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The Truth About Exercise and Why Its Not Always Good for You!

Exercise is often regarded as a panacea for many things..."if you want to lose weight, you must exercise"; "if you want to get those feel good endoprhins racing, take some exercise"; "if you want to help with stress, you should take up exercise".

All of this may be true but there are times when exercise is NOT a good thing and should be undertaken with caution or proper supervision. A good example of this is stress. Although exercise is often promoted as a means to work off all your stress, physiologically exercise actually puts stress on your body.

What happens when you get stressed about something? You might start to sweat; your heart races; your blood pressure goes up; you breathe a little heavier....what happens when you exercise? You sweat, your heart pumps faster, you breathe harder. Physically, your body's response to exercise is exactly the same response to a stressful situation.

So if you are in a stressed or even 'distressed' state and this has been the case for a while, your body will have been placed under enormous pressure to maintain its equilibrium (also called homeostasis) throughout this period.If you then add exercise to the mix, the additional stress that exercise puts on your body may just push it to breaking point. Your immune system could shut down and make you susceptible to illness, your blood pressure may rise dangerously high and you may feel dizzy or nauseous because your heart is struggling to pump blood fast enough to your muscles and brain.

And for the guys wanting to pump iron and bulge those biceps, if you are stressed (either from work or even from a cardio workout), you will have cortisol - a stress hormone - pumping round your blood. Cortisol inhibits the production of testosterone - another key hormone that is needed for muscle growth. If you pump iron with cortisol in your blood, your ability to produce testosterone is limited and you'll therefore be wasting your effort to bulk up your muscles. So if you've just done an aerobic workout and stressed your body and then go into the weights room, you're not going to see as much progress as you think you should.

But.....I do NOT want to put anyone off exercise, especially aerobic exercise that helps to keep your heart & lungs healthy. In fact, as a personal trainer that's the last thing I want to do!

Exercise can be a great stress reliever and the perfect way to wind down after a day of frustration but if you are stressed - and by this I mean truly & physically stressed out - try and de-stress first with some relaxation and meditation, before placing your body under any more stress with 10km on the treadmill. And if you want to build bigger muscles, don't do any aerobic exercise in the same workout - or even on the same day - as a resistance workout.

And if all else fails and you are unsure when and how to exercise safely, consult a fully qualified and registered exercise professional.

Lea Woodward is a qualified personal trainer in the UK. She runs a health & fitness company, activOne, that provides personal training, massage therapy and training resources to other personal trainers see


Washington Post

The long, strange saga of Harry Reid and the exercise band
Washington Post
More than 10 months ago, Sen. Harry Reid's life changed forever. The Nevada Democrat and Senate minority leader was exercising in his home with an elastic band when it snapped, throwing him into cabinets, causing him to lose sight in his right eye, ...
Harry Reid Lawsuit Against Exercise Band Manufacturer 'Opens the Doors' To His ...Breitbart News
US Senator from Nevada Suing Exercise Band Maker over Eye InjuryInsurance Journal
Harry Reid to sue exercise-band maker over blindnessMarketWatch
KNPR -The IUSB Preface
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Does your schedule allow for adequate amount of daily exercise?
While this remains the standard recommended amount of daily exercise by both the American Heart Association and the Center for Disease Control, ongoing research has revealed that perhaps that 30 minutes needs to be doubled and possibly even tripled.

Tech Times

Social Media Can Motivate People To Exercise More: Here's How
Tech Times
New research published in the journal Preventive Medicine Reports showed that “health buddies” on social media can positively affect exercise habits. The health buddies provided motivating effects and produced “a substantial growth” in enrollment rates ...

Exercise helps cut cancer chances
The Independent
If you are like most people, when you think of reducing your risk of cancer, exercise doesn't immediately come to mind. However, there is some fairly compelling evidence that exercise can slash your risk of cancer. One of the primary ways exercise ...

Chicago Tribune

Sheriff's office leads simulated school shooting response exercise
Chicago Tribune
Planning for the exercise took about a year, although it couldn't have been more timely in the wake of last week's fatal mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon and a shooting early Friday outside a dormitory at Northern Arizona University.

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Everyday Heroes: United through exercise
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Exercise and stop smoking to improve depression after heart attack
EurekAlert (press release)
Dr Nanchen's research shows that exercise and stopping smoking may improve depression after heart attack.2 He studied 1,164 patients who were part of the Swiss Acute Coronary Syndromes (ACS) cohort, a large prospective multicentre study of patients ...

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People Magazine

Scientists are Developing an Exercise Pill
People Magazine
"While scientists have long suspected that exercise causes a complicated series of changes to human muscle, this is the first time we have been able to map exactly what happens," co-author of the paper Dr. Nolan Hoffman said in a statement. "This is a ...
Science is serious about developing an 'exercise pill'CNET
Exercise Pills May Be In Your FutureTIME
Exercise in a bottleKRMG
WTVY, Dothan -Cell -The University of Sydney -Cell
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New York Times

Senator Harry Reid Sues Exercise Band Company Over His Injuries
New York Times
LAS VEGAS — Senator Harry Reid is suing a company that makes and markets a flexible exercise band that he says broke or slipped from his hand during an arm-strengthening routine on New Year's Day, causing the veteran lawmaker to fall and sustain ...
Sen. Harry Reid suing exercise band maker over eye injuryFox News
Harry Reid Sues Exercise Equipment Manufacturer For InjuriesHuffington Post
Oh, Snap! Reid Files Lawsuit Against Exercise Band MakerDaily Caller
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Good News Network

Can't Exercise? A Pill May One Day Offer Some of the Same Benefits
Good News Network
For those who can't work out due to chronic pain, disability, or other obligations, a pill could some day offer some of the benefits of walking, squatting, or doing push-ups. That's right: scientists are working on an “exercise pill,” to help you if ...
'Exercise Pills' Could Have Health Benefits, Says New ResearchThe Cheat Sheet
Scientists are making progress on an exercise pill that mimics the effects of ...ScienceAlert
Will We *Really* Soon Be Able To Exercise With A Pill?!LOOK
Realty Today -Physical Therapy Products
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