Shared Insight On Fitness

Damer

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Warrior Monk from Terra
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Part of my day job is running analysis on complex systems (their application varies). A lot of it involves conceptual thinking and this often leads to insights. I am sharing this here, first. I'd love it if you thought about it and asked any questions that may pop-up. The insight may be brief but it takes some unpacking once you think about it.

Exercise is an energy management system we employ to help the body better regulate its energetic requirements. Fitness (as we visualize a fit body) is a by-product of energy-management adaptations but the body doesn't actually care about that at all.
 

Deadoks

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For a non native english speaking I felt it hard to understand at first. But after work I'm also tired.

I have no question... but...

I would say that:
Exercice is a trigger for the body to run the process of energy management.
Fitness is an exercices management system that we employ to better adapt to the energy of the body.

Or something like that...
 

Damer

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Warrior Monk from Terra
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Posts: 598
@Deadoks really good attempt and I'm sorry for condensing so much in those sentences. It is a characteristic of my job, most times.

Let's deconstruct what you said and I will explain the insight a little better, afterwards.

You see exercise as the trigger that activates the body's energy management system.
So, in your view fitness is a system employed to help us better manage the energy of the body.

The first part of what you said is not quite right but the second part is inspired and clearly you thought about it a lot!

Here's what I meant: The body will spend energy each day doing tasks regardless of whether we exercise or not. In a pre-industrialized world we would lift, walk, run, dig, etc all day and stop to fuel ourselves at lunchtime (maybe) and at night. We didn't need to exercise. In the modern world we don't have to do any of these things. The body gets way too much fuel (which it stores in fat in case it is needed) and gets to expand way too little energy. Exercise consists of additional, structured, physical activity which increases the body's energy output. It is only necessary now because we no longer lift, walk, run, dig, etc all day. So, structured exercise is the system we employ to better manage the energy that goes into the body and to help increase the energy output of the body so the two balance better.

The popular idea of fitness is a strong body (big muscles, six-pack, lean body etc). But the body itself doesn't actually care about any of this. These are things we strive for because of cultural norms regarding fitness. What the body will adapt for is doing something that feels hard (and costs a lot of energy) more easily. So it will increase strength, speed, endurance and so on so that it can reduce the amount of energy required to carry out a specific exercise. This fits in pretty well with the second sentence you wrote. Fitness (as I explained it) is indeed an adaptation that allows the body to do more with less (it's the reason why if we do the same thing all the time it stops helping us get fit). If we do get lean. strong, have abs etc that is just a by-product of the body's need to reduce the energetic cost of an exercise.

Thank you so much for adding your thinking here!
 

Deadoks

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@Damer Oh yes the way you explain it make sense to me now about exercice. We use exercice to adapt and burn the energy we eat as our lifestyle is way less active. It makes sense.
But then is consumption (intake) not more suitable or an alternarmtive to requirements? As we use exercices because of too much energy consumption.
If we only speak about energy. Because we also use exercice to make muscle, be more stretchy, have a healthy and big heart for building a good condition. (Also french-english can make me think different as some translation in my head can be tricky).

I still think my exercice sentence is not totamy wrong. As exercising trigger our body to use energy and so managing if we burn fast sugar or stored fat etc...

For fitness I totaly agree.
Nice development. I like this
 

Damer

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@Deadoks excellent question: "But then is consumption (intake) not more suitable or an alternarmtive to requirements? As we use exercices because of too much energy consumption."

In a modern world we don't just have access to easy energy, we also have access to the wrong types of energy. You mentioned in another post that you raise your own chickens if I remember correctly, so you have a really good grasp of the energy-in/output issue. Free range chickens are healthy and you feed them (I suspect) great food but they still only reach a maximum weight which is nothing compared to commercially-bred chickens that are fed more calorie-rich foods and move around less.

It's the same with us. We have easy access to calorie-dense foods while our energy needs (that include building and repair in the body) are less. And exercise, when we do exercise, only makes those needs energy needs drop. (Stronger muscles can achieve more things more easily, metabolism adjusts to regulate the total energy spent in a day,). So, the magic is regulating food intake to match total energy needs (exercise, growth, repair).

We could reduce the energy intake (by going on a diet) but then everything else gets put on hold too which is not the best way to be healthy. So, a balance has to be reached and that balance is different for every person.

And yes, exercise does, indeed, burn mostly carbohydrates (i.e. sugar) but what triggers adaptations is not the exercise itself but the effort involved in the exercise which is how energetically costly it is for the body.

To give you an example, I can do 1,000 sidekicks (kicking side to side) in about 20 - 25 minutes in lots on 100 with a small break between each lot. It's an exercise that I find easy because I have done it for a very long time. During it I probably burn very little energy and I barely break into a sweat. Doing that exercise does nothing for me by way of adaptations - the energy load is too low. Someone new to it however will burn more calories, get more tired and possibly trigger more adaptations with just 100 - 150 side kicks. The trigger won't be the exercise itself but the energy load it imposes on the body.

(Something tells me you will love the next AMA - Ask Me Anything - session when we do one. And it will be a pleasure to have your questions too!)
 

Deadoks

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Viking from Belgium
Posts: 705
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Thank you for this exchange.
Next AMA I'll definitely be there.

And yes I have the luck to own some chicken (3 atm) and they eat and live great. We don't eat them, only their eggs and when they stop laying eggs they live happy until the end.
Also have a reasonnable green garden.
Children loves that!

Take care
 
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