EXERCISE AND REST
BALANCE OF EXERCISE AND REST
The body has two basic states, which both must have adequate time for the body to be healthy. There is the active state and the rest/digest state. Exercise has a profound effect on health. The stress is usually put on cardiovascular health, but in reality, it affects pretty well every aspect of a person’s health – from mental health to eyesight.
Too little exercise over-tones the sympathetic side. This results in what is called the “metabolic syndrome” the classic combo of high blood sugar, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease. On the other hand, too little rest results in adrenal exhaustion (or maybe it’s just shut-down), low blood sugar, low blood pressure, allergies and histamine issues, and breakdown of the digestive system. Nowadays, since 80% of the world’s population is sedentary, it seems that there is no such thing as too much physical activity. However, that is not the case.
BENEFITS OF EXERCISE
Physical activity is equally important to health as nutritious food, maybe more so. We weren’t made to live in a resting state, and the body just cannot function properly when that’s the case. Blood flow is decreased, intestinal peristalsis is slowed, the cortisol cycle cannot function, blood sugar levels rise, and bad tissue isn’t broken down and replaced; muscles and bones waste and the list goes on. There are different kinds of exercise, but the most important thing is not to be sedentary. Ideally, a person should not sit more than 6 hours per day, nor more than 2 hours at a time. Of course, ideal isn’t always possible, but the next best is breaking up sitting time with a little activity in between.
Many people think of exercise as benefiting the cardiovascular system only. However, it truly benefits the whole body. It’s really part of basic body function. Below is a list of the benefits from exercise:
Make links of names here
The correlation with the Metabolic Syndrome and Sedentary lifestyle:
People who spend higher amounts of time in sedentary behaviours have greater odds of having Metabolic Syndrome. Physical inactivity is a predictor of Cadiovascular disease events and related mortality. Many components of metabolic syndrome are associated with a sedentary lifestyle, including increased adipose tissue (predominantly central); reduced HDL cholesterol; and a trend toward increased triglycerides, blood pressure, and glucose in the genetically susceptible.
Metabolic syndrome is a combination of medical disorders that, when occurring together, increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Some studies have shown the prevalence in the USA to be an estimated 25% of the population, and prevalence increases with age.
Symptoms and features are:
• Fasting hyperglycemia —— diabetes mellitus type 2 or impaired fasting glucose, impaired glucose tolerance, or insulin resistance
• High blood pressure
• Central obesity (also known as visceral, male-pattern or apple—shaped adiposity), overweight
with fat deposits mainly around the waist
• Decreased HDL cholesterol
• Elevated triglycerides
Associated diseases and signs are: high uric acid, fatty liver (especially in concurrent obesity), polycystic ovarian syndrome (in women), and acanthosis nigricans.
Exercise decreases activity of the Sympathetic Nervous System and increases Parasympathetic.
However, it’s not a matter of the more the better when it comes to physical activity. It just seems so, since 80% of the world population is sedentary. But there is a such a thing as too much, and it can be equally destructive.
In a study involving 52,600 people followed for three decades, the runners in the group had a 19% lower death rate than non-runners. But among the running cohort, those who ran a lot— more than 20 to 25 miles a week —-lost that mortality advantage. Another large study found no mortality benefit for those who ran faster than 8 miles per hour, while those who ran slower reaped significant mortality benefits. Those two studies follow the recent publication of several other articles finding cardiac abnormalities in extreme athletes, including coronary artery calcification of a degree typically found in the utterly sedentary.
Extreme exercise is not even conducive to cardiovascular health. Beyond 30-60 minutes per day, you reach a point of diminishing returns. Researchers say the safe ‘upper limit’ for heart health is a maximum of an hour a day — after which there is little benefit to the individual. Extreme exercise such as marathons may permanently damage the heart.
The effects of exhaustion or too much physical activity are different, and sometimes the exact opposite of the classic diseases of modern civilization. Too much physical activity tends to damage the digestive system and the liver. Physical activity shuts down digestion – rest and digest go together. It also promotes auto-immune diseases, because it lowers cortisol too much. There’s often a tendency to low blood sugar and low blood pressure.
The mechanisms by which exercise causes gastrointestinal symptoms are not well known. Decreased gastrointestinal blood flow, increased gastrointestinal motility, increased mechanical bouncing, and altered neuroendocrine modulation are postulated. All of these mechanisms are associated with exercise intensity.
During exercise, blood will primarily be shunted to the skin and exercising muscles at the expense of the gastrointestinal tract. During exercise, blood is shunted away from central organs (except the heart) and toward working muscles. As a result, only 3% of the body’s blood is distributed to both the liver and kidneys while the muscles receive 71% of the body’s blood flow during moderate-intensity physical activity).
So it seems if lack of exercise/physical activity causes Metabolic Syndrome, then excess exercise/physical activity (exhaustion) would cause what I call Autoimmune/Adrenal Syndrome: high immune response, high histamine, low—blood sugar, low-blood pressure,etc. It seems that auto—immune diseases such as ulcerative colitis seem to occur in people who like extreme activity sports. Also, Metabolic Syndrome risk increases with age, while Auto-immune/Adrenal Syndrome affects the young more.
When athletes over-train, they sometimes experience heightened sympathetic activity and raised cortisol levels initially, (because strenuous exercise is a form of stress). Later, as exhaustion set in, adrenal function is impaired, and cortisol levels fall.
Endurance training can result in dysfunction in the reproductive system. Endurance-trained athletes of both sexes have abnormally low levels of the major sex hormones: testosterone in men, and estrogen in women. Testosterone is a steroid hormone. Other steroids in the body include cholesterol, bile acids, vitamin D, and hormones of the adrenal glands and ovary.
Low cholesterol is quite common in endurance athletes, such as marathon runners, and people who under eat. Cholesterol is manufactured in the liver and in most human cells. (The cholesterol lowering effect of exercise is understandable since liver function is part of digestion, which take place during rest.
Cholesterol acts as a precursor to vital hormones that help us deal with stress, such as cortisol, and to the sex hormones like testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone. Cholesterol is a precursor to vitamin D. Cholesterol is necessary for the conversion of sunshine to vitamin D. Bile salts are made from cholesterol. Bile salts are vital for digestion and assimilation of dietary fats and therefore the metabolism of fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamins A, D, E, and K. Cholesterol is necessary for the proper function of serotonin receptors in the brain. Low serum cholesterol is associated with an increased risk of severe depression.
Some symptoms or conditions that can result from cholesterol that is too low are:
I. Chronic Emotional Disorders, such as Anxiety and Severe Depression
2. Hemorrhagic Stroke
3. Obesity (due to inability to digest fats properly)
4. Infertility and Decreased Libido
6. Leaky Gut Syndrome and Chronic lndigestion
8. Insulin Resistance
9. Various nutrient deficiencies, especially of fat soluble vitamins
Of course, there’s the question of how much sleep! That’s certainly not the more the better, either. Between six and seven hours seems to be ideal. There’s actually a higher mortality rate among those who get the long-recommended 8 hours of sleep, particularly for men.
High levels of Vitamin D have recently been shown to improve sleep, and eliminate disorders.Vitamin D and Sleep
So, how much is optimum?
On feet 10-11 hours per day (sitting less than 6 hours)
Walk about 5-7 miles per day (total, using pedometer)
7-8 hours physical work (indoors or out, includes any light work)
Exert hard enough to get out of breath at least 3 times a week, but not more than 4-5 hours per week.
Sleep about 7 hours per night.