There are huge and well-documented effects of exercise.

BUT…..metabolically speaking it doesn’t seem to raise your metabolism day to day.

SO….you don’t get to eat more today because you worked out, nor will you burn more calories than yesterday when you didn’t work out…..sorry!

Exercise does create an increase in the efficiency of your metabolism that day by ramping up the function of your brain, kidneys, heart, and liver. This is possible to do with each workout, as long as you don’t stop it with a post-workout shake mistake.

In your workout, your metabolic activity goes up due to the neurological and muscular activity involved and the processing that these high-performing organs are doing. When the workout is over, your body then resets its metabolism for that day to a more efficient (lower) rate to balance out the metabolic “books” so to speak, at the end of the day. But your caloric budget stays the same.

At the same time, someone with the same body type, sex, and age, who didn’t work out at all will burn the same amount of calories as you did working out. Not fair!

Exercise has a net positive effect on your metabolism, essentially calming the system and reducing stress and inflammation markers as your body goes into the repair state.

In the repair state, your brain chemistry will clear the mind, improve memory, and concentration, and produce a bunch of feel-good neurotransmitters.

Exercise OVER TIME will help build more muscle, which can have the general effect of raising your metabolic rate…..but this is over time, not day to day.

Exercise also promotes improved metabolic flexibility by building bigger, more efficient engines in the muscle that you do have today (mitochondria efficiency and density) as well as increasing the size of your muscle’s gas tanks or your glycogen storage capacity.

This all contributes to better insulin and blood sugar clearance, decreased net insulin exposure, and a positive metabolic effect allowing Human Growth Hormone to come out and play keeping us strong and young.

Exercise not only promotes the building of new brain and heart cells from brand new stem cells, but regular exercise can help you keep over 90% of those new cells that would have been recycled otherwise.  So you get to make new cells and keep them too!

What kind of exercise is the best? Let’s not jump the gun, just make sure you are doing something every day. 

I can hear people pleading now, “is there NOTHING that can increase your metabolic expenditure day to day? Actually, there is but that’s for tomorrow’s post. Stay tuned.

In the future, we can go into the different types of exercise, their impact on the nervous system, and their metabolic effects, but for now, commit to doing something every single day!

And remember, in many cases, 2 exercise sessions of 15 minutes a day can often be better than one 45-minute routine!

You can’t make an educated choice without the education first, nor can informed consent be given when choosing your health care options without first the complete information as to what’s available.

As we learn more, we can do more.

Keep sweating my friends!

We can do better!

Dr. Don

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