Thursday, May 24, 2012

Too Wiped out to Work out?

Too Wiped Out to Work Out?
John Douillard, DC

Are you feeling too tired to exercise, even though you know how good it is for you?
Or are you frustrated with poor workout results? Most folks are either too fatigued to get a good
workout in, or they work hard, sweat a ton, and invest a lot of time—with little benefit.

The cause may be related to how you exercise.

More than 100 million Americans eat a diet that decreases muscle strength and energy,
which undermines the motivation to exercise and the effectiveness of their workouts.
(1) Are you one of them?

Proper exercise can boost your muscle strength, and give you the energy and vitality
needed to exercise regularly.

Join me as I teach a simple workout that can give you the vigor of a teenager.

When your blood sugar levels are too high, you will become too fatigued to exercise,
or will struggle through your workouts.

Short bursts of exercise are better than long workouts because they raise your levels
of Human Growth Hormone (HGH), which:

  • helps you lose weight
  • calms your mind
  • boosts energy
  • tones your muscles
  • enhances sex drive
  • detoxifies your body
  • increases performance

Keep reading below to learn my Twelve Minute Workout, and why keeping
your blood sugar levels balanced is essential.


Muscle Fatigue = Less Motivation to Work Out
Your muscles fatigue when your blood sugar levels are too high. When the hormone insulin
rises to an unhealthy level, the muscle cells resist the function of insulin, which is to uptake
more sugar. As sugar is fuel to muscle cells, they essentially starve and cannot function properly
. This is similar to flooding a car with gasoline, yet the engine just won’t start.

This process is called insulin resistance, and unless fasting blood sugar levels are below a
healthy 85mg/dL, the muscles will continue to reject sugar from the blood. 
Without sugar for energy, the muscles grow weak and tired.

Fatigue sets in, desire to exercise wanes, and the blood sugars continue to rise.

Studies show that 85% of Americans have fasting blood sugars greater than 85mg/dL,
which can weaken your muscles, cause fatigue, and hamper your motivation to exercise.

>>> Sound familiar? Read about solutions to high blood sugar.

In addition to converting the excess blood sugar into fat and cholesterol, which
causes a host of weight-related issues, the sugars stick to proteins in our blood through a
process called glycation. This creates sticky blood that sticks the muscle spindles together,
making muscle contractions during exercise more difficult.

How Your Muscles Work

Every muscle is made up of spindles that slide amongst each other during activity.
They are like the twines of a rope that intertwine to make the rope strong. Blood is the
lubricant for muscular contractions and strength. If the spindles stick together due to clumpy
 or sticky blood, the muscle weakens.

Sticky muscles require much more energy to slide or contract. Exercise then becomes a chore,
 rendering most folks just too tired to workout.

The Solution
The solution, of course, is a multi-pronged approach of diet and exercise.

The good news is: research has shown that with the right combination of proper exercise,
healthy lifestyle, and balanced diet, the function of the muscles can be restored in as little as
12 minutes a day! (2,3,5)

Our Bodies Were Designed To Sprint
Historically, exercise was essential to our survival. However, hunting a rabbit wouldn't require
45 minutes in your heart rate training zone three times a week, the way fitness authorities today
advise us to exercise. Instead, it would require multiple sprints using fast twitch muscle fibers
that would last about a minute each, followed by periods of rest while you wait for the rabbit to
show again.

Fast twitch muscles, as opposed to slow twitch muscles, are muscle fibers that generate short
bursts of strength, but fatigue easily.

After hunting in this way, alternating between periods of sprinting and recovery, a natural
  fitness level was achieved.

Move like a Child

Have you ever asked a child of 10 or 12 years when the last time was that they ran as fast as
 they could? They would most likely respond by saying, "All the time, I ran here."

On the other hand, if you ask a 50 year old the same question, what do you think would be
the most common response? Probably something like, "I can’t remember when I last ran as
fast as I could."

When you sprint, fast twitch muscle fibers are activated, forcing the big muscle groups to
contract and demand more fuel in the form of sugar, glucose, or glycogen. The more you
use the muscles in this way, the more energy they demand. Via this process, insulin resistance
can be slowly reversed.

Anti-Aging Benefits
Fast twitch muscle activation also stimulates the production of Human Growth Hormone (HGH).
  This hormone decreases significantly after 50 years of age. Activated by fast twitch muscle
exercise, like sprinting, HGH helps restore the youthfulness and elasticity you had in your
 twenties and, in itself, offers all the benefits of regular exercise.

Be Calm and Lose Weight
The benefits of this kind of exercise are compelling. Nasal breathing during this Twelve Minute
Workout naturally creates a safe governor for monitoring how much exercise is good and how
much more can be potentially harmful, as indicated above. The sprint/recovery training offers
many health benefits in just 12 minutes a day (without the wear and tear of a long, slow
duration workout), such as (2,3,5):

  • Increasing fat metabolism
  • Calming the nervous system and mind
  • Stabilizing glucose and insulin levels
  • Increasing caloric expenditure
  • Boosting energy
  • Creating a sleeker, stronger, and more toned physique
  • Enhancing sex drive
  • Improved lymphatic drainage leading to healthier skin and detoxification
  • Amplifying exercise endurance and performance
  • Raising growth hormone – which may be responsible for all of the above

Avoid the Dangers of Over Exercising

There is an increasing amount of research indicating the damage of long, slow training on the
heart. In one study, 80 marathon runners were tested for the kind of heart damaging chemicals
seen after a heart attack. Prior to the marathon, runners were free of these chemicals. Right
after the marathon and three days later, all of the runners showed the kind of early stage
cardiac damage seen after a heart attack. (5)

Below is a simple, 12-minute workout routine that I recommend to reverse insulin resistance
and give you all the benefits of fast twitch muscle activation.

Twelve Minute Workout
Sprint Recovery Training

This twelve minute routine can be performed daily, or a minimum of 3x/week, for cardiovascular
 improvements. You can use this as your entire workout or as a cardiovascular warm up
before yoga, a bike ride, or hiking. In these twelve minutes, you will build your cardiovascular

Step One: Warm up
Slowly begin exercising. You can choose one of the exercise options listed under the “Sprint
Alternatives” section below, or pick something else that appeals to you. Stick to this activity
throughout the entire routine.

Exercise slowly for 2 minutes while breathing in and out through your nose as deeply as you
can. Check out my book, Body, Mind and Sport, to learn more about why nasal breathing is

  Also, in a recent video newsletter, I discussed all the truly amazing benefits of nasal
breathing during exercise, compared to mouth breathing. Nasal breathing is a skill that may
take some time to master. Don’t worry if you have to breathe through your mouth. Do the best
 you can and, in time, the nasal breathing will get easier.

Step Two: Sprint
Start exercising faster, like a mini sprint, for 1 minute. Use the nasal breathing during the
sprint if you can, as it will slow you down and not let you do too much. Don't push it here.
Start slowly and build yourself up to a faster sprint over time. Try to find a pace that you can
 maintain for one minute. In a couple of weeks, you will be sprinting like a pro.

Step 3: Recovery
Slow the exercise down to the warm up pace for one minute, maintaining the nasal breathing
if you can. Nasal Breathing during the recovery will force air into the lower lobes of the lungs,
allowing for more efficient release of CO2 and activation of the calming parasympathetic
nervous system that predominates in the lower lobes of the lungs. This will help you release    
toxins and stress.

Step 4: Second Sprint
Start another sprint for one minute. Make this a little faster if you can. Continue nasal
  breathing if possible.

Step 5: Second Recovery
Recover from the sprint with one minute of deep nasal breathing at the warm up pace. If you
cannot maintain nasal breathing during the recovery, it’s an indication that the sprint was too
hard. It will get easier each time.

Step 6: Continue Sprints and Recoveries
Continue sprints and recoveries for a total of 4 sprints and 4 recoveries. Follow the nasal
breathing if you can.

Step 7: Cool Down
Repeat Step 1. Exercise at the warm up pace, slowing down gradually, with deep nasal
 breathing for 2 minutes.

Note: In the beginning, you may need a 90 second recovery period after each sprint instead
of just one minute. If this is the case, then just do a 2-minute warm up, followed by three
1-minute sprints with three 90-second recoveries and a 2-minute cool down, for a total of
12 minutes.

Sprint Alternatives:
Sprinting can be running as fast as you can, running up and down the stairs, jumping jacks,
jumping on and off a curb, anything that gets the exertion levels up. However, if sprinting
scares you, here are some options:

  • Walk quickly up and down your stairs for 1 minute as fast as you can
  • Step up and down on the first step in your house as fast as you can
  • Hold a can of food in each hand and raise your arms up and down as fast as you can for
  • one minute
  • Consider joining a fitness facility and start a weight training program. Weight training
causes the big muscles to slide and demands that more energy and sugar is received by the
muscle, which reduces insulin resistance.
  • If you are weight training, use lighter weights and do fast (and safe) reps for one minute
  • to activate your fast twitch muscle fibers.

Less Is More
It is clear that long, slow workouts in your heart rate training zone are not necessarily healthy.
In some cases, they can even be damaging to your heart. In just 12 minutes, you can get your
 cardiovascular base and be free to enjoy a fun bike ride, hike, or some yoga. Less has been
proven to be more!

Please read my article on nasal breathing exercise to learn how to be sure you are not doing
too much!

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