11 Aug It’s The Dose, Duh!
I have often heard phrases like, ” too much of a good thing can still be bad for you” or ” consider all things in moderation, even moderation” and it makes me wonder how often we, including myself, consider the doses of various exposures we come in contact with both internally and externally.
A person does not become obese after eating one cookie, or obtain cancer from a single exposure to cigarette smoking. The one single most powerful component that risky health habits have in common is that they tend to provide instant gratification, and that is also their biggest flaw. Changes in Health behavior tends to get pushed to the back burner because the consequences of such habitual/addictive actions typically don’t occur for many years down the line. So what does this have to do with dosing you ask?
If a person smoked one cigarette, or exposed to one dose of second hand smoke and immediately got lung cancer they would probably be more inclined to change their behavior. But, since the consequences to that same dose, one cigarette, one exposure to secondhand smoke occurs daily tends to show up as other illnesses decades later, such as COPD, Asthma, Edema, and a host of other ailments, cigarettes aren’t considered an immediate threat to ones health. These long drawn out consequences lack efficacy to create a sense of urgency at an earlier point in time. The same goes for obesity and its host of metabolic syndrome disorders. One afternoon of binging to subdue emotional stress or a few days of only consuming one 3,000 kcal meal may not send you into the threshold of being diagnosed with a chronic illness. However when doses of those sizes are accumulating over a time period of years or even in as little as a few months, the bodies ability to keep up with this rate of consumption will yield less than satisfactory results. Meaning, a moment has finally arrived to get dressed up and go out on the town, and nothing in the closet fits quite right, not even those fancy heels…. Taking a day off to rest and keep activity to a minimum every once in a while is nice, and its not going to do much harm. However, for some one who sits at a desk for 8-12 hours a day, then the time spent in the car in morning and evening rush-hour, then the time on the couch eating the fast food they stopped and got on the way home, this routine, its effect accumulating, day after day after day, will start to show its face as you experience physical weakness and a lack of mental focus and clarity. If you don’t use it, you lose it!. Muscle, like bone tends to weaken and lessen in density when not used. Thus leading to injuries associated with lack of strength, flexibility, agility, balance and weakened bone structure. The stairs at home become more and more difficult to climb, when you do cook at home, the standing becomes taxing more quickly than it used to. Not to mention any outdoor activity is now no longer enjoyable. Exposure to stressors are pretty much impossible to avoid. Some stress has been identified as good stress. Release of chemicals like adrenaline can motivate a heightened sense of functional performance. That’s good during performances in athletic events where the chemical is used up right away and expelled from the body. But Chronic stress exposures can result in metabolic symptoms that look much like chronic diseases, including hypertension, angina, arrhythmias, cardiovascular and neuromuscular disorders. Long term exposures to elevated stress chemicals and hormones can be detrimental to any ones quality of life, no matter how young or old. Symptoms of depression, low self esteem as well as long bouts of low energy creates a barrier to improved health status.
When we ignore the dose, we ignore the consequences, and ultimately we ignore the fact that the added stress is literally taking years off our lives. Just like weight was gained in little doses, and muscle fatigue occurred over time, and other chronic illness over a period of years… the way in which to reverse the damage and keep it away also has to be approached one dose at a time. Trying to fit a week’s worth of exercise into one workout session is a death wish. Fasting for more that 3 days to lose weight is detrimental to your immune system. Consuming pills and supplements that are advertised to get you fast results without changing your diet or exercise routine is harmful. Quick fixes are not worth the long term negative affects they have on quality of life. Most of these methods are harsh on the kidneys, liver, heart and brain by throwing off the necessary chemical balances that the body tries to maintain in order to function properly and that can and should be obtained through proper nutrition, stress management and a proper fitness routine.
There has to be strategic dosing assigned in order to restore the balance of chemicals and cellular function within the body. There is a certain amount of exercise to be exposed to, a certain combination of nutrients to be exposed to, a certain amount of rest and recovery to be exposed to and a certain amount of knowledge and support to be exposed to, in order to create and maintain long term changes to the body and mind. Ultimately leading to an improved quality of life.
That one cookie won’t make some one obese over night, just as equally that one exercise class won’t make you skinny overnight. Not very many things happen over night, so consider the dose in everything you expose yourself to via long term or short term, because it matters!
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