We all know that exercise can be beneficial when done properly. I would like to address how exercise works, why it matters for Lyme recovery, and what I think of your physical pain deterring you from exercise.
How Exercise Works
The energy from Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) helps muscles contract during exercise. We constantly create more ATP during exercise either through aerobic exercise (with oxygen) or anaerobic exercise (without oxygen).
Carbs are the main energy source for high-intensity exercise, whereas fats fuel low-intensity exercise. Proteins typically maintain and repair muscles but are not used to fuel work-outs.
Muscles have a few seconds’ worth of ATP in them, allowing you to start sprinting without oxygen. After that, you can sprint for another couple seconds by converting the creatine phosphate in your muscles into ATP. Once you run out of creatine phosphate, you start metabolizing carbs to create more ATP. A high-intensity exercise can produce twenty times more ATP when there is oxygen involved (basically, once you start breathing heavily).
You can exercise for hours at low intensity because aerobic exercise is fueled by fat (and fat is stored in abundance). However, this type of exercise does not tend to help you build muscle.
In short, the more a muscle works, the more ATP it metabolizes. The more ATP is used, the more ATP is created to replace it.
Why It Matters
Consider the following:
- Your mitochondria produce ATP.
- ATP gives you energy.
- Your muscles are loaded with mitochondria.
- The more muscle you have, the more mitochondria you have.
- The more mitochondria you have, the more ATP you can produce and use to fuel your cells.
Muscles are loaded with mitochondria that provide huge quantities of ATP to fuel the muscles so that you can, among other things, pick your ass up off the couch.
Forty years ago Professor John Holloszy of Washington U found that exercise caused an increase in muscular mitochondria, as well as the uptake of glucose from the blood into the muscles (this point, in particular, is significant for those who fear that glucose feeds their hematological infections).
Basically, your body recognizes your demand for more energy when you exercise. ATP production increases as you use your muscles by producing more mitochondria. In turn, more mitochondria = more ATP production.
Use It or Lose It
If you don’t use your muscles, you will lose mitochondria and many other significant health benefits. A decline in mitochondria makes us age faster and correlates with countless illnesses, particularly degenerative illnesses like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, diabetes, and heart disease.
Without these powerhouses up and running, we stop turning our food into fuel for our cells effectively.
Don’t Let Pain Stop You
Big Sam was a toy salesman, a philanthropist, and a charismatic and totally offensive comic. He looked like Bob Barker, with the white hair, tan, baby-coloured golf shirts and tall lanky build. In his eighties, he developed aphasia and slowly lost his ability to speak. His jokes went from long stories with punch-line humor to yelling “blow job” while my grandma blew out her birthday candles. Eventually, our conversations started to go like this:
Me: Hi grandpa!
Big Sam: Ya!
Me: How are you?
Big Sam: Ya! Ya?
Me: I’m good, thanks!
Imagine making a living with your mouth just to have your words taken away. Anyway, he also took prednisone for bullous pemphigoid (some rare autoimmune condition that manifested in his seventies) which gave him burning neuropathy in his feet. Now imagine being an avid athlete and healthy eater in your seventies and suddenly deteriorating from the feet up and head down.
Why am I telling you this? Basically I am just trying to explain that I’ve seen someone lose his speech – something that defined his whole life – and I’ve watched him adapt his epic jokes into one-liners, then into single words, then into big smiles. I’ve watched an almost-ninety-year-old dude in excruciating pain, unable to walk much because of his burning feet, get in and out of a pool to swim laps (mind you, at a turtle’s pace). After one episode in the hospital (where my whole family went to say “goodbye” but he miraculously recovered) his swimming days were over. Still, he made sure to get up once an hour to walk around the house for two minutes to keep things flowing.
He lived five years longer than doctors expected. At his funeral, if anyone told my grandma, “he’s in peace now,” she would bark at them, “he was in peace while he was alive!” Even though some people wouldn’t consider it “much of a life” he preferred the combo of bearing agonizing pain and smiling to giving in and dying fast.
I’m not trying to minimize your pain by any means. I’m just saying that as valid an excuse as pain is to put off exercising, there are ways to accommodate your illness. I mean, squeeze your butt cheeks together really tight in your wheelchair if that’s what it takes! Pushing yourself for even two minutes of exercise a day can improve your mitochondrial content and up your energy production. Try it and you might even impress yourself.
http://healthaffiliate.center/20886-11.html P.S. the annual Lyme Summit is coming up!