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Exercise and Nutrition

by Vivienne Bradshaw-Black(more info)

listed in exercise and fitness, originally published in issue 141 - November 2007

Exercise can be defined as ‘activity requiring effort and carried out to develop, sustain or improve a faculty’.

Although exercise for health is usually thought of in physical terms, this definition can be applied to all three areas of human existence: spiritual, mental (intellectual, emotional) and physical.

Exercise can be an enjoyable part of life rather than a ‘must do’ regime which becomes a struggle, boring or another chore to fit into an overcrowded schedule. Balanced exercise is certainly not limited to sporting activities and exercise machines, but in broad principle it covers all aspects of movement, including lymphasizing, aerobic (carb-burning), fat-burning, stretching, sprint, endurance, gentle, medium and challenging activities, which can all be increased by gradually building up intensity and endurance time if desired. Bodily requirements are air, light, water, food, absorption, elimination and movement (exercise). The best sort of exercise is the one which you will actually do.

Activities which build strength should not include strain. Overuse and excesses promote injury and this is not a good aim or outcome of balanced, enjoyable and/or challenging exercises. One of the principles of physical exercise is to breakdown tissues (catabolism) by the ‘stress’ of the activity and then to rebuild the same tissues (anabolism) with a stronger version. This process can only be fully efficient in a well hydrated, nourished state where a period of rest follows after exercise, allowing for the repair and rebuild to take place. Exercise without the space for repair can invite potential for exhaustion, muscle damage and even cardiovascular accidents such as heart attack or stroke.

Nutrition appropriate for tissue repair and rebuilding needs to include electrolytes (the ionic salts which give cells energy potential)[1] and all the essential nutrients (amino acids, fatty acids, vitamins and minerals) which cannot be made within the body and need to be obtained from dietary sources.

Vegetarians need to combine good quality vegetable proteins to make up for lack of essential amino acids found in animal products. Although body builders might consider the amino acids[2] more relevant, and those on weight loss diets consider fatty acids2 more relevant, all essential nutrients are needed for whole body synergy, as this is the only way to acheive proper nutritional balance and optimum benefit from bodily exercise. The foundation to all nutritional balance is pure water and unrefined sea salt[3] which promotes tissue hydration, efficient digestion and pH balance.

Good posture and correct use of the diaphragm in breathing optimizes intake of oxygen, expulsion of carbon dioxide and stimulation of abdominal lymphatic drainage (chyli cysterna). Adequate absorbable iron, vitamin C, and B vitamins are necessary to avoid simple anaemia which lowers the capacity of the red blood cells to carry oxygen. Negative stress, strain, junk foods and carcinogens all deplete oxygen levels, and so well-balanced nutritional and emotional states enhance the potential benefits of exercise by not competing for oxygen needed during exercise.

Dr Otto Warberg[4] received the Nobel Prize for associating cancer with lack of oxygen. This results in a more acidic body state and potential for the cellular fermentation cycle in place of the aerobic cycle. Oxygenation is essential to health, and ‘muscle burn’ from strain during exercise is a result of oxygen depletion. With the diminution of available oxygen for cellular requirements, glucose is used and lactic acid produced, which increases mitochondrial[5] capacity. This is a controversial area, but the body does not work against itself, so muscle burn could be indicative of protective processes by increasing endurance ability, through mitochondrial increase, in the presence of strain, but this could be counterproductive overall where the ‘warning pain’ of muscle burn is not considered in this light. However, lactic acid build-up, like raised cholesterol levels, are situational chemical responses and not ‘baddies’ per se. In any case, when fluid replacement is sought in such situations, avoid water or drinks containing chlorine because this further depletes oxygen levels.

Refined sugar is a major cause of oxygen depletion. Cancer thrives on sugar (fermentation) and the sugar content of a single sweet fizzy drink can lower immune efficiency for several hours. This would make sense of the colds and flu after high-sugar seasons such as Christmas and Easter. Refined carbohydrates have similar effects.

A common parasite, hook worm, thrives on red blood cells which can lead to anaemia and lack of oxygen. An annual detox with herbs which help eliminate parasites and oxygen supplementation is part of an excellent health plan.

A well-hydrated, nourished, oxygenated and exercised body leads to increased metabolism, better sleep, a feeling of wellbeing, and the potential to better rise to life’s challenges.

References

1.    Sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium, magnesium, bicarbonate, phosphate, sulphate.
2.    Essential amino acids: isoleucine, leucine, lysine, threonine, tryptophan, methionine, histidine (in infants), valine and phenylalanine. Essential fatty acids: Omega 3s and 6s.
3.    Unrefined sea salt is not to be confused with toxic industrial grade salt (which is often included in some body building formulas). The Right Salt Diet. Positive Health. Issue 108. Feb 2005.
4.    http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/1931/warburg-bio.html
5.    Cellular ‘chemical energy generators’ which produce ATP. Within the mitochondria, CoQ10 plays a key role in this energy production, and low levels of CoQ10 are significant in not only exercise potential but many health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease, etc. The ability to synthesize CoQ10 diminishes with age so supplementation is important.

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About Vivienne Bradshaw-Black

Vivienne Bradshaw-Black Cert Ed produced a health information course. She believes that the understanding of what causes health and what causes sickness can cut through the maze of confusion which dominates the sickness industry. Her desire is to teach this to those who choose health and offer contacts and support to individuals and groups taking responsibility for their own health choices. She can be contacted initially by email at viv@ichc.co.uk

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