Phil Campbell - Ready, Set, Go! Synergy Fitness for Time Crunched
Antioxidants . . . what comes to
mind first? The orange vegetables - carrots and sweet potatoes, supplements
like selenium, and vitamins C, D, E, right?
When we think about antioxidants, we
typically think about eating something to combat those trouble-making
oxidants with antioxidants (from vividly colored fruit and vegetables or
supplements). I want to change your mind about antioxidants!
Antioxidants are reported to be major
players in health and wellness by scavenging the blood for free radical cells
that have entered the bloodstream from pollutants.
Some free radical cells are positive and
needed to fight disease and heal injury. However, when the body is exposed to
environmental pollution, free radicals are produced in excess.
Excessive free radicals
do the damage
Excessive free radicals not only cause
damage and leave the body more susceptible to carcinogens (cancer causing
substances), they also play a role in heart disease and hardening of the
This occurs when free radicals oxidize
with the low-density (bad) cholesterol.
Oxidation in the blood stream operates in
the same way that metal oxidizes (when it's left outside in the weather). When
metal tarnishes, it is being oxidized. And thats what excessive free
radical reactions do in your bloodstream.
The traditional approach to combat free
radicals is to increase the amount of food rich in vitamins C, D, E,
beta-carotene, selenium, and take antioxidant supplements. But now there's a
new antioxidant on the block!
Researchers report that high-intensity
exercise - the Synergy Fitness type of fitness training - that produces lactic
acid, may need to be considered an antioxidant agent because of its
ability to scavenge for free radicals. (Free radical scavenging and
antioxidant effects of lactate ion: an in vitro study, 2000, Groussard).
If you think about it, it makes perfect
sense. When you reach an out-of-breath (anaerobic) state from exercise, the
body goes hunting in the blood system to find all the oxygen it can to pay back
the oxygen debt.
By performing anaerobic exercise, you have
done something to your body to make it automatically "scavenge" the blood
system and seek out anything that could be oxidized.
Maybe this explains why I hear people say,
"my body feels so clean after doing the Sprint 8 Workout."
Perhaps they have zapped anything that could be oxidized.
Does exercise cause free
Yes. Researchers report that exercise
produces small amounts of free radicals. Remember, it is the
excessive free radicals that cause the problems.
The free radicals produced during exercise
actually insults heart muscle, explain researchers. And this is
positive. The insult causes the heart to develop what the
researchers call an adaptive response, which builds oxidant
defenses into heart muscle.
Researchers conclude, "Regular physical
exercise may beneficially influence cardiac antioxidant defenses and promote
overall cardiac function," (Physical exercise and antioxidant defenses
in the heart, 1999, Atalay).
The Take Home
Don't give up the carrots or toss your
antioxidant supplements, just consider adding anaerobic workouts to your
Have a great day!!
Phil Campbell, M.S., M.A.,
Author Ready, Set, GO!
NOTE: The purpose of this article is to expand thinking about
fitness as an informational source for readers, and is not medical advice.
Before attempting the Synergy Fitness program, the Sprint 8 Workout, or any
high-intensity exercise program, consult your physician. This is not just a
liability warning; it's wise to have a baseline medical exam before beginning a
fitness program. Make your physician a partner in your fitness improvement