The Physical Side of Stress
According to health experts, we need about 30 minutes of aerobic exercise most days of the week. The benefits of this are too numerous to list but include:
- Heart health
- Increased energy
- Decreased obesityÂ
- Improved mood
Exercise has been called “the best thing we can do for our body.”
We also need resistance training to build lean body tissue and strong bones. Resistance training increases the ability of our individual cells to accept sugar and insulin. Indeed, resistance training is seen by some as the antidote to insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome and osteoporosis.
Stress in â€“ stress out!
Despite all the benefits of exercise, it must be recognized that exercise is stressful. Exercise is work; it is a struggle against gravity and in the end, gravity always wins! That said, there are nutrients that can help us succeed in the struggle against gravity and help us meet our desired objectives of fitness and wellness.
First, we need energy to exercise (and then exercise gives us energy). Energy comes from metabolism, and the sensation of being energetic is “stored” in the nerves.
- Our polyphenol product Energy Now! helps convert about 200 calories of energy from stored reserves per serving. This is the amount of energy we need to walk about two miles.
- Sublingual B-12 adds to our energy delivery system by nourishing the nerves. Have you ever had a day when you felt light as a feather? Conversely, have you ever had a day when you felt like you were weighted down with lead weight?Â Most of us have that experience from time to time. Much of the sensation of feeling energetic is related to the potential of our nerves to conduct energy. Vitamin B-12 facilitates that energy delivery so we have more “light as a feather” days.
Sublingual B-12 also helps in another way. When we exercise we contract one group of muscles and stretch an opposite group of muscles. Vitamin B-12 facilitates muscle stretching â€“ so muscles can stretch with ease.
When muscles ache after exercise it is because we have exceeded the limits of the muscle group at that moment. As we learn to listen to our body we really have only two choices: either don’t exercise so we will never feel that pain or take discomfort as a signal that we need to increase our nutrient reserves. Adaptogens are a group of nutrients from specific plants known to help us resist the stress of exercise while speeding a return to “normal” after exercise. Adaptogens are non-toxic by nature. So, if you find yourself sore after exercise, take more adaptogens!
Of course, pain is one of the cardinal signs of inflammation (pain, swelling, redness and heat accompanied by loss of function). Nopalea contains anti-inflammatory bioflavonoids called Betalains. Reducing inflammation quickly can help our body repair and return to normal function more quickly.
I am often asked about my exercise routine and the supplements I take. The answer really depends on what goal I am working on at the moment. If I am preparing for an event (like a bicycle race or triathlon) I will train every day, but I will only work out with weights twice a week. On the other hand, if I am preparing to hike the Grand Canyon, I may run a few miles a day but increase my weight training to five days a week. However, I always begin my workout routines with four ounces of Adaptogen 10 Plus and four ounces of Nopalea.
I don’t like to exercise but I really do like to play! As an adult my “play” is more structured and organized than when I was a kid. It is also much less frequent. Still, I know that the more I move, the more I will be able to move and the more I will enjoy activity. Conversely, the less I move, the less I will be able to move and the less I will want to move.
Happiness and self-esteem come from setting and achieving worthwhile goals.Â One worthwhile goal is to enjoy activity daily and use nutrients and nurturing to combat our inevitable opponent: stress!
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