Skip to content

Chronic Exercise vs Acute Exercise

Exhausted Exercise

As promised, this week we will be examining how stress can work for or against us in our quest to move to the right of our vitality spectrum.

Chronic Stress <——–> Acute Stress

Stress can work against you, and me, for many reasons and move you to the left.  The most common way that stress can work against you is by doing too much of the same thing.  Doing the same exercise routine on the same day every week, and then repeating the next week is a recipe for diminishing results.  As your body adapts to the same old routine exercise stimulus, be it cardio training or strength training, your body becomes more efficient.  Doing 30 minutes on a treadmill at a steady cardio state will be less effective each time you repeat it.  This act will cause you to adapt in the beginning but ultimately will not be much better than sitting on the couch. So in order to get benefits going again, we stay on the treadmill for 40 minutes until we adapt to that and our results level off again.  This process is repeated until we are spending 2 hours of our day trying to be healthy.  This common routine produces burnout, injury, sickness, and depletion every time.

Let me repeat- chronic exercise, too much of a good thing, has the opposite effect of its intended purposes, whether your goal is to lose weight or gain energy.

Bad move.

Here is a simple test, IF YOU HAVE TO MAKE YOURSELF EXERCISE, IF YOUR MOTIVATION TO PERFORM THE ACTIVITY IS LOW, IF YOU FEEL INTERNAL RESISTANCE AT THE MERE THOUGHT OF THE GYM, YOU ARE EXERCISING INCORRECTLY AND THIS TYPE OF STRESS WILL RESULT IN YOUR DEMISE!

So what is one to do?

Should we exercise at all?

Of course, but let’s do it correctly.

So one more point of review:

If you remember last week I spoke of something called Hormesis.  Again, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”  Chronic activity kills you; slowly, but it does it alright.  Short intense exercise produces stress that makes the body stronger and more resilient.

One more point. That is the principle of the Minimum Effective Dose.  We know this one intuitively but as Westerners we don’t believe it.  We still think more is better no matter how many times we say we don’t.  Minimum effective dose is the life principle of just enough.  Not more is better, but just enough.  For example, if one aspirin is good, two is better.  No it is not.  One aspirin is good. If 30 minutes on a treadmill is good, then 40 is better.  Again not true.   If eight hours of sleep is right, then 9 or 10 is better, not true, you wake up feeling groggy; too much of a good thing.  If a glass of water will quench your thirst, then two glasses just makes you pee.  No benefit.

Key point:

More is not better.  More is just more.   BETTER is BETTER.

What is better exercise?

Any acute, meaning short duration and often intense, stimulus that provokes the desired response, typically fat loss and more energy, is the minimum effective dose.  The hormonal cascade that results from this type of exercise, appears to be the fountain of youth; the stimulation of human growth hormone and testosterone being the prime targets.

That is smart, and also much better. It really takes less time than we think.

Here is where the rubber meets the road.  Vary your exercise pattern.  Go slow.  Go fast.  Skip a workout.  Do an extra workout. But make it short and intense, if possible.

Here are two resources that have shaped my thinking on this subject over the last several years.  I recommend you read them both.  Body by Science and The One Minute Workout.

The One Minute Workout

The changes have been excellent and I’m as healthy as I have ever been.  I don’t spend all day doing this and it frees me up to do more important things, like hike and goof off with my dog.

How do I know that it is working?  I have not had to make myself go to the gym for almost four years now.  Really, I haven’t missed a week in four years.  This is not bragging but hopefully it’s an encouragement.  This is truly within your grasp.

Get these books, get familiar with them and let’s chat.

Your family will thank you.

Cheers

ks

 

2 Join the Conversation

  1. Rebecca says
    Jun 14, 2018 at 5:59 PM

    OK, OK, OK!! I get it! Dr. Swaim, I felt like you were in the room with me when I read this. I appreciate the way you care for your patients. The reading, research, and information, takes time. Thank you for all you do for us.

    • frontdesk@swaimchiropractic.com says
      Jun 14, 2018 at 5:37 PM

      Thank you Rebecca, I'm sure in my minds eye that you inspire a bunch of these! Cheers

Add Your Comment (Get a Gravatar)

Your Name

*

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *.

Chiropractic Web Design by Perfect Patients.