Suppose you suddenly had a financial windfall: you won a big lottery payout our received an unexpected inheritance. What would you do with that money? Would you buy a new house? Would you invest the money? Would you donate a big portion to charity? Would you just hold on to it in a bank account? Most of us would have no idea, because we have had no reason to plan for a windfall like that. You would suddenly have resources, but no direction as to how to spend those resources.
If you aren’t sick, and you are eating normally, your body routinely has unspent resources. Most of us consume more than we need for our activity level. You likely get plenty of calories, and if your metabolism doesn’t burn off enough then your body has excess food resources. It has the ability to use those resources or conserve them, but the resources are available, and your body is constantly looking for direction as to how to spend them. It has lots of options, so it looks to where the greatest needs are. With no special directions, it will use resources to maintain your basic metabolism, and store or eliminate the excess. There is a difference between excessive financial resources and excessive food energy resources. Too much money will not hurt you sitting in the bank collecting interest but too many food energy resources sitting around in storage becomes inflammation promoting and has long term health detriments.
Stress gives your body direction to use its energy resources — basically, to respond to the stress and repair damage that it does. Some stress is disastrous, telling your body to use resources to solve an unsolvable problem. Worry is a good example: there is little your body can do to alleviate the worry, yet the stress urges it to do so. However, there are stresses that are positive, and they cause your body to respond in a manner which actually makes you healthier. Such a stress is called an “eustress” — the prefix “eu” means “good”, such as in the word eulogy, which means “good word.” An eustress does some damage like any stress does, but urges your body to use resources to fix the damage. Eustress is something your body knows how to deal with, and is very effective in doing so.
“That which does not kill us makes us stronger” — this saying is easily misused. When referring to a bad stress, it is clearly wrong. With eustress, that stress should not reach the point of causing damage, because too much eustress can become an overload, which is now a bad stress. But all that aside — the saying is very useful when you are considering taking the stairs rather than the elevator, taking a walk to the local store rather than driving, or doing an exercise program. You may not feel like doing it, but it’s just what your body needs..
We are getting de-activated
Exercise doesn’t just tell your body how to use its resources to repair your muscles and make them even stronger — it also redirects resources that can heal other aspects of your health. Exercise speeds up your entire metabolism, and cells far from the active muscles also accelerate. Exercise does burn resources at a faster rate, so good nutrition takes on extra importance to keep those resources available. Without enough exercise, your body will horde excess resources while it down regulates, so your demand for resources is lowered while you are taking in more than enough for your reduced activity level. The result is storage, and we all know the results of too much storage: undesired weight gain and lowered energy.
The majority of us get this wrong. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 36.5% of Americans are obese. Also, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases states that another 32.5% are overweight. That means two-thirds of us are overweight. And the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that less than a quarter of Americans are meeting the national physical activity guidelines. So the majority of us under-exercise and over-eat.
Those statistics are bad enough, but when you realize that disease preys upon the slow and weak, you can see why disease is also prevalent. The second law of thermodynamics — where everything is under pressure to fall apart and turn to chaos — must be countered by vibrant life. We are engaged in a marathon of life, trying to stay well ahead of the 2nd law. The young have a natural advantage, but with the dismal exercise and nutrition statistics, even they are showing more disease in the last couple of decades. Statistical data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the rate of people between the age of 10 to 19 with type 2 diabetes increased 95% since the start of this century. And published in Metabolic Syndrome and Related Disorders, a statistical study of data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey conducted by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that only 12% of American adults are “metabolically healthy”, achieving optimum levels of health and meeting the guidelines for cardiovascular risk avoidance. Most of us are simply unhealthy to some extent, and that means the door to disease is wide open.
The “race” of life is won by the swift, or at least the active. Activity is life in the physical sense. And the most direct way of measuring this life is through enzymes — which are the enablers of cellular function.
Speed it up
One in four of people in the world have non-alcoholic liver disease (NAFLD), and many of those people have type 2 diabetes. NAFLD is essentially a storage issue: the liver is being told to store extra food resources. Exercise protects against NAFLD, balancing energy intake versus energy consumption by improving enzyme activity and mitochondria function. Published in Molecular Metabolism, researchers at Tübingen University Hospital and Tübingen University in Munich, Germany studied the impact of exercise on participants eating a high-energy diet. They found less fat stored in the liver, and lipids particular to NAFLD were notably reduced. They also found that many metabolic pathways were simultaneously improved with exercise. Basically, the high-energy diet was being used constructively, and instead of the diet promoting fat storage and NAFLD, it reduced the storage and improved enzyme function overall.
When exercising, your metabolism is ramped up, and for that to happen, your enzyme activity has to accelerate, since enzymes are the key to all metabolic reactions. With greater enzyme activity, your mitochondria are more actively producing energy. This effect stretches beyond the exercise period, so exercise is actually energy-building. But beyond that, this increased energy fuels your brain, your immune system, and causes a positive spiral in body function. So during exercise you benefit from the higher metabolism, and afterwards you benefit from the effects triggered during the exercise.
Build Back Better
That’s a good description of what exercise does. Through a process called mitophagy, mitochondria are actually renewed through the eustress of exercise, giving lasting health benefits. In a study published in Nature Communications, researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine in Charlottesville, Virginia used a new technique to make mitochondria fluorescent, allowing them to observe changes. They were able to observe signs of mitochondrial stress from three to twelve hours after an exercise session, but after six hours they saw signs of accelerated mitophagy. This process “cleaned up the clunkers” and left the muscles with renewed mitochondria. The team lead explained it this way: “Aerobic exercise removes damaged mitochondria in skeletal muscle. If you do it repeatedly, you keep removing the damaged ones. You have a better muscle with better mitochondrial quality.”
There are many benefits to regular exercise, starting with disease avoidance. Many diseases are associated with NAFLD and diabetes. Exercise is a direct assault on these. But it also means a positive health spiral, where you have more energy and greater health. Regularity is key. What’s your program?
Dr. Nemec’s Review
Exercise increases the heart rate which increases blood flow and oxygen to every tissue in the body. This is a good and necessary part of staying healthy. Exercise is no longer a luxury — it is a necessity to stay healthy, as we can see with two-thirds of Americans being overweight and now it hitting ages 10-19 with diabetes. So the answer is found in movement, and what the movement does is it strengthens the cell, including the energy producing cells called the mitochondria. Mitophagy just means the old worn out mitochondria are recycled into new youthful mitochondria, but to do this exercise is required. No exercise, no mitophagy.
So can too much of anything be harmful? Yes in a sense. Let say someone has so much money they would never have to work a day in their life. Is this harmful? Of course it is: we were meant to work, it is how we use our mind, brain and body. It also gives us a purpose in life. How healthy would if be if you never had to work and just sat on the beach and went to restaurants each day? No purpose, no reason to get out of bed in the morning. So food is the same — we do not want any extra food stored on our body. This will age us, inflame us, give us a fatty liver and increase our chances of all diseases. Lean is best for anti-aging and longevity.
Here are the ways we can help you in your health journey:
- Outpatient Comprehensive Teaching and Treatment Program-has the most benefit of teaching, treatment, live classes and personalized coaching. This program has the most contact with Dr. Nemec with 3- 6 month programs that can be turned into a regular checking and support program for life. This is our core program that has helped so many restore their health and maintain that restoration for years.
- Inpatient Comprehensive Teaching and Treatment Program-is our four-week intensive inpatient program for those that are not in driving distance, usually over 4 hour drive. This is the program that is an intensive jumpstart with treatment, teaching, live classes and coaching designed for all our international patients along with those in the US that do not live in Illinois. This program is very effective especially when combined with our new membership program support.
- Stay at Home Program-is offered to continental US patients who cannot come to Total Health Institute but still want a more personal, customized plan to restore their health. This program also includes our Learn Membership Program.
- Membership Program is our newest program offered for those that want to work on their health at a high level and want access to the teaching at Total Health Institute along with the Forums: both Dr. Nemec’s posts and other members posting. And also, to have the chance to get personalized questions answered on the conference calls which are all archived in case you miss the call. The Membership Program has 3 levels to choose from: Learn, Overcome and Master. The difference is at the Overcome and Master levels you received one on one calls with Dr. Nemec personalizing your program for your areas of focus.