Exercise Can Be Bad For You (repost)

*This is a repost of 01/17/10 which was lost after Yahoo switched web hosting to Aabaco*

Exercises are supposedly good for you. How can that be bad?

If you are totally stressed out during daytime from your work, exercising as hard as you can to relieve stress at night time may be bad for you. Why?

When facing stress, our bodies’ natural reaction, called flight-or-fight response, makes our hearts beat faster, our muscles tense up, and our blood pressures elevate. All these consume energy. If one’s stress is prolonged, pretty soon, her/his energy store will be depleted. And one can feel tired easily. However, if at this stage she/he still insists in going to the gym after work and working out to relieve the stress, her/his energy exhaustion will be exacerbated. Even though she/he may feel a bit better right after the exercise, pretty soon, the tiredness can be replaced by listlessness and lethargy. And she/he will lose the capacity of facing the same level of stress the next day. In other word, the stress level will be exaggerated by the lack of capacity of handling it, which is caused by the lack of energy. At this stage, people will not be able to cope with any stimulation and become highly irritable or irascible.

So unless you are still full of energy after a full day of stress, do not exercise yourself to death. Instead, you should do only light exercise to relax your muscle, eat well, and then sleep well to restore the lost energy.

Chinese Daoism emphasizes on doing everything naturally and TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) moderately to achieve total wellness. So the key words are “Neutrality” and “Moderation”. The proper amount of exercise is relative not only to individual, but also your current health state, your current mental state, and your current energy level.

Next time when you exercise after a full day of work, you should pay attention to the current state of your body. Do not force yourself to exercise to the total exhaustion level. Remember, “neutrality” and “moderation” are the keys.

FYI. My next blog topics:

  • Why salad can be bad for you
  • Why morning exercise can be bad for you
  • Exercise: Which is the best kind?
  • Stress and depression
  • Stress and obesity
  • Stress and constipation / diarrhea
  • Stress and irregular menstruation
  • Stress and joint / muscle pain
  • How to manage stress

And more to come.

Dr. Kenneth Hu, L.Ac., Dipl. O.M.

  • Dao Wellness Center
  • 6055 Meridian Ave Ste 30, San Jose, CA 95120
  • Tel: (408) 766-1811
  • Web: DaoWellness.com