Vigorous Exercise Beats Down Stress

by | Mar 6, 2013 | Health & Healing

Fourteen minutes of vigorous physical activity done three times a day may be all we need to lessen the negative effects of stress on the body. We all know that exercise is helpful in losing weight, lowering cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar and feeling of depression. But can the level of intensity and the length of time performing the exercise have an effect on our health?

If you exercise too long or too much you could be adding more stress to your body. Stress kills and stress is cumulative! Constant, prolonged stress works against you. The more stress you add to your body (mental, chemical, or physical stress) the weaker your immune system becomes. A new study published in the Public Library of Science showed that fourteen minutes of vigorous exercise can be protective.

Exercise is a form of physical stress (being overweight and carrying an additional 20, 40 or more pounds is physically taxing to the body) and taxes the body no differently than mental stress, such as worry and fear. They both trigger your adrenal glands to produce additional cortisol and adrenaline. What we want to make sure we don’t do is over-train, and cause our adrenal glands to produce more of our stress hormones.

Exercise is good, but too much of a good thing can be a problem. By keeping your workout short and intense you can place enough physical demand on your body to evoke a positive response. You don’t have to work out hard for an hour. The study shows that as little as 10-20 minutes is all it takes.

Yes, you can work out longer, but more is not necessarily better for everyone! So many people I consult with are already struggling with fatigue and exhaustion that a long arduous workout could be counter-productive. What I like about this study is that even though your body may be exhausted—if you limit the amount of time to 10-20 minutes of vigorous exercise you may not be over-taxing your body.

Short burst of intensity may be all it takes to pump up your metabolism and stimulate those muscles. This is another reason why the Work Horse Trainer can be invaluable. In as little as 10-15 minutes you can follow the Super Seven Workout program for a complete whole body workout that doesn’t further drain your body.

Interval running, walking, biking, swimming, etc is another way to increase the intensity of your aerobic workout. Simply run, bike, walk, etc at a faster more vigorous pace for 30-60 seconds depending on your current conditioning level.  Then for an equal amount of time or longer slow the pace back to your normal speed.  Do that type of interval aerobic training 7-10 times for your next aerobic workout to reap those same benefits. 

Rest and recovery, as well as, good nutrition are major factors in determine the results you hope to get from your workout. Don’t get caught up in thinking ‘more is better’. You can’t over-train to make up for a bad diet or lack of rest. Keep your workouts short and sweet and you may be surprised to see how much different you will start to feel after a few short weeks.

If you struggle with fatigue and exhaustion, but like to push yourself through a workout thinking it will help, you should consider taking the Stress Test to see if adrenal fatigue is part of your problem. Based on those findings, you would probably want to do a saliva test through a respected lab to accurately measure and see how exhausted your adrenal glands are.  Nourishing your adrenal glands with a good adrenal herbal (liquid) tincture to rebalance and energize your exhausted body from all the stress it is under is almost a must for everyone, due to all the stress we all seem to be under.

Dr. Len Lopez is a nutrition and fitness expert and creator of The Work Horse Trainer.  He speaks extensively on diet, exercise, and how stress can affect your overall health and wellness.

For the original article, visit CBN.com.

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