Alright, the title may be a little deceiving but when it comes down to it, it’s true and hopefully grabbed your attention. The human body is designed to run in a status quo style where it is constantly attempting to stay at homeostasis. Homeostasis is defined as the tendency toward a relatively stable equilibrium between interdependent elements, esp. as maintained by physiological processes. Basically it wants to stay neutral, to stay level, to stay the same. When we train with weights, run or perform any type of physically demanding activity our body technically doesn’t like it. It wants to maintain homeostasis and physical activity usually breaks that condition. You can define this physical demand we place on our body as a stress. We are damaging our muscle fiber, motor units and cells and actually producing toxins in our body. Now this may come as a shock or may make you think twice about hitting the gym again, but it shouldn’t. This stress that is placed on our body is something we call a good stress, there are positive benefits to come from this stress. Considering that our body cannot maintain homeostasis for our entire lives, things such as weight training can break it, but in a good way. The good thing about weight training is that our body is getting stronger and better not only from an aesthetic standpoint, but getting stronger and better from a biological standpoint. It is learning to combat these stresses, adjust to them and grow from them. Why do we want to place these stresses on our body? It can go back to the old Darwin thought of “only the strong survive”. By weight training you are teaching your body to handle these stresses and get back to homeostasis at a quicker rate. You are gradually raising your personal bar each time you workout. Your level of homeostasis is a higher one than it was previously, which means your system as a whole can function better. If you get into a car accident you are likely to recover more quickly if you consistently place this positive stress on your body. More importantly, you are internally becoming a much stronger system that can fight against illness much better. I know you have probably never thought about these things but hopefully it has opened your eyes a little. The quicker you can return to that neutral state that you were in before the day’s workout, the better off you are. There are a few things you can do in order to return to homeostasis at a quicker rate. Here they are:
1. Eat the Right Foods: Fruits, vegetables, complete proteins and many other healthy foods will help restore those damaged cells. Heard of anti-oxidants? That’s what those guys do; help your body fix damaged cells. 2. Take a Multi-Vitamin: You can absolutely get every vitamin and mineral you need through your diet. The problem is, you aren’t. Each day you eat different things and may be lacking in Vitamin A one day or fall short in the Manganese bracket the next. Take a Multi-V so that you don’t miss out on those essential vitamins and minerals. 3. Take Fish Oil: I know that fish oils are basically the new vitamins (they have received much attention lately) but most don’t know what they do. In short those Omegas that are found in Fish Oils help in keeping your hair, skin and nails nice, they help with cell production and help reduce pain and inflammation. One big benefit is a reduction in your chances or heart disease. You may burp up a little fish taste from time to time, but its worth it. 4. Grab a Shake: I know most shy away from protein shakes because of the meathead stamp that has been placed on them. When you’re done with a bout of exercise your body needs protein and carbohydrates. The protein helps to promote protein synthesis, which will rebuild those muscles. The carbohydrates will replenish the glycogen stores in your body. Glycogen is what provides energy so you can continue with your day. Depending on your body composition goals the amount of carbs in the shake is very flexible. However, you should be getting around 20 grams of protein post workout if you are a female and about 30 if you are a male. Mind you, it doesn’t need to be a shake but can come from food as well. Look to get it within 30 minutes following your workout and no later than 2 hours. 5. Sleep: Last but not least is sleep. Your body works best at rejuvenating while you sleep. You place the least amount of demands on yourself while sleeping so that allows your internal system to do its work.
Hopefully this article kind of erased the title of it. I figured it would catch your attention so went with that title. After reading this, you should think about weight training a little different and realize what the inside of your body is going through. Lets raise that homeostatic bar and continue to improve our body as a total organism.