Where Do Exercises Go Wrong and Why Are Fit People So Sick?
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The types of exercise that you need in order to build and maintain a healthy immune system that can effectively fight off viruses and infection are light to moderate exercises.
We are not talking about exercise or fitness routines that are focused on losing weight, building muscles, or stamina training. These high intensity exercises do not necessarily lead to health, if they are not carefully managed. Someone who is physically strong and fit is not necessarily healthy from the standpoint of immune system health.
Health and fitness are two different things
People often lump together health and fitness as being one thing. But they are actually very different.
Health is a state where your bodily systems and your immune system are performing optimally and in good balance.
Fitness is a condition of being capable of performing specific tasks.
Exercises for a healthy immune system
For the purpose of a healthy immune system, the exercises you do should focus on improving your circulation — both cardiovascular circulation and lymphatic circulation.
Your cardiovascular circulation pumps nutrient-rich blood, supplying every part of your body with the nutrients and oxygen it needs in order to function properly. Your heart is the organ that keeps pumping to keep this circulation flowing.
Your lymphatic circulation is your body’s plumbing system that drains out toxic waste products from every cell, tissue and organ. It is also your body’s first line of defense as it produces immune cells when viruses and invaders first enter your body.
Unlike the cardiovascular circulation, the lymphatic circulation doesn’t have an organ that keeps fluid flowing. Instead, it depends on movement, breathing, muscle contraction and gravity. Proper lymphatic flow enables your immune system to effectively fend off infection.
You can improve your lymphatic flow by doing deep breathing, slowly breathing in through your nose, holding for 4 counts, and slowly letting your breath go out through your mouth over 2 counts. Repeat for 5 to 10 times, or up to 10 minutes a day.
Moving around more and doing gentle exercises like walking, stretching, and jumping on a rebounder or trampoline are all also very effective in improving lymphatic flow.
The problem with high intensity training and muscular exercises
High intensity training most commonly done by bodybuilders and athletes is not necessarily healthy. High intensity and muscular exercises promote oxidative stress in humans, and this can lead to negative health implications unless the damaging impact of these intense exercises are well mitigated.
Eating high amounts of protein from animal sources can cause damage to the immune system, causing the immune system to weaken and unable to effectively fight off infection, and causing chronic inflammation that leads to a variety of chronic illnesses including heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes.
Protein powders are detrimental to health, with many found to contain heavy metals, plastic and other contaminants
People who train also often consume protein powder products, the most common being whey protein powders. Whey is a dairy byproduct, and I’ve also covered in another video why dairy can be so damaging to health, as casein, the majority of the protein in milk, turns on cancer genes in the body.
Plant protein powders, such as soy protein isolates, are still highly processed, as the protein has been artificially isolated from the plant sources. It’s not the same as getting your plant protein by consuming whole soybeans.
Protein powders are highly processed products that go through a lot of chemical processing and contain additives and unnatural ingredients. The protein content in protein powders is unnaturally dense and high, putting strain on the kidneys to process.
A nonprofit group called the Clean Label Project screened 134 protein powder products for 130 types of toxins and found that 40% protein powders contain heavy metals – lead, arsenic, cadmium, and mercury, bisphenol-A (BPA) which is used to make plastic, pesticides, and other contaminants that are linked to cancer and other health conditions. Some toxins are even present in high quantities in these protein powders, for example one product contained 25 times the allowed limit of BPA.
Sports drinks (or energy drinks) are another culprit. They are inherently unhealthy as they contain high amounts of sugar, sodium, artificial sweeteners, colouring, and stimulants.
Proper nutrition is essential after exercise, and especially critical after high intensity exercise. Unfortunately, proper nutrition is an area that is so poorly understood.
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