The Science Behind Metabolic Conditioning by GMM Partner BodyFitz
New Group Fitness Class Based on Scientific Studies Helps You Maximize Your Results!
At this point in human evolution it would be hard to contest the claim that some form of physical activity or exercise is a healthy habit. Physical exertion repeated for training purposes not only strengthens muscles and keeps weight down but, as population studies suggests, it can also help protect against diabetes, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
With an unprecedented amount of research on physical education, we felt it necessary to help pinpoint the underlying connection between exercise and health. At BodyFitz we have always believed that true fitness and health are less about the superficial exterior and more about having a positive impact on our ability to move, our lifestyle, and our vital bodily functions. It’s a holistic approach that incorporates a sound body to achieve a sound mind. And thanks to advances in technology, scientists now have research that supports our belief that exercise is the best way to make the most drastic and lasting improvements to our health.
The benefits one may experience from exercise are somewhat subjective. But on top of the immediate physical and emotional benefit one may feel after physical exertion, is there really an objective benefit that underlies one’s own subjectivity?
It appears so. And the science behind it is fascinating.
Researchers believe they may have marked a mysterious mechanism that lies at the root of so many of the health benefits of exercise. Beth Levine of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas has identified autophagy, or “cell self-eating” (a catabolic process of the cell-cycle by which cells recycle used or flawed organelles, membranes and other internal structures) as the key instrument in exercise’s drive towards better health. More specially, autophagy describes a process by which a cell with a double membrane encircles target material (organelles, membranes, etc.) inside another cell by engulfing the host cell to form a sphere that then spills its contents into the cell’s lysosome; where enzymes break down and rebuild cell structures so the cell can recycle the targeted material. (Science, 25 November 2011, p. 1048)
Levine began her research by looking at autophagy’s role in cancer and infectious disease, and how elevated autophagy (in her animal models) produced widespread health benefits when compared to animals with lower levels of autophagy. Recognizing that autophagy’s recycling helps meet energy demands, Levine wondered if autophagy could possibly be triggered by exercise. What she uncovered was just the tip of the iceberg when understanding the connection between autophagy and exercise.
What is now identified as the exercise-autophagy parallel was given further support when an Italian research team reported in the 2012 December issue of Autophagy that exercise in fact does induce autophagy in the skeletal muscles of mice when put under testing conditions. Their observations not only confirmed Levine’s hypothesis, but went on to document that autophagy is actually required for exercise’s beneficial metabolic effects. Since all organisms, from yeast to humans, maintain a background level of autophagy that is then boosted under stress, Levine was able to examine the increase in autophagy due to exercise.
Her results continued to corroborate her hypothesis that exercise training leads to greater autophagy. In subsequent work, Levine focused on skeletal muscle, which soaks up about 85% of the glucose derived from food. Strenuous exercise normally lowers glucose and insulin in the bloodstream, but autophagy-impaired mice could not do this nearly as well as healthy mice. On the cellular level, following exercise the autophagy-impaired mice didn’t relocate a glucose transporter to the cell membrane as do normal mice.
This led Levine to conclude that autophagy is necessary for the short-term metabolic effects of exercise. To understand how exercise and autophagy cooperate in the long-term, Levine fattened normal mice and autophagy mutants giving both groups a form of diabetes (insulin resistance), then put them through daily treadmill workouts. Only the normal mice were able to reverse their diabetes through physical training. The exercise also brought down elevated cholesterol and triglyceride levels in these mice, but not in the autophagy-impaired mice. In these trials Levine found that after short-term exercise, normal mice activate in muscle tissue the enzyme AMP-activated protein Kinase (AMPK) but the autophagy-defective rodents didn’t. AMPK reprograms cells to boost energy production and its induction by autophagy could explain how exercise training reverse diabetes. In the long run, exercise training also causes lasting adaptations in muscle tissue, including the replacement of old mitochondria (the cell’s powerhouse) with new, fuel-efficient ones. These cell “upgrades” help create a more efficient and capable body to meet the demand and stresses of daily activity.
Whether or not you find the science behind it interesting, the bottom line is that your cells are always battling hard to fight for the best you possible. And we believe that the best you is achievable at BodyFitz with resistance-training for functional purposes using our Purmotion equipment. By training your muscular, skeletal and central-nervous system in a way that mimics daily life, you greatly improve your ability to decrease uncertainty in your movements and discomfort through your joints. Being active not only keeps you mobile and increases your metabolism, but we know now that it also increases your cells’ ability to better utilize energy and meet the demands of your daily life.
By working out smarter with BodyFitz and eating smarter with Good Measure Meals‘ calorie-controlled 5 or 7 day meal plans, you can see the maximum benefits! Just another way we are helping you train smarter to live better at BodyFitz.
Contributed by: Dan FitzSimons, Owner | BodyFitz Sandy Springs
A dedicated athlete, coach and educator, Dan opened BodyFitz to share with others his passion for fitness, health and recreation. Throughout high school and college, Dan participated in track and field, throwing shot put, discus and javelin. He played football for the University of Connecticut Huskies and pursued a coaching career in high school track and football while teaching physical education. Dan earned a bachelor’s of science degree in physical education from Southern Connecticut State University and a master’s degree in educational leadership from Central Connecticut State University. He has been certified by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and the American Council on Exercise (ACE).