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Exercise: What are the benefits? How much is too much? What's the best type? Does exercise have mental health benefits? Join us in our show today where we'll be discussing cardio vs strength training, Crossfit, Superslow, MovNat, Yoga and more. We'll dive into exercise's effects on the mind, body and spirit as well as the importance of play in adults.

Included, as always, will be Zoya's Pet Health Segment.

Join us live, Fridays at 10am EST!

Running Time: 01:47:00

Download: MP3

Here's the transcript of the show:

Doug: Welcome everybody to the Health and Wellness show on the SOTT talk radio network. Today is the 9th of October 2015. I am Doug and joining me today in our virtual studio is Tiffany, Erica and we have a special guest Adam, with us today.

Unfortunately Jonathan and Gaby could not join us. So today we are going to be talking about exercise. What are the benefits? How much is too much? What's the best type? Does exercise have a mental health benefits? It seems like when people are putting together a health program or doing things to benefit their health they look at diet, they look at minimising their exposure to toxicity and EMFs, they might look at some remedies and things like that to help with specific conditions they have.

But exercise always seems to get put on the back burner. It's kind of like we have this natural resistance to wanting to do anything physical, whether that is inertia or whatever the case may be but exercise is a very important piece of the puzzle. So, today we're going to looking into that a bit more. So yeah, exercise, what do you guys think?

Adam: I like it.

Tiffany: Me too.

Erica: Let's do it!

Doug: It's really funny because I know for myself, exercise was literally the last thing that I adopted and looked in to. And it was really the kind of thing where I was changing my diet and I losing weight and everything was going well on that side of things but it was like the thought of actually going out there and purposely putting myself in physical pain. Even moderate physical pain, obviously, it's not super intense pain because I'm not like driving nails in my hands or anything like that but there was such a resistance to it and I don't know if you guys have had that same sort of reaction?

Adam: Yes, the body is kind of wired to be a lazy overeater. So it kind of makes sense that there's a natural resistance to the expenditure of energy for certain people. yeah I definitely have come up against that a lot.

Tiffany: I think that once you get over that actual hump when you first start exercising and you get into a groove, you get into that zone. It feels good, as long as you're not over doing it. I'm one of those people, like if I go keto or paleo or whatever, if I wanna lose weight, I have to exercise. I'm not gonna lose weight any other way. I know people here and there are saying, "Oh, you don't need to exercise just to lose weight." Maybe some people don't but I know that I do, and I know that I like it, most of the time.

Doug: Yeah, for me it was funny because when I first switched to keto the weight just melted off for me, I was losing it at a rapid rate and I was like; "Ah, I don't need to exercise I'm fine, I just have to adjust my diet."

But what I found was that body composition wise; I really needed to exercise to change that because although I was losing weight and suddenly more things started becoming apparent. I wasn't standing up straight and all these others things; my physical body wasn't a good shape, I guess is what it was.

And when I started doing exercise, I started getting into the whole functional movement, which I think we're going to go into a little bit more later but the change in the shape of my body was pretty quick, like over a couple of months. Suddenly people were like wow you're starting to look a better shape for a lack of a better term, it was things started to change in that respect quite quickly.

Adam: So, when you go to the keto diet that's very muscle sparing so you can do a pretty significant choloric deficit and not have to really worry about muscle wasting in terms of losing weight. It's mostly fat but by the same token there's a whole other level of unlocked potential that you don't really see unless you activate it. That's where exercise can come into play and it's like you said, it can help you to get into a better shape both aesthetically and metabolically. So it's just that you have got to get there and do it.

Erica: I was also going to say, creating a sense stamina or ability to strengthen you, energetically and physically.

Adam: There's something to the idea of being able to go through and put yourself through a workout, purposefully putting yourself in a situation that's uncomfortable, as a way to build your willpower.

Tiffany: I've noticed that it gives a mental boost too, not just while you're exercising but that it lasts throughout the day; when you're not exercising. Well I know I feel mentally sharper.

Adam: There was a meta-analysis in 2012 and it was by a group of Taiwanese PhDs and they were looking at strength training as a way to improve psychological mood in the elderly. I can't remember much of the specifics, but there's a lot of information out there as far as 'cardio' being beneficial for mood but there actually is also a lot of benefit to resistance exercise, in terms of boosting mood and your, I guess what was the word....

Tiffany: Endorphins?

Adam: Well boosting your endorphins but also boosting your viewing of yourself, your self-esteem, that's what I was looking for.

Doug: Yeah, ok. Well its interesting there was a study actually we published on SOTT back in January 2009, the article was called, Exercise gives the brain a workout too; and it was really interesting because they were basically talking about how kids who had PE class prior to a more difficult mental class; performed a lot better in that mental class, like math than kids who had PE after the class.

It was like twice as good, they were performing twice as well. So obviously like exercise does have a very beneficial effect on mental exercise as well. They talk about in this article that exercise actually produces something called BDNF which is what they call miracle grow for brain cells. It helps grow new brain cells, help brain cells stay alive longer, and helps in the learning process. So there is a very real physical affect to that aside to just getting moving and getting your energy up, there actually is like a physiological process that goes on when you exercise.

Adam: And going along with that that kind of makes sense to me because we know that the brain runs better on ketones than it does on glucose actually. The brain can use lactic acid to function and perform better than on ketones. So, it makes sense when you perform this physical work and so you've got all these endorphins going on to make it easier for you to take on a difficult task but at the same time it gives you this lactic acid boost that will help you to focus, but yeah that makes sense to me.

Doug: Now they're talking about in this article too, that to incorporating physical exercise into the class with these kids. They talk about one thing, where there was a student that was learning new vocabulary while doing balance exercises, and that that improved their ability to pick up new vocabulary. So it's kind of like almost an idea of remodelling the class room not having these kids just sitting there in their seats, having to sit still while they learn by rote it's kind of a new idea of actually somehow getting physical movement involved with the learning process.

Adam: So, vocabulary hop-scotch, yeah?

Doug: There you go.

Erica: Yeah, kind of on that line there was an article on New York Times back in 2012 called, How exercise can lead to a better brain; and basically neuro scientists and psychologists had been researching this relationship between the benefits of exercise and brain power, for over 10 years and they came out with these findings that isn't just a relationship but the relationship.

So, they used some sophisticated tech to examine workings in individual neurons and the makeup of the brain matter itself and they discovered that exercise appears to build a brain that resists physical shrinkage and enhances cognitive flexibility. So, as the latest neuroscience suggests, it does more to bolster thinking than actual thinking does. So that goes right along with what you're saying Doug; about the kids. So, if you can bolster this connection early in life like jumping on trampoline and saying your abc's or whatever, it is that connection that is boosting the thinking physically.

Tiffany: Is that the same study where they studied these mice and divided them into 4 groups. Where they changed their living environment; one group was just mice in a cage with nothing in there, another group they got just some dull kibble and no toys. While one group had running wheel and no other toys, and one group had a fully done up cage where they have all these toys, a lounge area and a bunch of good food. And only thing that made a difference in the brain function was whether or not the mice had access to a running wheel.

Erica: Yeah, that's the same study.

Doug: Wow, it just goes to show. So, we've covered some of the mental benefits, what are some of the physical benefits of exercising?

Adam: Well, definitely when you're doing resistance or weighted exercises you're going to increase, because of the load you're gonna increase the bone mineral density, which is definitely good in older populations. Again with older populations, you see what's called sercopenia, and really all it is a wasting of muscle from disuse, its disappearing with age because they don't do anything at all. To counteract sercopenia will increase your basal metabolic rate, improve mitochondrial density, and improve mitochondrial efficiency.

Tiffany: Well speaking of older people they've done a lot of studies. Where I guess falls are a big concern with older populations, if you fall you really don't last much longer after that, and a lot of the falls are due to lack of balance, lack of coordination and muscle tone. So they put a bunch of seniors' citizens through exercise programs and it prevents falls.

Adam: Well someone put forward an interesting idea; is it that these people fall and then break their hip or is it that their hip breaks and then they fall?

Tiffany: Yeah it's interesting?

Adam: So it's the perfect way to get them active and to counteract that and kind of improve their life because if you've got a bunch of people that are in a nursing home and there not a whole lot for them to do there. So they do things and interact with people like that is phenomenal.

Doug: Yeah, and there was an interesting article actually that Mercola wrote back in, oh actually it was on June 19th 2011, ; and it was saying exercise can regenerate muscle tissue even at an advanced age. And it was basically talking about the fact that people tend to think that once you reach a certain age you can't really do these kinds of resistance exercises anymore, that you don't have the ability anymore if you haven't been using it all along.

That a senior is already past their prime and they can't do that kind of thing, he was basically saying that you absolutely can and should. Because like you're saying sarcopenia; and he makes a really interesting example where he just says, you know when people are younger they actually have more muscle than they need for their daily tasks. So, it's no problem to climb a flight of stairs or get in and out of the car, or other physical things done on a daily basis.

But then as you grow older you start having this muscle wasting and suddenly you're not really able to - the amount of muscle that you have starts to go below that point of having more than enough that you need. So, suddenly little daily tasks like getting dressed become difficult because you no longer have more muscle than you actual need to be able to do it. So, it just shows the importance here of actually using your muscles and increasing muscle mass and getting physically in shape so that you never get to that point where you don't have everything that you need.

Adam: Yeah, when you go to the store you'll see elderly people walking really slowly and they're hunched over and they've got a walker and it's a very difficult task for them. It's because they don't have the excess strength or the muscle mass to perform these very simple tasks, and it kind of seems like there's this idea that it's just something you have to accept with old age. So you kind of get complacent and accept it if there's nothing you can do when the reality is very different. All you have to do is start just take whereveryou're at and go from there and slowly but surely you're gonna build up your strength and all of a sudden you're gonna see these major changes but it's not like it can't happen.

Doug: Yeah, I actually was speaking to someone recently they were telling me about I think it was their aunt who is 87 years old and is still playing hockey.

Adam: Yeah!

Doug: She's like getting on the ice and skating around perfectly able, I mean obviously she's not throwing body checks or anything like that. Her number is 88; so she plans on retiring when she hits 88, but it just goes to show like she's never stopped playing hockey her entire life so she's never lost that ability.

Adam: There's a video on YouTube or actually a couple of videos, it's this guy I can't remember where he's at or his name, but he's in his late 80s or in his early 90s and he does body weight exercises and there's a big outdoor space with a bunch of parallel bars and pull up bars and stuff. And he's out there pretty much every day come rain, sunshine or snow; he's out there and he's able to do some pretty amazing feats for anybody, much less for somebody who's ninety something.

Doug: Yeah that's amazing.

Adam: That's a load of hooey.

Doug: Yeah absolutely.

Tiffany: Adam you had a good definition of exercise, you were talking about before?

Adam: Yes. So, this comes from Doug Maguffs book, Body by Science; and it gives you an idea of what exercise really is because according to the mainstream, anything like the definition of exercise is any physical activity done with the intention of improving some facet of health. And that can pretty much be a very wide variety of physical activity, but the one that Doug Maguffs has is, "A specific activity that simulates a positive adaptation that serves to enhance fitness and health without undermining the latter and the process of enhancing the former."

So, it's about improving your health and fitness without compromising say, the joints or something like that. So, you know something like a 'clean and jerk'. You can perform this in a way that you have good form and it will give you some benefits, but at the same time doing it with enough intensity to really be beneficial, your risk of injury is extremely high, so that by this definition, is it really considered exercise? Because then you're compromising your health in search of improving your fitness.

Tiffany: What is a clean and jerk?

Adam: Its where you've got a bar bell in front of you and you've got weights on it and essentially you'll perform a move where you get it up to your chest as you're dropping your body down and then you'll push it back over your head.

Tiffany: As you stand up?

Adam: As you stand up.

Tiffany: OK.

Adam: So, that's the full movement and in order to have enough weight on there for it to actually be beneficial, it can get kind of scary.

Erica: Well, moms do that all the time when they pick up kids.

Adam: More or less.

Doug: Yeah, I don't know that I necessarily agree with the whole danger aspect of it. I think that might be exaggerated to a certain extent. I'm actually a fan of weight lifting and doing these kind of Olympic lifts and things like that; I'm actually a cross-fit enthusiast and..

Adam: Boo.(Laughter)

Doug: Yeah I know, well I know we disagree on this and there's a lot of cross fit haters out there and I get that. I don't think that the complaints are without merit, but in myself I've been doing it for about 2 years now and the improvement that I have seen has been pretty remarkable, I haven't come across any kind of injury at all.

I think these things can be done safely as long as they're done properly. It's important to have a coach who knows what they're doing and can assess form. I think that a lot of times when injuries happen are when people push it too far. I know that in the cross-fit environment people can get that kind of intensity where they've got to do more and more.

I think that that is rather unhealthy, and that's what can lead to injuries and stuff, but I think that if you take it slow and you don't increase your weight too quickly, listen to your body and know that pushing past those natural - when your body is telling you to stop, to push past that, is not the best thing to be doing. Recognising whether, it's your emotions telling you to stop, versus your actual body telling you to stop. I think it could be done in a safe way and I think that it is quite beneficial.

Adam: Well, see that's the thing, listening to your body and all that. In order to - well, let's say, to get the most bang for your buck as far as exercise is concerned, you're going to be pushing yourself to the limit and it just gets extremely dangerous to have a weight over your head when you're pretty much at the point of positive muscle failure, that's dangerous.

Now what you said about the Olympic lifting being a useful tool, yeah no, I agree it's definitely a way to improve yourself. But I think Olympic lifting should be left alone for those who are Olympic weight lifters. That's just my kind of opinion, because you can do a dead lift and you can do a squat and that's one thing. But when you start getting to Olympic power lifting that's something that I think should be left alone for those that are actually trying to be Olympic weight lifters.

Tiffany: That's what they do in cross-fit; those big Olympic lifts?

Doug: Yeah.

Adam: Part and parcel of the way it is because the idea is that you're looking to - the idea of activating fast switch muscle fibres with fast powerful movements when that's not exactly like the term fast switch muscle fibre doesn't, - it's not fast switch fibre because it has to perform these fast movements in order to get improvement. It's actually how fast it can fatigue or does fatigue and so the reigning idea is that you have to; if you want to activate these fast switch fibres, you have to do these kinds of power movements when really it's just you have to have a significant weight to reach momentary muscle failure within about a minute and a half.

Tiffany: Well, some of these cross fitters are just attaching onto this word, fast and just taking it to the extreme.

Adam: Yeah and literally run with it.

Tiffany: So, are they doing these types of exercises every day?

Adam: Not every day. There are certain things that you can do or that you would do say everyday but even in the cross-fit world there's the idea you have to let your body rest. So you're not going to do the exact same things like a dead lift, you're not going to do that every day unless you want to hurt yourself.

Doug: You alternate different exercises. So you're not doing the same thing every day. But there's also big on emphasising functional movement. I always use the example of like a pull up. So you've got a pull up where you're on the bar and your hands are facing away from you and you're pulling yourself up in that way versus something like a chin up where you hands are facing you and you're pulling yourself up that way.

Well if you look at functionally, what you'd be using this muscle for; it's something you'd use in climbing. Well you're never going to be in the situation where you're climbing with your hands facing you or at least very rarely, you're not really gonna do that kind of....

Adam: Biomechanically speaking, the bodies function is such that a chin up is more aligned with the way the body moves. So, you may not necessarily climb with your hands facing yourself but if your goal is to improve your fitness without compromising health, aka grinding joints, then you would actually want to do a chin up over a pull up.

Doug: I don't know; when you're gonna use that movement in your life?

Adam: That's the thing; if you're able to do a weighted chin up, you will be stronger and it will allow you to do more work using those same muscle groups. It's not like you're suddenly going to get stronger doing weighted chin ups and all of a sudden then you go and climb a rock wall and it's like you can't lift yourself up.

Doug: True.

Adam: That whole idea is just such a load of crap.

Doug: I don't know I disagree. I think that if you learn to do movements, by performing those movements and doing an exercise that's different while it might get you there. I don't know I see a lot of value in mimicking the movements that you would use out in life, out in when you are doing things.

Adam: It's like really what you are talking about doing is, taking your body and making it functional. It's not like the weighted movements that you have to do, have to be "functional movements". If you were stronger in a bench press than you were 6 months ago, you are able to perform more work and so that's going to carry over into what you normally do.

Now when you do these things that you're not really use to doing like say, rock climbing. If you first start rock climbing, you're going to be very inefficient in your movement and so by performing more of that movement it's going to get you to where you are able to do more work more efficiently, but that does not mean that you have rock climb with a 45 lb weight strapped to your chest.

Doug: Right.

Tiffany: Do people do that?

Adam: More or less.

Doug: Well as you can see, we have some difference in philosophy here.

Tiffany: Why don't you guys just take it to the ring? (Laughter)

Doug: Well listen, Adam does martial arts; so I don't think that I would even attempt that.(Laughter)

Adam: If you say well look at somebody like Mike Mentzer or Casey Viator, you know these were body builders back in the 70s and 80s and these guys were huge. They were also incredibly strong and I read a story of Ray Mentzer and his brother Mike, how they were able to perform one legged leg presses with like 650lb per reps.

Doug: Whoa, holy cow.

Adam: That's incredibly strong. So, if you take the idea from cross fit that it's not functional movement. It's like, so you're telling me he wouldn't be able to walk up a flight of stairs? Efficiently or effectively like, he wouldn't be able to carry an immense load? That's kind of like what you're telling me, with this whole functional thing.

Doug: No it's not at all, not at all. No, I think that the whole functional movement, is a - what's the word I'm looking for; it's a philosophy right? I don't think that it necessarily negates the other, that it's like you have to do functional movement. It's an approach; it's a way of doing things. It's, - for me I like the functional movement philosophy and that's what I am pursuing. I don't think that then you have to turn around and say, therefore everything else is crap. I don't think that there isn't room for both.

Adam: I agree there's definitely room for both. I think however, what you want to do, say if you want to get into movement. You want to be able to do handstands or walking on your hands. I think it's kinda cool, personally.

Tiffany: That's just fun.

Adam: That's just fun. So what you could do is - you could do once or twice a week you could do some high intensity resistant training to get yourself stronger and then on your days off, have some fun you know. Try walking on your hands a couple of times and that's how I see it being most effective and efficient and safe.

So that way you're not trying to do too many things at once; you know, you have your exercise and that's gonna get you stronger. But then you also have the functional movement training that gets you more effective at doing whatever it is that you want to do; be it rock climbing, handstands, back flips or cartwheels.

Doug: Yeah, I totally agree. I don't think that therefore negates cross-fit, I think you can work both in. I mean there are things like rope climbing and hand stands and that kind of stuff that you do in cross-fit and I think it does bring in those elements in as well.

Adam: Yeah, it does. It just seems kind of like an inefficient way of doing things to me. You could be far more effective and efficient at getting your metabolical efficiency up, increasing mitochondrial density and what not, by doing the high intensity strength training without feeling big lifting tied into that. So you do say like a chest press on a machine or a leg press machine so whatever it is you do on these machines and you do them for high intensity. So you're simulating this growth and then you make it fun.

You do your cartwheels and your hand stands and it's like you're not doing handstands or the cartwheels or whatever it is, you're not doing that to make yourself or to improve. You're doing it to kind improve coordination. So that's where I'm coming from in terms of cross-fit, is that I like the idea of doing these different things in order to on the one hand, have fun but also make your body more functional. But you're also not trying to do that as a means of improving fitness because that's where you can run into problems. It's like you know if you're trying to read a book, watch TV, text your friend and go to the bathroom at the same time, you're not going to be efficient at anything. Does that make sense?

Doug: Yeah, I don't know if that analogy necessarily crosses over, just because in cross-fit you're not doing everything all at once. It's not like you're trying to multi-task, you're doing one movement at a time.

Adam: I've seen a picture of somebody doing a jerk on top of a bouncy ball.

Doug: Ok, but that's not something that you'd actually do.

Adam: That's the thing.

Doug: There are extremes out there for sure and I would agree with you there. But it's interesting that you brought up doing work on machines and there is kind of line of thought out there that using machines for things like bench press and leg press and that sort of thing; is that you're not, by using machines you're isolating muscles and that that's maybe not such a good thing because you're not engaging all those stabiliser muscles that have to go along with the movement. How do you feel about that?

Tiffany: Well, can I interject here? No, I've done super slow, but let's just squash the east side - west side; there's a feud going on here. I've done super slow before, and Dr Doug Maguff he advocates using machines because if you're really trying to work out your muscles to failure you don't want like a 100lb bar bell above your head. So, that it can accidentally fall to your head. So, that's the reason he advocates the machines, right.

Adam: If all things being equal, and if the form, the intensity and the effort and all, that all things being equal; the risk of injury is less on a machine than it is with say, a bar bell. So, that's where he's coming from with all things being equal, it's slightly safer to do it on a machine and that's why he advocates machines because of that safety issue. If you know what you're doing, and you've got good form, and you got somebody who's watching you; you can perform a deadlift with a bar bell and it'd be just as safe as doing say a..... (Bad audio) so, that's where he's coming from.

Tiffany: Well I'm a (bad audio) slow, I mean as a woman I don't care how much weight I can lift. And that brings me to, women who are sometimes kind of are afraid of lifting weights because they'll think they'll get super buff and have these massive gigantic muscles, and that unless you're just taking it to the extreme like some of these female body builders, and maybe taking steroids or things of that sort.

Adam: The women actually like the unnatural body builders that are just huge and gross looking. That is the steroid thing that is not natural. So, if you're a woman and you're going to the gym once or twice a week and you're doing heavy lifts, that does not mean you're suddenly gonna grow 6 inches and become like a man-woman. What it's actually going to do is, actually give you curves, shapely curves that are attractive, nice.

Tiffany: Well, I've noticed when going super slow, which is super difficult because you have to lift the weight, the heaviest weight you can lift basically or maybe lift it for 10 seconds and lower it for 10 seconds until you just can't. It's just physically impossible to lift any more weight and you do that like a series of you call them, the big 5 exercises.

So, you do that and it doesn't take very long because when you're doing it correctly you will get tired very fast and that's your workout and you do it once a week and I noticed that I gained a lot of strength. I could tell week after a week that I always had to go up on the weights that I was using, but I never became like super, muscular buff.

Doug: I mean it's a difference between pursuing fitness versus pursuing bulk. When you look at bodybuilders, those people are going to a lot of extremes to try and build mass and it's more about the look than it is about actually being functional and fit, and having the ability to move about your environment in a more efficient and stronger way.

So, I think women who are afraid that suddenly they're going to look like one of these steroid freaks; it's all about what you're pursuing, you know. If you want to build up that bulk and mass, there are ways that you can do it. Obviously there's ways that you can adjust your diet, adjust the supplements you're taking, and it's all about the pursuit of mass.

Adam: And you know going along with if you're really are searching for the biggest possible size that you can get. You can adjust your diet and the supplements like what you were talking about, but there's only so much that your body can handle, your body's threshold is pretty much dependent upon genetics.

So genetically speaking you can only do so much and if you want to be in a pro-bodybuilding contest, you have to be able to exceed you limitations which means steroids or growth hormones or whatever it is in some way shape or form.
I remember there's this, it's kind of big in South America, it's this I can't remember what it is exactly but what they do is they take a couple of 100 cc and they inject it into their muscles and all of a sudden their muscles just swell up to... (Bad audio) ...size and what's happening to these people are looking... (Bad audio) or effort.

Tiffany: Pump?

Adam: That pump and what ends up happening is that their muscles swell up to such a huge degree, that it actually rips open their skin.

Tiffany: Oh!

Doug: Ah, Jesus.

Adam: Yeah, so you take about some extremes like yeah, you can get there.

Tiffany: Well any of you ever heard of what do they call it, weight bands? Where they put these bands - I think it originated in Japan?

Adam: Occlusion training? Yes.

Tiffany: Yes, occlusion training and you put these bands around the upper arms like above your biceps, or you put them on your legs like right beneath your glutious maximus and your hamstrings and quads and you do like light weight but a lot of reps and they say it gives you that pump and of course I tried it.

Doug: Tiff, you're a guinea pig.

Adam: Yeah, I've seen some people do that and they have blue arms that are not good.

Doug: Ah, Jesus. You know it's all these things, like by doing these things you might be gaining things as far as the look goes; how muscular you look. I look at how much they're sacrificing. Look at the sacrifice you make in flexibility by being super huge, how good is it to be super huge if you can't actually turn your neck very much because your muscles are so huge.

Tiffany: And you can't even put your arms down. (Laughter)

Adam: Well see that's again, one of the things with - and it's why I don't necessarily really like bodybuilders at all because, they're not natural. so you can't really say what a natural person looks like because that is not natural. When you get to be these huge monsters and they can't put their arms down by their sides because their... (Bad audio) are so big it's like they just looks like they're trying to do the superman walk all the time.

That's not a natural thing. Like with Casey Viator and Mike Mentzor; as an example. They were very big guys, they actually had really surprisingly good flexibility and that was actually because they just had really good genetics, that's really what it came down to. Mike Menzter was about my height but he had a wrist size that was about 3 times size of mine. So the reason why he was able to be so big, yeah, he did take some steroids but he also had huge bones. So he had really good genetics but he was still able to be pretty flexible because he's still kinda stayed within his limit.

Tiffany: Well, that reminds me of an article that was posted on SOTT recently as called, Body builders are shown to have weaker muscles than wimps; They did a study and they found that gram for gram bodybuilders muscles are weaker to those who never touch weights. The bodybuilders they have really large muscle fibres and they're capable of restraining a lot of force than the average person but they tested like a gram of the bodybuilders muscle versus a gram of the so called wimpy person muscles who didn't weight train and they found that the wimps per gram their muscles were stronger.

Adam: (inaudible) find the study itself and unfortunately I could only get the app? I can't say what they're talking about with bodybuilders. So I can't exactly say much about what they were talking about. So there could be a lot of factors that are not taken into account, which is to say that you can't really draw anything from that because you don't really have access to the information. So I can't say what kind of confounding factors there were that would have allowed for this finding but when I did look at it, what was kind of glossed over in the article was at the very bottom the power athletes. So they had the power athletes, the bodybuilders, the untrained aka the wimpy people, and what they found was the power athletes were actually significantly stronger gram for gram than both the wimps and the bodybuilders.

Tiffany: The power athletes are people like sprinters.

Adam: Yeah sprinters. So the high intensity, low volume people actually had much stronger muscles. So when I was reading it, my take away was well obviously that means that we should do high intensity effort training with very low volume instead of doing opposite. But that was completely dismissed.

Doug: Yeah, that's what I took out of it as well. It comes back to that whole thing, of "a bodybuilder" is somebody who is just trying to build mass and like we were saying before, if somebody is trying to get the look, get their muscles as big as possible, it makes sense to me that somebody who's doing that sort of thing and using the supplements, changing their diet that sort of thing to get bulkier. Yeah it makes sense that their muscles maybe wouldn't be as efficient because they really were just pursuing that bulk, they're not necessarily pursuing functionality and strength. Whereas with the power athlete getting bigger is more a side effect, what they're trying to do is improve their performance so it makes sense if their muscles would be more functional than somebody who's just trying to pursuit size.

Adam: And see, here's another part of that that is so everybody has different genetics and so the expression of that is gonna be variable for different people. So some people are going to be there genetics are gonna kind of dictate that that they're gonna get a lot of strength without a whole lot of size and that's just kind of genetics. There is no training that's going to change it, sorry. So those kinds of people actually are going to gravitate towards say, like power lifting where you're in a certain weight class and so you wanna be as strong as possible within that weight class. So that people that have really good genetics in that regard, where they have a very high power to weight ratio, they're going to naturally gravitate towards that kind of thing.

Whereas somebody like a natural bodybuilder might be more on the opposite side of that. So they're going to get a lot of size without a necessarily huge amount of strength increase and that's again just kind of genetics, which takes me into the whole idea of sarcoplasmic versus (Bad audio) ...fibre training, which is just nonsense. So it's like this idea you can train one way for size and one for strength and your genetics has nothing to do with it and that's completely farcical.

Like I did P90X like 10 years ago and he was saying that I do 6-8 reps for size and then 12 reps for strength and that is just nonsense. There is an idea for what we've seen is, you can get an increase in within a certain repetition range. So, if you do 12-15 reps, you will be stronger in the 12-15 rep range but that does not mean that you're going to get stronger without getting bigger. You know if your genetics are such that if you get a little bit stronger you're going to get really big, that's just going to happen. So, you can try and do the whole strength thing without looking for size but if that's your genetics, that's what it is. So again, it's kind of going back to bodybuilders that they have this, they're big but they're not strong, well that's not exactly true. It's just that their genetics are that they grow stronger and they just naturally get really big.

Then you also talk about bodybuilders being 'having a puffy look' that comes with all the stuff that they're taking as well as having a bulk-cycle. If you're on a bulk-cycle that's means you're putting on fat which is gonna round out your muscles. So it's not that they're getting stronger it's just that they're adding more fat to their body at the same time. So there are a whole lot of myths out there, and it's - yeah.

Tiffany: If you're in the process of tearing down muscles and building them back up again do your muscles retain water, is that part of what's contributed to that pumped-out, bulked-out look too?

Adam: Repeat that again sorry.

Tiffany: If you're exercising like, strength training and you're lifting heavy weights and that kind of tears down your muscles and then you go back into where you're building your muscles back up, does that make your muscles retain water?

Adam: Well, you muscles are mostly water. So, when you're doing a round of strength training and you get a good pump going, that's actually the blood. So that's why you look bigger when you have this pump going is because it's all the blood that's there, and when you're trying to get rid of all the worn proteins that are in your muscles that's gonna take more blood as well as more water. Then when you're building up your muscles again, that again is going to take water, in a roundabout way yes. But I don't think it's what you're thinking it is. There's the idea that taking creatine is just going to add more water weight but that's not true according to what all the studies that have been done on it show, it actually increases muscle mass and muscle mass takes water. So, does that kind of answer your question?

Tiffany: Yeah.

Adam: Ok.

Doug: Well, maybe we should get away from some of the minutia here of weight lifting and things like that, and just talk about approaches to exercise. Because I know for a lot of people the whole cardio myth has kind of been around for a long time. It's been thought for a long time that the whole benefit of exercise is just about burning calories, so the more calories you can burn, the better your exercise is.

That's what led to things like marathon training and that sort of thing and also what leads to people thinking that by just going for a walk that they're getting enough exercise. But I know that more recently it's been shown that actually doing resistance training which is actually lifting weights, using your muscles whether that be through body weight exercises or actually lifting bar bells or using weight machines or something like that, is actually much more beneficial and has benefits outside of the actual exercise session. So I don't know, any comment from that?

Adam: Yeah, if you're looking to say, lose weight in a sufficient way, its strength training. As far as doing "cardio" goes, you can have your big metabolic rate performing physical activity that is going to raise your energy expenditure but as far as expenditure increase over time versus not really doing cardio per se but just going about your daily task of doing the laundry and washing your dishes and stuff like that it's so (Bad audio) ....why so like doing 'cardio' as a means of burning extra calories is really kind of like you must not like life very much (Bad audio) ...invaluable that you can just go out for a day instead of walking on a treadmill and going nowhere.

Tiffany: Well, I like walking but I don't consider it as a form of exercise for reaching some kind of goal. I just do it because I like it and walking on a treadmill for me is like torture.

Adam: Let's say you can watch TV at the same time.

Doug: Exactly. Yeah you can exercise and get indoctrinated by the mainstream media at the same time.

Tiffany: I would rather do it outside in the fresh air, in the sunshine and have the wind blowing on me, hear the trees rustling versus being in some gym where they have Wi-Fi and Fox News.

Erica: That speaks to the whole western idea about exercise as a whole and I'm with Tiffany on that, I've never been to a gym and the one time I did, I walked on a treadmill and I was blown away. Wow, I could just walk outside, this is not happening and also that whole environment of like people lifting weights it becomes a very physicality thing.

Tiffany: You see people actually posing in the mirror.

Erica: And then it becomes this whole weird...

Adam: Narcissistic thing.

Erica: Exactly, exactly.

Adam: Yeah, I know I agree. You can go to a gym and it's a toxic environment for the most part because there are so many lies surrounding it you walk in and you kind of feel it. But I mean it's a necessary evil in one respect. As far as getting back to the cardio aspect, which I mean I can kind of segway. I think and this is kind of a view that I've been kind of mulling over in my mind with that, a lot of the recommendations for physical activity or "exercise".

They're recommending you do all this exercise, kids should get an hour of exercise a day or whatever. It's not exercise per se; it's really just physical activity. It's going out and doing something that's fun. I think going along these lines, when you talk about how physical activity is really beneficial, any kind of physical activity you know; rock climbing, dancing, whatever it is. Has a lot of benefit for your mood and I think personally that if the mainstream was meant to take what we know from the research and really put it into context. It would be you should do high intensity strength training once or twice a week; maybe more, maybe less depending on how you respond it. Then as supplement to that, doing something that is fun physically, a couple times a week or every day even. You know if you like to go outside and run just because you like running, do it. But don't do it because you have to find an obligation to exercise. If you think rock climbing is fun, do it couple times a week because it's fun it's a good expenditure of energy, it gets your endorphins going and it relieves stress in that way but then when you have these recommendations that you have to go to the gym, you must walk on (Bad audio) ...that just adds to the stress. It doesn't help get rid of it or relieve it.

So, as far as a recommendation goes, strength train once or twice a week and have some fun. Going back to what you were talking about earlier with cardio just to kind of explicate on that, people do cardio because it's supposed to have a beneficial effect on your cardiovascular system and what you're really looking at when you're talking about these kinds of improvements is the cardiovascular system really only supports muscular work.

The reason why you have some kind of metabolic improvement from running it's actually because your body is doing physical work and running specifically targets your legs, which are the biggest muscles on your body. So when they're talking about doing cardio, that's kind of what they're talking about. Is doing physical work with your muscles that your body has to process, however it is an extremely inefficient way of doing it. What has been found with particular high intensity training or like high intensity resistant training or whatever you wanna call it, you're doing maximal effort in a minimal amount of time. It's like doing sprints but on a chest press and anybody that's done a workout with me will tell you, once you get to even doing one set of say arm curls or bicep curls, you can do it to such a high intensity that you want to die off that one exercise and your heart rate shoots through the roof. That is where you're producing a whole bunch of metabolic by products of exercise, which is what you would do when you're running but because you're doing so much in short amount of time. It's like sprinting and you can do sprints to improve your cardiovascular function, which is really just like a roundabout way of saying that you're more metabolically efficient.

Any improvements that you see in your cardiovascular system are because of your efficiency in performing muscular work. You can do sprints or you could do high intensity strength training or you can minimise your rest time between exercises and its incredible. There is this one study that was done in the 70s. It was total conditioning they did, they had 2 groups of people, - they were in the army - they had these 2 groups of people; 1 group was doing the higher volume strength training and then a separate session of cardio - and that was a couple times a week - and then the other group was high intensity strength training under the supervision of Arthur Jones.

These people under Arthur Jones tutelage, were doing these high intensity strength training sessions where they would do 8-10 exercises; things like the chin up, the pullover, the chest press, the leg press, leg extension and stuff like that. They were done to momentary muscular failure and there was minimal time between exercises and they did this for a couple of months. They then went back and measured resting heart rate, strength and all these other different criteria and what they found was that the people that were doing the high intensity strength training twice a week, were in much better shape than the people that were doing the cardio.

Doug: Yeah, we've got a caller on the line here, Mike is calling right now, Mike can you hear us?

Mike: Yeah, I can hear you just fine.

Doug: Great. Do you have a question or a comment?

Mike: Well a comment. When you were talking about just training itself, I know even myself I've struggled with my weight and with just health in general for a long time. I had a wake up moment and you know like one of those light bulb goes on above your head. Then I looked in the mirror and I was 320lbs and I said, "Oh man." My blood pressure was way up and I said, "I got to lose this weight." I was smoking 2 packs of cigarettes a day, I was a train wreck. I said, "Its time." I went out and of course you buy the treadmill and ok I'm gonna to lose this weight.

Well, I get off the treadmill and I still eat this pizza you know what I mean. And I tried and I tried and I finally said, "Ok I'm doing something wrong, what am I doing?" And then it just hit me, it said, "lifestyle change." You know what I mean and I'm like ok. I didn't really have like a trainer or anything like this and I just said, "What am I doing, what am I doing?" You know I'm on YouTube and just trying to ask questions and things. So it was like calories you know. So then I'm like ok. And I look up calories you know. I mean I'm joking when I'm say I consumed 20,000 calories a day but that's probably not far off. So I drop my calories then the weight started coming off. So it's taken a while but I think I'm 210lbs right now. So, that's the biggest thing you can do though weight the exercising with the combination.

Adam: Yeah, when you take a caloric deficit and then you add the strength training on top that the results are just fantastic.

Mike: Right and then now even my blood pressure is down from 160, and now it's in the normal range.

Doug: Ah, good.

Tiffany: Congratulations Mike!

Mike: When you change everything, you know I think for me it wasn't just one thing, it wasn't just cardio, and it was a whole change in general.

Adam: Yeah, you can't just start exercising and think the worlds suddenly going to turn bright. You can't just change your diet or cut your calories and think you're suddenly gonna get in shape it's a whole combination of things like it's like you said, it's a change in lifestyle.

Mike: Yes. That's when I noticed the biggest change you know and there are still things that I want to do, even when you've reached your target weight, you can't go back to eating beef sandwiches and everything like that. You have to continue with it, not that you can't enjoy those things but in moderation you know. But I just wanted to tell you, I was listening to your show and giggling everything even with the treadmill. I did the whole treadmill thing and I'm like I'm walking and going nowhere, this is boring. But thanks for taking my call, I just wanted to call in and pick on you just for a minute.

Doug: That's good thanks a lot Mike.

Mike: Alright, bye now.

Doug: Have a good day.

Adam: Yeah, so lifestyle, awesome.

Doug: No, I mean it is it's the diet, it's the exercise, it's the work on the emotional level as well, like all of these things make a huge difference and that's something we've kinda we've touched on a couple of times the whole idea of play. And that kind of brings the emotional aspect into it where it's not drudgery; you're not going to the gym out of obligation, and feeling guilty if you don't. In fact there was a study; I don't know remember where I read it where they were talking about how having a gym membership is actually more detrimental than anything else. Because it has that element of stress and guilt and all that sort of thing, of I have to go to the gym, and oh, I didn't go to the gym today, oh, I ate a dozen donuts or something like that and I need to go to the gym and work that off. It's really the idea of making it fun, something that you actually want to do. I think that is of extreme importance.

Adam: Yeah, I think just in general is something that we're severely lacking in a culture, the physical culture of America back in the turn of the century. It really didn't exist because people were still gardening there was still a lot of labour involved with..

Tiffany: In chopping wood.

Adam: In chopping wood.

Erica: Carrying water.

Adam: The basic chores for life were still around. Now we're so technologically advanced and removed from reality that we can essentially if we want to live in apartment closed off from the rest of the world interacting with people on the internet, order groceries from the internet and pay our bills on the internet. So you literally never have to leave the apartment, that's just not healthy.

Whereas before at the turn of the century you had to go to the well, get water, you had to chop your own wood, you had to grow your own food and so you were very physically active. Then around like the 40s and 50s when we started really getting indoor plumbing was both the standard, it kind of freed up a lot of time and so what people were doing was they were playing, they were playing sports. They were going outside, they were still gardening but it was able to give them some free time to where like at muscle beach in Venice, California. You had these amazing acrobats just able to perform these unbelievable physical feats and they weren't going to a gym like beating themselves up or anything they were doing it to have fun.

Erica: Break dancing.

Adam: Break dancing, yeah.

Doug: I often think about if we could travel back in time and kind of tell somebody from the turn of the century what the future was like and how people go to these establishments with machines in order to work their muscles. That people would just be horrified, it's like, and you do what? Why? That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard.

Adam: People are going to this place to walk on a machine to walk on a machine and go nowhere if you think about it.

Doug: It's insane.

Tiffany: You know but the one thing is, that a lot of these activities have in common is that they all are taken place outside in nature, in the fresh air, in the sunshine. So that makes me wanna talk about move matt. Has anyone done that? I've seen videos of it where the guys are like in the forest just jumping around and climbing trees and jumping in the lake and lift boulders and stuff.

Adam: Yeah, I think that's fun. I don't know if I'd necessarily consider it exercise. You know because it's kind of dangerous some of the things that you see they do, so I don't know if I'd consider that exercise per se but as far as he looks like he was having the most fun since he was a kid.

Tiffany: I'd love to climb a tree.

Erica: I'm going to be sort of like the tortoise of the group over here. I really liked last week, we had Yarrow Willard and his whole idea of going out in nature and slowing everything down, as well too. Probably the opposite of that you were talking about; but just being present really in the environment outside, being present in your body and coming back in, grounding even barefoot if you can. And this whole getting energy from the environment around you, I really liked when he said that.

And it kind of struck me here was an article couple weeks ago about how we sit too much, and as Adam was discussing, this idea of the fact that you could sit in your chair and not leave your house for 8-10 hours a day. There was a study done about how fidgeting might help counteract that. So, if you're a fidgeter and you're seated, especially if you do a desk job and you find yourself constantly shifting around and moving and fidgeting and being moving, that moving is actually better for you than just sitting still. The importance of you standing up stretching, then there was an article that was on Science Alert. They talked about how just walking out side for a few minutes, or walking your dog, or standing up that it actually makes a difference in your health, in your cardiovascular health just having that break from this sedentary lifestyle.

Adam: Well, we don't really think of it as such but it's actually extremely stressful in a lot of ways to be in that kind of environment. If you've got a desk job, you're cooped up for a long periods of time, that is stressful. We don't really think of it as stressful because we're not getting chased by a bear, but nevertheless it shows up as a stressor. So, interestingly enough the fidgeting is like a way to physically get rid of some of the physical stress, the stress hormones.

So, something like, and this is something that I've been experimenting with lately was neurogenic tremors, which is essentially kind of like a fidgeting - well it kind of looks like a seizure - but it's the same thing. It's a physical way to literally burn up the stress hormones. So yeah, if you're sitting down for a long periods of time, you don't realise it but you're stressing out your body. So, you have to do something to get rid of it.

Tiffany: That's why it's important to take breaks if you're trapped in an office sitting in a cubicle looking at the blue screen on your computer under fake fluorescent lights. And unless you can go outside and just walk around, even if it's in the city, walk around your building, get some air, get some natural light shining on you.

Doug: It's interesting this whole thing, connecting with nature that we were talking about with Yarrow last week, like Erica just brought up. It makes me think about yoga and how it's a really interesting physical exercise that you can do outside and it is a slowing down in a way. It's not a vigorous exercise that it's more like a slowing down holding poses kind of giving you more of an opportunity to connect with your environment, a little bit more. Now Erica, I know you're a yoga instructor, have you done classes outside much?

Erica: Oh, yeah.

Tiffany: We did one a couple of weeks ago, it was beautiful. So awesome, I still can't stop thinking about it.

Erica: Yeah, for about 7 years now I solely taught outside and I felt like it was such a gift to be able to do that because you're not in the confines of a studio, or a gym environment. And really the most important aspect like I mentioned earlier was just being physically present in your body and this is something I really learned as a teacher in teaching, and in practicing it myself was, that a lot of people aren't in their bodies.

They are hovering outside of their body or they're living in their mind and it's really like you said, it slows everything down. I always tease that I'm a tortoise moving at this very slow pace because I want to be physically present. It's a very hard practice but it happens slowly, it's a lifetime really. And you know just coming back into the body for a lot of people when you mention the word yoga; which I always resist wanting to say I'm a yoga teacher because usually there's a facial expression that's like, "Oh you're contemplating your navel or you wanna raise your kundalini you know."

I'm more about the idea that it's about calming your inner state and actually creating a sense of being and being physically present, being able to observe what's happening in your muscles, in your breathing, in your mind and not being attached to an outcome. So, all this talk about exercise, and cardio, and calorie restriction and all this is almost the antithesis of that.

And I wanted to comment earlier this whole idea of power yoga has become very popular and it really is completely missing the mark on what the whole idea of yoga is. And for those who don't know, the word yoga in Sanskrit just means; to bind or join or attach life like a yoking and its basically concentrating your attention and a union or a communion with the one, whatever that may be; god, Buddha or Jesus, Caesar, whoever it may be. This idea of yoking of all the powers of the body, the mind and the soul it basically is the disciplining as well of your intellect, of your emotions, of your will and bringing you back in that present state and in that present moment.

I have taught power yoga classes and like you guys were saying about cross fit and the gym and what not; I really saw this whole thing in a power yoga class where people were really missing the whole point. The idea first and foremost of yoga is the breathing and you know it's been said by gurus or teachers of yoga like Iyengar, who brought yoga to the west that once you practice conscious breath, you are practicing yoga. Once you connect with your breathing, you are practicing yoga, you're coming back into your body, you are creating a sense of awareness that we tend to lose when we're wanting to walk on the treadmill or going to the gym, it's like I gotta get this thing done and we're stuck in the future or we're stuck in the past but we're never present in the moment.

And as a teacher, that was my biggest suggestion to people when they came to the mat was be in your body at this moment, one breath at a time. Your inhale, your exhale; you're here and notice sensations that are happening because some days you don't want to go to class but it's almost like the discipline of going to the mat, even if you just lay there for an hour and notice your breathing. The importance of coming there and letting everything go. I had a teacher once say, "Coming to the mat is like a magic carpet ride, you're there, you're present, and you're open to what is going to happen."

Iyengar did say, and I wanted to address this idea about flexibility because a lot of students they'll first say to me - when they come to class is - I'm not flexible, and there's a basic premise with hatha yoga which is what Iyengar taught. It's not about flexibility or the ability to do different postures or tie yourself into a knot or be a pretzel or any of these things. It's about awareness of the body and awareness of the breath and from that awareness comes control and (Bad audio) you know. So basically Hatha yoga trains your mind as well as your body. To focus your attention without (Bad audio) cultivate patience. So it's this idea to learn to be like the tortoise and move forwards steadily, no matter how slow your progress is right? So you can resolve to practice being with the experience and in the present moment, and enjoy yourself, and let go of expectations and we see this a lot in the yoga world, "Well I can't do a handstand" or "I can't do a one armed balance" or any of these things, that kind of takes away from the whole idea.

The idea is to again be with the experience and like any sort of exercise the more you come to the mat, the more you practice, the better you're going to get. It's not having an expectation in that moment you know like, "Oh, today I'm going to be able to stand on my head"; all those things are expectations and again people wanting to be where they're not at. So as a teacher, that's my biggest suggestion to people; "Oh, I can't do yoga" and "I'm not flexible" and "I don't want to do yoga". There are so many different types of practices out there. I'd say if people are interested the best place to start is something like a restorative yoga, or a gentle yoga which is focussing on the breath first and foremost, and then finding your way into these shapes, whatever they may be. All yoga postures are either animals or things in nature a tree or they even have the bird of paradise which is actually a very complex posture but it is this idea of providing that opportunity for breath.

So, I always start my classes come to your body, come to your breathing, notice the rate of your respiration. So I use to have these moms who would be running to the yoga class and they'd be like hhhhh hhhh hhhh (panting) I made it, I made it I got the kids today and I got the car and you know.

I would always start the first 5 minutes is just find a seat, find yourself and notice your breathing, are you panting, can you slow it down and after about 5, 10 breaths in through the nose out through the mouth using the belly. It's amazing to watch peoples facial expressions change, it's almost like a softening in so many ways and by the end of the class, people leave and their facial expressions change radically. You know this what we've talked about in past shows this vagal tone, this stress on the eyes, the stress on the forehead, the clenching of the jaws, the tension of the shoulders, all those things start to leave, when you connect the breath with movement.

Adam: And I think what you were noting, just the commercialisation of yoga. The idea of going to a yoga class its not to centre yourself to be with yourself, it's to burn calories and to get flexible and it's like you're completely missing the point.

Tiffany: Yeah, that's fitness industrial complex.

Doug: Yeah, its gets competitive too, you know can you do this pose? I can do this pose. Can you do this one?

Adam: It's a narcissistic thing, trying to one up on everybody.

Doug: And you have to have the special yoga gear.

Erica: Oh, yeah.

Adam: Yoga pants. Those are not pants by the way; stop wearing them outside of the gym too.

Erica: Yeah. I really saw that and now they have all these festivals and you go into a class and there's 250 people and I'm in the back of the room and I'm thinking dear god these people aren't breathing in or hhh hhh hh hh. And as a teacher and as a human being I'm concerned because the whole point is being missed it becomes this form of an aggressive exercise, make a note here about Bikrams hot yoga, not a fan.

Adam: Not yoga.

Erica: Not a fan. I had an older woman tell me one time, sure if you're a 14 year old Indian boy that might be a good practice. But for most people and I would say a lot of my clients were older people; is, the relaxation benefits. As we've talked about in previous shows with Eiriu Eolas; breathing is the most important part and really again, having people develop a conscious awareness of their breath throughout the day and emotional stability. For example if you're in a stressful situation and somebody cuts you off, notice instantly how your breath starts to transition, how your body responds the tension and all the aspects that come with that. Just this constant diligent practice of being aware of how you're breathing is affecting your physical space.

Adam: Yeah, you talk about how strength training can improve posture. Going along with what you're talking about with being within your body. If you're really are able to be present, you know where your shoulders should be and it's not right up by your ear, holding this tension unknowingly. If you slowly start to understand and see that in yourself, then you can work to improve it. So instead of having tension in your neck it'll go away because you're no longer holding tension there, everything's where it should be and that's definitely something that you don't see in commercialised yoga setting.

Erica: No, definitely not.

Doug: It's a fashion show.

Adam: Yeah, my leopard yoga pants!

Doug: Speaking of the whole mindfulness thing, oh, sorry were you gonna say more on that?

Erica: Oh no, go on.

Doug: Well, I was just gonna say speaking of the whole mindfulness thing, there was an interesting article on SOTT a while ago talking about, the mind body connection in relation to exercise. They talked about a study where, what was it called? Ok, exercise is good medicine for preventing and reducing an angry mood. Oh no, that's not the one. Umm, I can't find it now. Anyway, it was an article where they were actually talking about that thinking about exercise can actually have benefits as well. They did this study where they put a cast on people's wrists and they divided them into 2 groups. So they had this cast on for 4 weeks, and 1 group just went about their daily lives, whatever they were doing. The other group, they were told to for 11 minutes a day, - I think it was - to think about exercises; think about specifically exercising the area, think about exercising that wrist, you know doing exercises that would strengthen the wrist.

Now, what they found was the people who had been thinking about exercise, had twice the muscle mass there when the cast finally came off, versus the people who just went about their daily life. So, it just really just goes to show you how powerful our mind is in relation to our bodies.

Adam: Yeah, I mean it is incredible and it kind of makes sense to think of it that way. Because if you're sitting here and you imagine yourself getting chased by a tiger, your body will respond physically as if it is being chased by a tiger. So, if you have the same stress response to just an image of being chased by a tiger as actually being physically chased by one, then I don't see that wouldn't be the case, if you're thinking about exercising, your body would respond in kind.

Tiffany: Yeah, that makes me think of people who have phantom limb syndrome. They have their arm or leg amputated and they have pains in there even though they don't actually have the leg or arm. They've done experiments where they put a mirror beside them so there leg is reflected to them and the pain goes away.

Adam: Weird.

Tiffany: Yeah.

Doug: Very strange.

Adam: Cool.

Doug: Yeah, so I guess as long as I sit at home and dream about exercise, I'm Ok in not going to the gym right?

Adam: Yeah, it's fine. I can just think about playing ultimate Frisbee.

Erica: Tiffany, you wanted to talk about this article that recently came out.

Tiffany: Oh I do? I don't have any notes on that. Well there's some drug company that decided to take and put exercise in a pill, I think you have it Erica.

Erica: Yeah, it's called, Straight to your lazy butt: Big Pharma says "the world needs exercise pills" basically pills are going through animal trials that are to mimic physical activity. So things like burning fat, forming new blood cells and reinvigorating old cells and muscle fibres. You know that the whole idea of what we we're talking about; just thinking about it. Well if you're too lazy to think about it, then maybe you can take this pill.

Adam: I don't know, I'm gonna have to open the bottle and...

Doug: You got to remember when to take it.

Erica: Article..... (inaudible)

Adam: In order to make it affective you're going to have to - as we mentioned in the credo. It seems like in order to do all the things that its talking about, its gonne have to be a combination of green tea extract, a little bit if antibiotic steroid, just a hint of Viagra.

Doug: Perfect cocktail.

Adam: Oh, man.

Doug: Kinda crazy.

Adam: But the whole idea that you can somehow (Bad audio) ...everything is just, what world do they live in?

Tiffany: Who do they think they are?

Erica: In the article they talk about, - "oh, the coach potato" you know he thinks about exercise and then doesn't really do it, but he can just take this pill now, get off the couch for 2 seconds, get the pill and lay back down.

Adam: Yeah or you can get one of those little shock belts that you can wear around your waist that make you contract your muscles and that's somehow going to .... I don't even know.

Doug: Yeah, you can build your abs while you're sitting there watching TV, it's really convenient.

Adam: Yeah, I'm gonna watch American Idol and workout.

Doug: Well, getting back to the whole thinking about exercise thing. I noticed that they've done experiments with, - I don't have the details on it - but they've done experiments with sports performance and things like that. Where they have the people think about things; so they'll take a golfer and they'll say think about your swing, picture yourself at the golf course and hitting the perfect drive and they actually found that it does improve your game.

So, even if you aren't actually going out there and playing but you're kind of meditating on this and thinking about it, picturing it and really visualising getting yourself there. It actually has marked performance in prevalence, again just getting back to the whole mind body connection. It really seems like there is something going on there.

Adam: It seems that if you're doing something like that - and I know what you're talking about because I read it a while back - if you're going out to the range and you're just working on your drive and you're just kind of whacking it, and you're not really thinking about it, you might see some improvements but it's not really going to help out too much because you're not really being mindful of it. But if you're doing both at the same time, you know if you're really paying attention to how you're doing all of these things and actually going out and doing them, that it's kind of like a double whammy.

Erica: I can say that for yoga too. You know with the practice, some days are good, some days are not. I always say to my students you know, come to where your body is at today. So maybe yesterday maybe you could do the splits, not that I do the splits. But this whole idea of play and fun, I use a lot of humour in my classes because I feel people have this whole expectation. Again as I mentioned, of where they want to be at, instead of where they really are. So things like balancing a pose; I always say I use it to trick my students. So, we'll do this warrior 1, warrior 2, now we're going to go to warrior 3, lift your leg up and fly and they would (Bad audio) ...I try and take it to a place where it was fun and if you fall over, try not to knock everyone else over in the class.

But that's fun, like this idea of letting go of your expectations, and having some fun with it, being like a little kid. Teaching kids is so much fun because they would do some of the craziest things and this idea of letting go of the expectation that you have to do this or it's required of you. It's supposed to be fun, to play around and be safe at the same time and breathe! You know I always tell people this when there face gets so constricted and they're trying so hard to touch their toes you know, and you've got to smile, you've got to enjoy it, and just be with the experience.

Adam: So, if I smile and imagine myself doing splits I can eventually do a split.

Tiffany: And take a pill.

Doug: Take the split pill.

Adam: Oh god.

Doug: Well, has anyone got anything else to add as far as our subject of exercise goes? We've got Zoya's Pet Health segment that she talks about exercise in that as well but before we go to that, does anybody have anything else anything interesting they read?

Adam: Not really interesting but I don't know we ever got down to the whole recommendation part unless we want hold off on that until after the segment?

Doug: Ah, no we can go into now.

Adam: Ok. So, just kind of a review of the research in terms of getting the most bang for your buck, in improving your fitness without undermining your health. The basic recommendation for people who are physically fit is actually to do no cardio whatsoever ever but to actually just do some strength training. Some high intensity strength training; so what we mean by high intensity is, picking a heavy enough weight to where you actually reach momentary muscular failure in about 60-90 seconds. Then you'll do one set of failure for all the major muscle groups. So you go and you do either a squat or a leg press to address the major muscles in your legs. A bench press or a chest press for the pushing on the horizontal plane; a chin up or a pull down and then you've got the row or the bend over row, and then an overhead press or a shoulder press and that's really all you need. Just do 1 set to failure, try and go as quickly as possible between exercises and do that once or twice a week and that's it, everything else is just for funzies.

Erica: But for those of us who aim to behave and don't have a set of weights would lifting your grocery bag but squatting or carrying some heavy rocks across your yard or sweeping or ...

Adam: Well, I think doing the physical activity is part of your daily routine I think that's good but you're not gonna see the same marked benefits in strength as you would doing those specific lifts; however you can do body weight exercises and essentially do the same thing. So instead of doing like a weighted chin up, you'll just do like the upper portion of a pull up or a chin up and you just change the lever that you're working against and make it more difficult as you get stronger; you're going to have to increase the lever a little bit more to make it more difficult. But you can do body weight squats, or pistol squats, or push ups, hand stand push ups, or whatever the variation is depending on what muscle group you're working. But you don't have to have 600lbs of weighted plates or some bar bell set up in your garage just something you can use body weight and still get the same effective workout in terms of strength increases the bones density increases and stuff like that so work with what you've got.

Erica: Use it or lose it.

Adam: Use it or lose it baby.

Doug: Cool. Alright well, why don't we go to Zoya's Pet Health segment? So, here it is.

Zoya: Hello and welcome to the Pet Health segment of the Health and Wellness show; my name is Zoya and today's topic is the importance of exercise in pets. (Sounds of animals)

Study's in humans has clearly shown the psychological and physical benefits of exercise resulting in an improved quality of life, to reduce the susceptibility to illness, and increased lifespan. The same of course applies to animals as well. Exercise is important, as it allows our pets to express their normal instinctive behavioural traits including increase exploration, the use of scent, sight and hearing, tracking, stalking, play fighting, play defensive behaviour, hiding, attacking, chasing, greeting members of the same specifies, dealing with strange objects and dealing with animals from different species.

Exercise also encourages the development of a normal daily toilet routine. Cats and dogs deprived of regular exercise and confined to the home may develop anti-social behaviour patterns including; destructive behaviour, aggressive territorial guarding, house soiling and vocalisation when left alone without human companionship. A degree of exercise is also needed for normal muscular and skeletal development in young growing animals. Animals deprived of exercise will develop poor muscle function due to muscle atrophy and a sedentary lifestyle which will predispose them to develop obesity and other disorders.

The most common adverse effects of insufficient exercise is, obesity and all pets can develop this if they are fed too much calories, and especially if they are being fed dried food or other species inappropriate food. Millions of pet dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, rats, ponies and birds which are "loved" by their owners are obese simply because owners do not provide proper nutrition or sufficient exercise or because they have encouraged or enforced the development sedentary lifestyle.

Obesity has all sorts of negative effects in the body and it can make various diseases worse like heart disease orthopaedic disease, skin disease. Obesity also plays an important role in the course of some common diseases like diabetes. Now how much exercise should be given? Given the opportunity most animals will regulate their own exercise but it is important to encourage regular exercise from an early age otherwise sedentary behaviour can be difficult to change once is it established.

Small pets should be given sufficient space in the home to be able to move around and they should be given access to exercise areas or exercise toys like wheels or balls. Different breeds of dog require different levels of activity large and giant breed walking dogs clearly require much more exercise than small lap dogs. Twice daily exercise periods for at least 20 minutes duration should be regarded as a minimum, you can also combine training and play as dogs training through playful behaviour appears to be the most effective method of training your puppy.

You can alternate commands, use all kinds of props and make it fun in general for both you and your furry companion. Cats will exercise themselves if allowed outside for sufficient period of time. Now when you take your dog for a walk in the park, with cats it's a bit trickier. So some breeds like a mane coon could be probably walked on a leash like a dog but for most cats, indoor exercise or playtime should be arranged.

Many holistic veterinarians emphasise that exercise should be fun for the cat and the human, and that play with cats on a regular basis improves their circulation, their eyes brighten and their coats get shinier. Just like humans, cats need to keep their mind alert and occupied. Daily diversions can help keep your cats active while enabling them to constructively release pent up physical and mental energy instead of talking out on your new furniture, or wall, or themselves. Self-mutilation, excessive leaking, marking, compulsive vocalisation and hyper activity are all signs of stress that may result from too little play and interaction.

Some cats if they don't get much, in order to get attention they start knocking over stuff, just to play. Kittens that are full of energy will blatantly tell you that they want to play. Older the cats however may be less forward, choosing unwanted and damaging behaviour for attention. For the past 2 decades behaviour problems in cats have been on the rise. Some researchers and veterinarians believe that the bevioural problems are directly related to boredom, depression and stress. All of these symptoms can be helped through regular exercises and play. And while it's true that cats really enjoy sleeping for the better part of the day, their natural instincts also dictates that they hunt, play and interact socially.

An indoor cat can eat her food from a well-deserved china plate still misses the natural of the hunt. That's where we come into the picture and helping kitty to hunt down her prey in other words her favourite toy, it doesn't matter what age, size or breed; all cats will join in play, if you take the time to find out what they like, persistence is the key to seeing results. The more consistent you are with play the more the cat will play and the healthier she will become. But what will get your cat to move, experimentation is the best way to find out. Holistic veterinarians suggest varying the activities to try to learn what your cat prefers. Toys and furniture that mimic the types of activities that cats have in the wild such as jumping, climbing and chasing are good places to start.

One piece of string or crumpled pieces of paper allow kitty to be the natural huntress she is. Cat furniture is not only good for climbing and scratching; it's also great for spying through windows from the smallest end to the group of pigeons, diverse sights and sounds will keep your cat alert and entertained. All these activities provide the cat with a great physical and mental workout while giving you both a chance to bond. It takes about 20 minutes once or twice a day for your cat to become healthy as they can be and to create a special bond between the 2 of you that is well worth your time and effort. Well this is it for today, hope you found the information useful, have a nice day and goodbye!

Doug: I never get sick of those sheep. Great thanks Zoya that was awesome! As a recipe today, you guys had something in mind right? Are you guys there? No, it looks like they maybe we're experiencing some technical difficulties here. I think that the recipe of the day was basically to get outside, get out there, do some exercise, and work your muscles.

The whole idea being exposure to sunlight, you're gonna be getting more vitamin D, that actually lowers your chances of insulin resistance. So, your nutrients will actually be getting to your muscles. So, if you are one of these sedentary people, just adopt an exercise routine, come up with something, whether it is simple weight lifting or - oh are we getting you guys back? Yeah, I think we're still having some problems here, I can't hear you guys, if you're there unfortunately. Anyway, I hope everybody - oh, yep?

Adam: Hello.

Doug: Hello, OK I can hear you guys now.

Adam: Cool.

Tiffany: Oh OK great.

Doug: You guys have anything to add to that recipe? (Laughter)

Erica: Yeah, we just went outside for a walk.

Tiffany: We just got back.

Adam: I sat out.

Doug: Cool. Alright guys we'll be back again next Friday and 10am with another addition of the health and wellness show. Be sure to tune into the other two SOTT programs tomorrow is the Truth Perspective at 2pm eastern time, and on Sunday there is Behind the Headlines again at 2pm eastern time. Ok, everybody have a great weekend and we'll talk to you soon!

Tiffany: Bye everyone.

Adam: Bye everybody.