Fitness and Health
articles by Phil Campbell
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. . .
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!
reported to be major players in health and wellness by scavenging
the blood for free radical cells that have entered the bloodstream
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.
do the damage
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 arteries.
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 that’s what excessive free
radical reactions do in your bloodstream.
approach to combat free radicals is to increase the amount of food
rich in vitamins C, D, E, beta-carotene, selenium, and take
But now there's a
new antioxidant on the block!
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.
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.
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.
cause free radicals?
report that exercise produces small amounts of free radicals.
Remember, it is the “excessive” free radicals that cause the
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.
conclude, "Regular physical exercise may beneficially influence
cardiac antioxidant defenses and promote overall cardiac function,"
(Physical exercise and antioxidant defenses in the heart,
The Take Home
Don't give up the
carrots or toss your antioxidant supplements, just consider adding
anaerobic workouts to your fitness plan.
Have a great
--- Author: Phil Campbell,
M.S., M.A., FACHE
Set, GO! Synergy Fitness