Invest in a standing desk or treadmill and use it daily.

Practice the heel lift while talking on the phone or standing in line at the grocery store. Do 12 push-ups after going to the bathroom. The point is to incorporate moments of movement rather than just forced discipline that lacks pleasure. Start small by adding one to five minutes of new movements to your routine every day this week.

2. Burst train

In the morning or before 1:00 p.m., two or three times a week, do an exercise in which you focus on fast-twitch muscle bursts. Cavemen and women used to exercise in bursts: a quick run to the river to fetch water and carry a bucket back to the tribe, a jog with a sick baby to a neighbor’s house for help.

Our bodies perform well with burst training and then recover at a moderate intensity for one to three minutes. The protocols vary; use one that makes the most sense to you.

Burst training can be applied to cardiovascular exercise (for example, intermittently running fast on a trail alternating with a jog) or weightlifting (lifting a weight, such as with a bicep curl, as many times as possible in good form during one minute, followed by one minute rest). Other examples:

  • Walk fast for three minutes, then alternate with three minutes at a normal pace.
  • Chi running with sprint intervals or regular running with 30-second sprints.
  • High intensity interval training (HIIT) with weights or cardio (stationary bike, elliptical, treadmill), alternating two to three minutes at a moderate pace with one to two minutes at your maximum pace.

3. After burst training, have a recovery drink

Increases muscle mass and keeps the mTOR gene off. This is only for people doing burst training (at least four to five bursts per session) or vigorous training of at least 30 minutes in length.

What has been shown to work is a combination of macronutrients that are high in protein and carbohydrates, even in older people. But drink it within 45 minutes of your workout; immediately after your workout is ideal. Avoid sugar. The best formula is between 10 and 40 grams of protein (20 grams for the average woman), 7 grams or more of carbohydrates (10 to 20 grams for women), and up to 3 grams of fat.

4. Get enough sleep

For optimal weight loss and energy levels, it is recommended to sleep at 10 pm and sleep for seven to eight and a half hours. If you’re not getting enough sleep, try taking a nap if you’re feeling tired. This is very important for your body to produce enough growth hormone and repair itself after a workout. Sleep cleanses toxins and deeply rejuvenates our cells.

5. Schedule and take enough time for recovery

Exercise affects your hormones, and proper recovery keeps your hormonal profile in balance so your adrenal glands don’t fry and take your sex hormones and thyroid with them.

It’s about incentivizing the entire arsenal of repair mechanisms in your body: attaching micro-tears in the muscles, smoothing the fascia when it shakes, revitalizing the mitochondria so they are bursting with energy instead of feeling worn out or burned out.

Takes time to repair tissues

The official definition of recovery is your ability to repair tissues damaged during exercise, rebuild muscles, provide functional restoration of the body so that you can prevent injury, rejuvenate emotionally and psychologically, and feel prepared to achieve or exceed performance the next time. .

If you exercise five days a week, then in its simplest form, recovery means 24 hours between workouts and two days off. If you exercise four days a week, take three days off.

Recovering avoids oxidative stress

Recovery allows you to recover from oxidative stress that may or may not feel like fatigue and muscle pain. But recovery goes deeper, in a broader sense, it’s about paying attention to the messages in your cells, your inner voice and not letting the ego run the program.

Sometimes you want to exercise excessively and fail to recover, which is a recipe for injuries, spasms, and weak mitochondria. Don’t let that happen to you. Recovery also consists of tuning in to the messages that your body sends you, knowing how to listen to it is key.

Even if you haven’t been exercising consistently, you still have a chance to get on track. Pick an exercise that you enjoy and sweat four times this week. As we know, exercise fights stress, helps us sleep better, and increases endorphins. It’s good for sleep, weight, stress, genes, and the mind. Even walking counts.

Ideally, you start noticing your heart rate at rest and while exercising, and after paying close attention to your body, weight, and mood, you will find the perfect route to feeling and looking your best.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses. He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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