Don’t you just feel good when you feel fit? Your clothes fit better but it is so much more than that. You feel strong. You don’t jiggle. You can jog across the street and you just glide. You’re not the least bit winded from light exertion. You can hike the high country, play your favorite sport with effortless grace, climb the stairs or just rise out of your chair smoothly with no twinges of knee, hip or low back pain. I don’t mean the relentless effort of elite level fitness for competitive sport, but just moving well, in a toned, happy body. It’s great to be at competition level fitness, but most of us aren’t professional athletes and don’t have the time, effort or inclination to maintain peak conditioning for competitive athletic performance. It just feels good to be fit and feel vital.
We all should feel that and feel like that most days of our lives. There are such health and vitality benefits when our bodies operate efficiently with very little muscular stress and strain. Our sleep is better, our balance is better, our mood is better, even our thinking is improved. Truly, exercise has strong correlations to the best side of life. Here’s a list of the benefits of exercise that make life so much better to live – and easier too!
Having toned muscles is a feel-good thing in itself but the fact of owning toned muscles is a huge health hack. Good musculature benefits so many other systems in the body. Exercise stimulates the release of health building molecules into the circulation, that help strengthen the liver, heart, lungs and brain as they adapt to exercise. Exercise increases the circulation of over 300 proteins with awesome health benefits.
Your muscles need energy for your workout, so your body burns fats and carbohydrates in a series of chemical reactions that produce heat. Exercise also increases your heart rate and helps pump more blood through your system, which oxygenates your cells, removes cellular waste metabolites and raises your core temperature. Exercise and mitochondria combine with awesome anti-aging effects.
Testosterone, crucial for both men and women, is important for your metabolism, muscle growth and libido. Low levels can lead to depression and obesity. Regular exercise, especially endurance/resistance training, raises testosterone levels. Exercise helps to balance other hormones as well.
Have you heard the term sarcopenia? It is a very important process to know. Sarcopenia is a decline in skeletal muscle with age. It is age related muscle wasting. Sarcopenia begins as early as age 40 and, without intervention, gets increasingly worse, with as much as half of muscle mass lost by age 70. The bad news…
Sarcopenia is one of the most important causes of functional decline and loss of independence in adults as we age.
The good news is sarcopenia doesn’t have to be inevitable. You can keep your muscle fiber and with it your functional independence. The key is high intensity exercise. You want to be healthy and active in your 70’s and beyond? Start in your 40‘s or earlier. But it is never too late to begin an exercise program.
We know that exercise builds muscle and burns fat. But did you know that there are more than one kind of fat? There is the familiar ‘white or yellow’ fat that stores energy and leaves a ring around your middle – a very unhealthy ring. Yellow fat leads to metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, even heart attacks and strokes. The other type of fat is called ‘brown’ fat (because it has more blood cells and mitochondria it looks brown). Brown fat burns triglycerides and takes sugar out of the blood stream as well. Studies show that muscles cells release a hormone, irisin, after exercise that persuades white fat to behave like brown fat.
It is well known that exercise relaxes you, reduces stress, sharpens the mind, promotes great sleep, lessens depression, elevates your mood and boosts your immune system. But can exercise make you happy? There is an interesting study at the University of Michigan to test if exercise can promote a positive mental attitude. It found that those who engaged in between 150 to 300 minutes of exercise a week, (just 30 minutes a day) boosted their happiness as much as those who were even more active. Overweight people in particular benefited most from exercising, according to the study's authors.
Or we could say, “I’ve decided to exercise which makes me happy and healthy”.
Further, regular exercise changes the brain to improve memory and thinking skills.
You want to be more productive? Increase your bottom line? Simple. Exercise.
Twelve years ago, there was a landmark study that showed that the participants who exercised showed significant improvement in self-regulatory capacity.
Charles Duhigg writes in “The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business” that exercise is what Duhigg calls a “keystone habit”:
So now you’ve been reminded of things you either knew or suspected – exercise is not only good for you – it is great for you! And it is way better than ‘retail therapy’ for stress – and the bank account.
So why don’t we see exercise as the positive addiction it is? Why is it so hard to get regular exercise? Science tells us that too. Most easy habits (good or bad) come with immediate gratification, to a greater or lesser extent. You do something that releases the ‘feel good’ neurochemicals (Dopamine, Serotonin) and you want that experience again (whether it’s positive or negative event; good or bad for you). With exercise it takes a bit before you feel the buzz of a great workout. That delay makes the connection of gratification a little ‘fuzzy’ to the part of your brain that weaves experience into habit. It remembers and associates the hard effort of exercise rather than the ‘feel-good’ glow after you exercise, so it is hard to lace up your trainers the next time you’re headed for the gym.
Finally, Tony Schwartz states in his book, “The Way We're Working Isn't Working: The Four Forgotten Needs That Energize Great Performance”, that most of us are chasing the wrong resource: hours in the day. Instead, we should focus on something entirely different: our energy.
Our energy can be broken down in 4 essentials:
Your physical energy naturally serves as the base. So, your body’s fitness and vitality are ‘keystones’ to build the other fundamental traits upon. Most of us reverse that and think of the body’s fitness and vitality last, if at all… So, when you exercise you take care of the top two resources: physical and emotional energy.
So, we have established that you need to exercise – regularly, with high intensity to get the health and lifestyle benefits that the body craves to be fit and vital. And those benefits are so big compared to not exercising. But we all know that it is hard to start exercising and it’s the first thing we let go of, when life gets hectic (when we need exercise the most).
WOW! Science fiction, right? No, it’s science fact and it is here at FITtec.® Whole-Body Electrical Muscle Stimulation (WB-EMS) is a way to maximize all the benefits of high intensity exercise but not kill yourself in the gym for hours and hours.
Because the EMS signal is a healthy bio-hack, you get more complete muscle contraction of more muscle fibers that maximizes your time efficiency AND muscle efficiency. You get a stronger, better conditioned toned happy body in shorter gym time.
Because the FITtec.® trainers know how to tailor the EMS training to your needs; HIT & HIIT, endurance training, flexibility training, core balancing, you get the best body conditioning in the shortest possible window of your valuable time.
Specifically, EMS is great with HIT (high intensity training) which has been shown to be great for increasing hormonal health (makes people look and feel younger). HIT is full of explosive movements and heavy weights which could cause training injuries. With EMS, muscle contraction is aided by signals from the EMS suit so there is no need to challenge the muscles with heavy, joint-loading weight lifting. So even the aging athlete, who notices that weight training is getting harder, difficult even dangerous can get HIT results using EMS training.
At another setting of the FITtec.® EMS suit, your muscles are exercised many times a second, so they fatigue faster, and your endurance training is over faster. The goal is to fatigue your muscles, so they respond by getting stronger and being able to work longer. That happens quickly in a FITtec.® EMS suit. In fact, you cannot workout at FITtec.® anymore than those two twenty-minute sessions twice a week, as your body needs to recover and build muscle on the off days (and you are still producing those smiley neurochemicals all week long.)
Exercise helps your mood and EMS exercise makes you feel amazing! You will not find a grumpy person at FITtec.® as the EMS training floods your body with positive mood enhancing neurochemicals. You will leave smiling!
You want to be the most productive? Simple. EMS exercise.
At FITtec.® studio, you get the most advanced scientifically proven exercise in the shortest time possible. The high intensity/low interval allows your physiology to feel the effects of training and then adapt to fitness and vitality. If you are interested in building a ‘Keystone” habit that will make you more productive, you can’t find a better one than FITtec.® WB-EMS. Your brain quickly connects the ‘feel good’ neurochemicals with EMS and you look forward to your regular training visits.
WB-EMS is a wonderful healthy habit. EMS training is habit-forming! All you have to do is get yourself to the FITtec.® studio and the trainers are there to make your session as quick and easy as possible; always mindful of your personal training goals. Just get there and the strength begins to happen.
And remember, as Tony Schwartz says, “Manage your energy, not your time”.
A healthy life starts with physical health energy and you build your foundation from there. With the added benefit that it takes less time than conventional fitness programs, so you can boost your energy and save time concurrently. So, whatever you do, exercise. If you want the cutting edge of science helping you in a high tech/high touch format that gives you the best in results-driven exercise, you have to experience FITtec.® WB-EMS.
Gretchen Reynolds, The First 20 Minutes: Surprising Science Reveals How We Can: Exercise Better, Train Smarter, Live Longer Hudson Street Press, April 26, 2012. well.blogs.nytimes.com
Elizabeth V. Menshikova, Effects of Exercise on Mitochondrial Content and Function in Aging Human Skeletal Muscle, J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2006 Jun; 61(6): 534–540. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
Eric Metcalf, MPH Does Working Out Affect Testosterone Levels?, www.webmd.com
Morley JE, Sarcopenia in the elderly, Fam Pract. 2012 Apr;29 Suppl 1:i44-i48.
Maria A. Fiatarone, MD; Elizabeth C. Marks, MS; Nancy D. Ryan, DT; et al Carol N. Meredith, PhD; Lewis A. Lipsitz, MD; William J. Evans, PhD, High-Intensity Strength Training in Nonagenarians Effects on Skeletal Muscle, JAMA. 1990;263(22):3029-3034. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03440220053029
Yellow Fat: www.webmd.com
Brown Fat: www.scientificamerican.com
Zhanjia Zhang, Weiyun Chen, A Systematic Review of the Relationship Between Physical Activity and Happiness, J Happiness Study doi.org
Kashmira Gander, How many Minutes of Exercise Will Make You Happy, www.newsweek.com
Heidi Godman, Regular exercise changes the brain to improve memory, thinking skills, www.health.harvard.edu
Oaten M, Cheng K., Longitudinal gains in self-regulation from regular physical exercise. Br J Health Psychol. 2006 Nov;11(Pt 4):717-33. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
Charles Duhigg, “The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, charlesduhigg.com
Serotonin: Simon N. Young, How to increase serotonin in the human brain without drugs: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov pdf
Tony Schwartz, “The Way We're Working Isn't Working: The Four Forgotten Needs That Energize Great Performance: www.amazon.com
LARS NYBO, et al, High-Intensity Training versus Traditional Exercise Interventions for Promoting Health, MEDICINE & SCIENCE IN SPORTS & EXERCISE, 2010, 0195-9131/10/4210-1951/0
Wolfgang Kemmler, Impact of whole-body electromyostimulation on body composition in elderly women at risk for sarcopenia, American Aging Association 2013, 11 December 2012 / Accepted: 29 July 2013, The final publication is available at link.springer.com
Wolfgang Kemmler, Alternative Exercise Technologies to Fight against Sarcopenia at Old Age, Journal of Aging Research · February 2012.
John Naisbitt, High Tech High Touch: Technology and Our Search for Meaning – October 19, 1999, www.amazon.com