Super Fit & Sick

How many times have you heard the case of someone who developed a chronic condition, or even died, and still they were super fit and healthy? The answer to that is inflammation. Overdoing it. Could be oxidative stress or some sort of metabolic dysfunction. It specially happens to the “cardio” people (marathon runners, cyclists), but also the “HIIT” ones (bootcampers, crossfitters… including myself at some point – you just feel it), and the Powerlifters and Olympic lifters, because of the excessive metabolic demand. Repetitive stress injuries in the ligaments and tendons are one of those signs of inflammation, but so are other things (stiff joints, heat, swelling, high HR during exercise, etc.) so if you’ve suffered from that at some point, consider what I’m saying here.

The deal-breaker in my opinion is: don’t do anything you’re not conditioned or prepared for doing, that’s why Strength & Conditioning training is your best bet when it comes to healing all maladies. Now, the catch here is that you still need a bit of inflammation in order for the muscles to create micro-tears, and then repair (that’s how muscles tone and grow), but that’s why it’s imperative to REST in between strenuous exercise periods. Inflammation is needed to tone up and build a stronger, leaner body, but you can’t be in a continuous inflammation stage, and this is what I’m talking about here, so make sure you find that sweet spot between getting a ‘good’ workout and going too far – listen to your body, for it ALWAYS, invariably, knows when it needs to stop. More about how the actual inflammation process occurs here (why should I write it again if it’s already been written so well by someone else).

Strength Training is your best bet.

A few golden points dug from this study:

Low or moderate intensity can induce oxidative stress, suggesting that exercise volume and failed antioxidant defense system are the primary mediators of exercise-induced oxidative stress.

Training at different intensities of resistance training can effectively reduce the oxidative damage when compared to training at the same intensity all the time.

• Short-term aerobic exercise with high intensities (HIIT & Metabolic Training) can greatly induce oxidative damage.

• Prolonged, continuous aerobic exercise induces a large systemic inflammatory response, and it can transiently suppress immune function and increase susceptibility to infections.

• An acute bout of HIIT results in a modest increase in inflammation. However, these inflammatory responses to HIIT are much lower than those in response to prolonged continuous aerobic exercise (eg, marathon).

• The longer and more intense the exercise bout, the greater and more prolonged the immune response. However, repeated bouts of the same prolonged, continuous exercise stimulus appear to attenuate the inflammatory response, suggesting an adaptive immune response to exercise. – Adaptation is always my favourite thing ever because it debunks everything that’s been researched before😆. The body adapts to anything and this is why anything and everything is possible, even in extreme situations. That is why the less you eat, the longer you can go on without eating until you may reach a point where you may not need to eat at all! Similarly, the more you think you can fly, the more chances you will have of ending up flying (that is, if you practise enough)🤣🙃

People who train at high metabolic rates continuously, also tend to eat too many pseudo-foods (protein bars, shakes…). Needless saying, you are what you eat, so watch for those “healthy substitutes”, which aren’t really that healthy if they are processed (yep, all those powders are obviously processed food). If you suspect you’re overly-inflammed, leafy greens and veggies are your best bet: look for antioxidants (as the word says, they are anti-oxidation!), and try to exercise under the sun, which is one of the greatest anti-inflammatories.

So, careful to how much you put yourself through. Looking good on the outside is obviously great, but make sure you also live to show off your external appearance. Overtraining is as dangerous as undertraining. Find that middle point where your hormonal and nervous systems are in balance with your musculoskeletal system.

Again, Strength & Conditioning are non-negotiable if you want to stay inflammation-free for life. You’ll have a solid core, strong posterior chain (including but not limited to a perky bum), solid metabolism, optimal bone health, lower inflammation and a balanced hormonal system. Aside from a stronger mindset, a healthier looking skin, face and thoughts. Building muscle without injuries is also imperative to survive the blatant lie and zombie apocalypse we are living in the world right now🧟‍♀️🤣.

Related links:

Oxidative Stress (Study)

Overtraining Syndrome (Study)

HIIT induces a modest inflammatory response (Study)

Systemic inflammatory response to exhaustive exercise (Study)

The Relationship between Exercise and Inflammation

Stress and Immunity

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