Exercise is a stress to the body. It is disrupting the equilibrium of your body, which your body interprets as stress. This means exercise will spike cortisol.
Chronically elevated cortisol will result in problems in your body, as I discussed earlier. However, studies show that regular exercise can improve your stress response, even though it acutely spikes cortisol acutely or right away.
So the answer is not to stop exercising all together. The answer is to figure out how to dose exercise so that your body responds favorably.
A common thing I've been told from my Evlo members is that they work out less frequently and intensely with my program, and yet they see more desirable changes in their bodies.
This change happens partly because of the exercise selection we are choosing - we are intentionally choosing exercises that load the muscles in the most effective ways with minimal joint stress. That results in better muscle adaptation with less painful joints. But it...