Exercising the body is a magnificant thing to do. There are numerous benefits that are gained from regular exercise. However, exercising incorrectly can be just as disastrous as living a sedentary life. It is important to realize that there are over a thousand chemical reactions that occur when we exercise. Being fit, simply means that the physiological systems have been developed well enough to turn on and off the chemical reactions more effectively. Being able to activate the sympathetic nervous system to get the appropriate hormonal response necessary to stimulate new growth patterns in the cells, and then having the efficiency of the parasympathetic system to be restored quickly following exercise, turning off the catabolic affect, is the reason why we exercise. Essentially exercise serves as a way to regulate physiological stress. The better we are at handling stress the healthier the systems of the body will be, therefore the more “fit” you are.
The chemical reactions that are charged by exercise affect individuals differently, an exercise or program that works well for one person might not be appropriate for another person. This is because the stress threshold could better different in each person. The person with a low stress threshold will most likely set off a series of chemical reactions that promote an increase in stress hormones faster than the other person who might not have any adverse effects with the same exercise because of their higher stress threshold.
I see this in group classes. There are those folks that appear to hardly be working and are sustaining a moderate physiological base, while others working at the same intensity level are struggling at sustaining their threshold. Trying to keep up those that have a higher physiological threshold is a problem for many group participants. Remember, exercise affects people differently, what is good for some may be bad for others.
I have observed that some people get fatter while performing certain exercises. I believe that the reason for this is because they are having a chemical reaction that is altering their body composition in an undireable way. This person will continue to get fat unless they stop the physiological chemical reaction cycle that causes the muscle to deplete and fat to store. If you don’t know what chemical reaction is altering your body composition then you need to go to a professional who can help you. Be careful! There are many uneducated trainers out there giving poor advice and teaching the wrong methods. You must go to someone who knows how the physiological systems of the body work.
Daryl Conant, M.Ed