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Exercise and Cortisol

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...

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Is HIIT good or bad for you? How to do HIIT without hurting yourself

A good exercise program will yield all the desirable benefits you're looking for (increased muscle mass, increased stamina, increased cardiac health, improved bone density, improved metabolic health, etc.) while minimizing wear and tear through joints. I always keep this in mind when discussing exercise. To me, it's simple, if it leads to the goal of improving overall health without the often significant trade-off of damaging joints, it's worth it.

 

HIIT has various metabolic benefits, and studies show that it is effective in preventing disease and aiding in weight loss.

 

However, many HIIT programs include high impact exercises, which tend to be controversial in the health-sciences world. 

 

Let's consider the pros and cons of high impact exercises: 

 

Pros of high-impact: 

Improved bone density

Studies have shown that high-impact exercise can help improve bone density (but so can resistance training!). 

 

Cons of high impact: 

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