How to manage and avoid the risks of over-exercising
In the United States alone, around 16% of public, indoor, sudden cardiac arrest cases happen in traditional and non-traditional exercise facilities. Most patients never anticipated the risk until it happened to them. How can technology and science in this day and age help in maintaining and optimizing one’s health?
Professionals in the field of medicine, health, and wellness are in agreement that the average adult should get at least 75- 150 minutes of aerobic activity per week, depending on the intensity. On top of that, strength training exercises should also be done at least twice a week for all the major muscle groups in the body. Such regular physical activity has a great impact on the overall health and wellness of an individual.
Aside from losing weight and improving cardiovascular and muscular health, exercise helps produce serotonin and norepinephrine. These hormones regulate mood, appetite, sleep, memory, and promotes vigilance and focus. This means that regular exercise is just as important for mental health as it is important for physical health. Exercise also helps lower the risk of chronic diseases and conditions like Type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and early death.
A sedentary lifestyle is a type of lifestyle that expends little to no energy. People who exhibit sedentary behavior have little to no physical activity and are often found reclining, sitting, or lying down. This tends to increase the person’s susceptibility to diseases that interfere with an individual’s quality of life later in life. It also affects their mental health and general well-being.
That’s why more and more people involve themselves in a wide array of physical activities. Currently, we’re in the digital age where information is readily available. Now, people can also choose from practicing holistic activities and lifestyles like yoga to endurance training like preparing for triathlons and marathons to get their fix of healthful physical activity.
Training for triathlons and marathons, in particular, has become a crowd favorite among young adults as more and more organizations and sponsors host these events. And why not? Triathletes and marathon runners don’t just get a full-body workout, they also help improve their endurance and susceptibility to workout-related injuries.
In addition, the regular exercise they subject themselves to improves their mental health and confidence in social settings. This means that these athletes put everything to reach their fitness goals. For them, fitness is a lifetime achievement and a source of pride. A healthy body is a body that’s been worked hard for. And through their hard work and determination, they inspire and encourage the people around them to live better and healthier lives.
However, just as little to no exercise damages our bodies, partaking in physical activity for more than what is prescribed can lead to serious complications. Not only that, even if you do regular exercise, not taking care of your body as it cools down after vigorous training also has its risks.
A study conducted by the Mayo Clinic Proceedings in 2017 found that individuals who exercised three times more than the recommended guidelines were more likely to develop certain heart diseases as they reached middle age. One of these heart conditions is coronary artery calcification (CAC). Through CT scans, doctors can monitor the presence of calcium-containing plaques or blockages in the arteries of the heart. These blockages indicate the certainty of heart disease later in life. Some athletes also experience irregularities in their heart rhythm called atrial fibrillation (A-fib) which may lead to heart failure or stroke.
Even some marathoners and triathletes who have been training for years suffer from cardiac arrest. Every year, 350,000 people suffer from out-of-hospital cardiac arrests. In a 12-year study by the Journal of the American College of Cardiology in 2013, 136 of 849 public, indoor sudden cardiac arrest cases occurred in traditional and non-traditional exercise facilities. The survival rate for cases that happened in gyms is only around 56%.
In extreme cases, some individuals participate in CrossFit, HIIT boot camps, and other rigorous exercise programs without proper conditioning and pacing. These people eventually suffered from rhabdomyolysis. Also known as “rhabdo”, this condition arises from a direct or indirect muscle injury that leaves the sufferer nauseous, in pain, and with noticeably darker urine. This condition is caused by the death of muscle fibers and the subsequent release of their toxic contents into the bloodstream. These toxic substances then pass through the kidneys causing it to swell up. Most often, this leads to organ failure.
These cases and conditions seem daunting but in reality, these are just a few of the bad effects of over-exercising. Some experience lactic acidosis, a condition where a person overproduces or underutilizes lactic acid. People with liver or kidney problems who over-exercise are at risk of suffering from lactic acidosis.
This condition often leads to cardiac failure, sepsis, and/or cardiopulmonary arrest. Aside from the conditions stated above, the individual might also incur permanent damage to their bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons due to the intensity of exercise and repetition of movement. Individuals who over-exercise and fail to prepare properly for it might also suffer from osteoporosis, fractures, and reproductive problems.
Over-exercising can also decrease one’s workout performance and appetite. It also compromises their immune system and body fat levels. Thankfully, studies are currently being conducted to understand over-exercising better and to help individuals address the signs to prevent future injuries and even deaths.
Indulging in too much exercise can be described as an addiction. Research conducted by the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health in 2011 released guidelines based on the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) to determine if someone is already addicted to exercise.
Their criteria include developing a tolerance for regular amounts of exercise while also exhibiting anxiety, irritability, and sleep problems when they don’t get their exercise “fix”. In addition, the person experiences a noticeable lack of control and allocates most of his/her time for exercising. This often prevents the person from engaging in other social, recreational, or occupational activities that are also crucial for his/her mental health.
In other words, exercise has become an unhealthy obsession for some individuals. This obsession stems from the hormones and neurotransmitters produced during exercise. Aside from serotonin and norepinephrine, exercise also produces endorphins and dopamine, the same neurotransmitters produced during drug use.
The individual would feel joy and fulfillment after their chosen physical activity. To replicate that feeling of accomplishment, the individual would need to repeat that activity until a tolerance for regular amounts of exercise is developed.
Slowly, they will fulfill all the criteria for exercise addiction and won’t seek help until they’ve injured themselves or developed a chronic disease. The diagnosis and treatment itself aren’t easy, either, since this condition isn’t recognized yet by the American Psychiatric Association, amidst the number of injuries and deaths related to this condition.
But amidst all the dangers we’ve listed above, it doesn’t mean that people should stop exercising altogether. As with all things, even exercise needs moderation. With proper control over regular physical activity, an individual can enjoy the immediate and long-term effects and benefits of exercise.
The prescribed treatment for individuals who are subjecting themselves to excessive exercise involves therapies that increase their self-control and help maintain an avoidance of other addictive substances and practices. It’s highly recommended to approach the situation holistically since over-exercise and exercise addiction affects both physical and mental health. As we’ve mentioned, we live in an age where information on different lifestyles and therapies is readily accessible. This is very convenient for those seeking holistic, traditional, and non-traditional ways of living healthy and staying fit.
Biohacking is a movement that has been gaining ground in the past few years and Dave Asprey is at its helm. Asprey is the founder of Bellevue, Washington-based Bulletproof 360, and is the creator of Bulletproof Coffee. The movement has spread throughout the world. Currently, there are several facilities offering biohacking coaching, services, and machines in places like Finland to the Philippines. What makes this lifestyle increasingly popular and how can it help people who over-exercise?
To put it simply, biohacking is a lifestyle that encourages individuals to monitor and control their internal and external environments to achieve optimum performance in every aspect of their lives. But it’s more than just keeping track of what you eat and the number of hours you exercise. It’s using technology and science to improve your quality of life so you can enjoy the best things in life without worrying about everything else.
Aside from making changes to one’s diet and physical activity, biohacking makes use of machines that improve overall mind and body function. And if you’re worried about things going wrong, this whole practice involves a lot of research and observation into one’s body rhythms and cycles. That information is crucial in setting up a regimen or a wellness program that’s tailor-fit to your body and your particular biology.
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UNLTD is a startup in the biohacking movement that offers a range of machines and services that essentially help you become a “Recovery Machine.” This means beating your personal best will be much easier because of the greatly reduced risk of injury, disease, and lactic acid buildup. Biohacking sports and life recovery helps you stay “Above the Line”.
Over-exercising leads to physical and psychological injuries. Typically, treatment for the conditions that result from over-exercising and exercise addiction might take years and a person’s entire life savings. What’s more, the treatments offered by traditional therapies often do not address the condition as a whole. Some treatments have bad side effects that aggravate the situation. But things don’t have to be that way. Instead of worrying about separate treatments and their overwhelming cost, dealing with the issue holistically and naturally is a better alternative, don’t you think? UNLTD offers just that and more.
If you’re curious about what UNLTD has to offer, below are just some of UNLTD’s machines and wellness modalities that aim to help you be more than who you are today.
- BioPhotomodulation using Near-Infrared/ Red Light Bed- This device was developed by Leanne Venier, a color-healing therapist, submarine designer, and now a biohacking inventor. This device engages the body’s photobioreceptors with red and near-infrared light.
Our Near-infrared/red light bed benefits cell generation and mitochondrial protection. It helps enhance sports recovery by greatly reducing or even eliminating DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness). It helps with cellular regeneration, and even boosts collagen production. Some of the conditions that can be addressed by Biophotomodulation are hyperpigmentation, neuropathy, alopecia, as well as fungal, bacterial, and viral infections.
- Cell signaling rejuvenation using NanoVi- This device produces the same signal your body makes to repair cellular damage from free radicals. Cell metabolism occurs when cells convert oxygen and glucose into energy. A byproduct of this process is the bad reactive oxygen species or ROS, which is also known as free radicals. Free radicals damage cells, while good ROS emits the signal to start repairs.
NanoVi recreates the signal produced by the good ROS to help the body’s natural repair mechanisms.NanoVi is best used in both pre- and post-workout regimens to reduce fatigue and speed up recovery. This treatment is also particularly known to help treat cancer.
- Light and sound therapy using NuCalm- NuCalm is a device that encourages light and sound-induced relaxation. This is used to interrupt the body’s stress response that occurs in the midbrain (composed of tectum and tegmentum) and helps individuals move into a deeply relaxed state.
NuCalm allows the Parasympathetic Nervous System to kick in more quickly, especially after a rigorous workout, allowing for faster recovery and homeostasis. It can also help people with sleep disorders, emotional outbursts, and addiction. It is also particularly helpful for people who are into weight loss, high-action sports, and body-building.
- Mind-body therapy table work- An alternative to physiotherapy, the Anat Baniel Method employs principles that Moshe Feldenkrais have already laid out. Feldenkrais is famous for his studies regarding mind-body connection. The Anat Baniel method tries to encourage muscular function. The Feldenkrais method, on the other hand, engages the brain’s ability to make new neural connections.
The Anat Baniel method is highly recommended for high performers such as athletes, dancers, yoga practitioners, triathletes, cross-fit competitors. This is because it allows the brain to remap underrepresented parts of the body, thus improving the use of the self and greatly increasing the quality of mechanical function. This treatment can be used to help people with autism, Cerebral palsy, developmental delays, and learning disorders.
- PULSE Centers PEMF and Lenyo LuxPro BioResonance machines- We are equipped with 3 Pulsed Electromagnetic Fields (PEMF) or Bioresonance mats and one state-of-the-art clinical-grade high-frequency PEMF machine from PULSE centers which use the concept of homeodynamics and electromagnetic bio-communication to help attune sick organs to the bio-frequency of healthy tissue.
This system also helps oxygenate cells so they create energy and heal more efficiently. It also thickens the cell membranes, making them more robust. This makes sure that the healing process that takes place within the patient is natural and organic. Among the conditions addressed by Bio-resonance are bone health problems, digestive issues, joint inflammation, Weight management, Osteoporosis, and even Emphysema.
- Neuroptimal Neurofeedback- Equipped with 6 NeurOptimal Neurofeedback machines, UNLTD boasts of the state-of-the-art Neurofeedback system.
This brain-training system uses a dynamic approach that encourages balance and development in all areas of the brain. The benefits of using this system manifest and reinforce themselves after a series of sessions, instead of just treating separate symptoms through different means.
Athletes will experience highly accelerated rates of recovery and immediate healing of muscle, bone, and joint inflammation, allowing a shorter recovery time, and faster bounce-back times. This allows them to train harder and achieve results faster.
For athletes, Neurofeedback removes the constant “regret” loops from making a mistake during workouts and also minimizes catastrophizing about possible mistakes they might commit during practice or in competitions.
It also helps train the brain to regulate itself organically, which is immensely helpful when following a highly demanding workout regimen. Neurofeedback can also help address conditions such as Alzheimer’s Disease, Anxiety, Depression, Seizures, Burnout, Hyperglycemia, Dyslexia, and even snoring.
- Near-Infrared Sauna (NIR)- Near-Infrared saunas use heat lamps that generate near-infrared light, the part of the light spectrum with the most healing properties. This particular wavelength has been shown to stimulate healing and rejuvenating responses within the body and its tissues.
This particular device induces sweating to the individual through the NIR lamps to eliminate toxins, help with tissue repair, and balance the harmony of the body’s organs.
Athletes will experience faster recovery through the combination of faster elimination of lactic acid buildup, heavy metals, and other toxins, as well as deep-penetration healing of bone and joint inflammation. It’s also a very powerful tool for color therapy since its red light stimulates various organs and glands like the adrenals, testes, and ovaries.
- Whole-body vibration using Power Plate- Our Power Plate is a vibrating platform that helps stimulate the body’s natural reflexes, increase muscle function, and improve blood circulation. By moving 25-50 times per second, the Power Plate engages muscles in a consistent and controlled manner.
This means that this device can help people perform better, as well as prepare and recover from physical activity faster. The Power Plate can even make a person experience a complete workout in 15 minutes. But that’s not all, it also helps with strength, flexibility, metabolism, reduces strain from regular exercise, and encourages lymphatic drainage.
For years, a healthy lifestyle has always been equated to nutritious food, regular exercise, and a good night’s rest. And throughout the years, these have proven to be effective for most people. But people are different. Their bodies and genetics are a result of eons of adaptation. No two people are the same. Moreover, the times are different. People nowadays struggle through a high-stress and high-stakes environment just to get by. Sometimes, at the cost of their health and wellness.
The more society claims to advance itself, the more people are buried in various problems and health issues. How can success-oriented individuals wade through tough times? Why stop the journey to optimum performance at your work desk when you can definitely aim higher and reach farther? Come visit us at UNLTD. We’ll help you stay Above the Line.
For more information, visit UNLTD at 123 Pioneer St., 2/F Guerrero Compound, 1550 Mandaluyong, Philippines. Visit our Facebook page (facebook.com/UNLTD.PH) and follow our Twitter account (@UNLTDPH).