Fit For You – No. 3
by Scott Rejholec
What is exercise, and why should I do it?
This article will kick off a three-part series on what exercise is and the two main energy systems our bodies use to fuel exercise.
Let’s start with asking this question – Exercise is good for us, right? The obvious answer is, “Yes, of course!”
In reality, exercise does cause some damage to our bodies – temporarily. Now, before anyone starts getting any ideas of using that as an excuse to not exercise, let me explain further.
To keep it simple, exercise can be defined as any intentional act of physical activity with intentional being the key word.
When our bodies go through this physical activity, we are put under a great deal of stress. When we think of stress, we think of deadlines, bills to pay, tests to take or talking in front of a group of people. This mental stress elevates our heart rate, blood pressure and makes us feel uneasy.
However, when we are exercising, we are inducing a physical stress to our bones, joints and muscles. This is how exercise does some damage to the body in the form of stress.
Fortunately for us, our bodies are unbelievably efficient at adapting to stress. When our bodies are under this physical stress, they release certain hormones that help our bodies strengthen as a result of the stress.
If we don’t provide our bodies with this necessary form of stress, a natural occurrence termed sarcopenia starts to occur in our bodies. Sarcopenia is when our bodies start to lose muscle mass. It is very similar to osteoporosis, which is the natural occurrence of the loss in bone density.
Our bodies were not meant to be stationary. They were designed to be active and to be stressed. As mentioned before, our bodies are unbelievably efficient at adapting to stress.
For instance, if we were to do the same type of exercise for more than two weeks, at the same intensity and duration, we are no longer stressing it.
By this time, our body has adapted to the stress we are inducing and no longer feels stressed. When our body doesn’t feel that physical stress, we no longer make improvements.
This is the key point. We must understand that being active and exercising are of course great things. But we need to focus on challenging ourselves. In order for us to continue to grow stronger structurally, we need to constantly surprise our bodies with a new exercise, a faster pace or a longer duration. And no, you are never too old to do something new.
With that being said, I want those of you who set goals from the last article to keep working on them. If you haven’t started yet, it’s never too late. If you’re having trouble, remember to keep focused on why you set those goals in the first place. If you have already accomplished your goal, let this article be a guide to moving you forward to the next challenge.
In the next article, we will be going over the anaerobic fuel system. This fuel system is utilized in sprints, body weight exercises and free weights.
If you have any questions, comments or want to see a specific topic be presented in these articles, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow “Fit For You Sheboygan Falls” on Facebook. I will be posting my articles, videos and other health-related topics there.
As always, make it a great day!