By Joshua Trentine,
Before we can answer that question, we must first define exercise. Why define? In the words of grammarian Richard Mitchell: a word that means everything means nothing. Exercise has come to mean everything; I’ve heard walking, gardening, dancing, video games, sex, and a wide range of activities called “exercise.”
Exercise is a process whereby the body performs work of a demanding nature, in accordance with muscle and joint function, in a distraction-free, temperature controlled environment, within the constraints of safety, meaningfully loading the muscular structures to inroad their strength in a minimum amount of time.
This should narrow things down a bit. The most common thing I hear from people is that they claim that all of their recreational endeavors are exercise. I’m here to say if it does not meet specific criteria that allows for enough of a stimulus to excite the body to produce profound architectural changes, then you are left with activity and recreation, not exercise. I’m not suggesting that recreation and activity are without benefit. These things are absolutely essential to us and we should be able to enjoy recreational activity for the rest of
our days on earth, as long as we participate in normal and required maintenance for the human body called EXERCISE!
The most common gripe I get when restricting the word “exercise” is that people will complain that they must do activity very often to burn calories. While I admit activity can be calorie wasting it can also be sarcopenic (muscle wasting). Some estimates have an entire marathon only costing us 2,500 calories and there are 3,500 calories stored in just one pound of fat; if you’re not logging your calories and creating some kind of calorie defi cit, good luck losing any fat. Now this gets me to my answer of “why exercise”: to preserve and increase lean tissue. Bottom line, if you’re much past 25 years old, you are losing muscle every year; and if you’re much past 40 years old, it’s happening quickly. Fat loss can only occur if there is a calorie deficit, and recreational activity is a very inefficient means to creating this deficit. Diet is the primary mode for fat loss and exercise is a means of preserving lean tissue as we age and to make sure that our weight loss efforts are discriminate. In other words, we’re not really out to lose weight. We wish to lose fat and preserve lean muscle mass. This is done with diet and exercise. Exercise, as defined above, will promote skeletal muscle gain and prevention of loss. Skeletal muscle is the window to the body and will enhance: strength, HDL, bone density, vascular efficiency, metabolic efficiency (for type II Diabetics including glucose economy and insulin sensitivity), joint stability and protection, stamina, mobility, and overall functional ability to allow you to do anything.
If you’re after the most intense, safe, efficient, effective, results producing exercise, please come in for a free 90 minute consult at OVERLOAD FITNESS.
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