The body on exercise

Even the most lazy person knows that exercise is good for us. If it’s not our doctor telling us to move more it was our PI teacher at school, or our parents telling us to go outside instead of eyeing down the computer all day. Exercise is healthy. It makes it easier to manage our weight and we feel pretty good when we’re done. But do we know what exactly happens in our body when we exercise? And do we really know just how healthy it actually is? For being such a well know concept, I think we yet haven’t given it all the cred it actually deserves.

Different types of exercise


The beloved cardio. Some people hate it, some people love it.

Aerobic training, or cardio training is very important to us. If you’re circulating in the fitness community you’ve probably heard that “cardio is over hyped”, “you don’t need cardio to lose fat”, “strength training is all you need!”. They are not wrong, you don’t neeeed cardio to lose fat, but you do need cardio for like a million other things. Well, at least for about 4 really important things.

  • Heart and lung health. Cardio is your hearts favorite lover boy or girl, or nonbinary. We don’t discriminate any genders here. Cardio strengthens your heart and lungs. Why is this important you might ask? A strong heart and lungs increase our endurance, making your body better to absorb and pump around oxygen. If you didn’t know, oxygen is a pretty big deal.
  • Lower blood pressure and diabetes. When your heart becomes stronger it pumps around the blood much easier to lower blood pressure. Cardio is also a great way to burn of excess glucose in the blood, reducing the risk of developing diabetes, or in helping individuals with diabetes.
  • Fat burning. Cardio is not necessary for losing weight(calorie deficit is) but we can’t deny the fact that it does burn calories. Studies show that people who do frequent cardio have lower visceral fat – the dangerous “inner” fat which lays around your organs. Heard of the term “skinny fat”? Visceral fat is the one to blame. Even though both overweight and underweight people can suffer from visceral fat it’s more likely for a skinny person to ignore taking charge of their health since “they don’t look unhealthy”.
  • Mood booster: a bit of a sweat feast never hurt nobody, quite the opposite! Just 35 minutes of cardio three times a week can increase your mood by like, a lot. The optimal cardio recommendation is to get in 180 minutes of cardio every week. A brisk walk is just fine but try to challenge your heart a bit to keep that little guy happy.

Strength training

Strength. I feel like we have two teams here. One team who is all about the gains, preaching for weights and weights only. Building muscles, getting in that protein to get that lean physic all the Instagram fitspo models have. Then we have the other team. The ones who are so afraid of lifting weights, afraid to get “too bulky”. The ones who spend hours a week doing cardio.

None of these teams are better than the other, they are staying active in their own way. But, they should definitely learn form each other. And for the cardio obsessed people out there – it’s time to lift up those weights! Strength training has so many benefits beyond achieving a bomb ass physic. As we grow older we lose our lean muscles tissue year by year. The only way to keep our muscles is to use them.

  • Bone health. that strong muscles make strong bones is the typical slogan, but it should be. Weight training doesn’t only increase muscle mass, but it also strengthens our bones reducing the risk of arthritis and osteoporosis. For females this is especially important, as we tend to lose bone density as we enter menopause. Not the hottest topic I know, but a very important one.
  • Increase metabolism. Lean muscles require more energy at rest which means that you get to eat more food to maintain your weight. As we build muscle our body starts burning fat more efficiently. This process continues even after you’ve had a good pump at the gym.
  • You don’t need a gym. Most people get the image of a buff bodybuilder throwing bricks in the air when we hear “strength training”. This is thankfully not the only way to build muscle. If you are afraid to lift super heavy right of the bat, I’m glad to inform you that body weight exercise is just as effective. The important thing to think about is resistance. You want to train until or close to failure to really challenge your muscle and break down the tissue.


Yet again we have two types of people. The ones who dedicate a solid 15 minutes to stretching after their workout and the ones who don’t stretch for shit. If you belong to the latter (myself included), it’s about time to add in at least 5 minutes of light stretching.

Daily stretching increase flexibility which reduce injury, muscle soreness and shortness, and improves blood circulation to your muscles. Stretching has also shown to improve vein health (hate, absolutely hate that word) which makes your blood flow easier throughout your cute little body.



Pretty straight forward here. We know what balance is and it’s important to have a good sense of it to understand where you are in space. Kinda loopy and weird way to put it, but you get the point. Balance becomes more important as you grow older as it will minimize the risk of falls and injuries. Let’s be honest, a big part in taking care of yourself is to become that cool (and hot) grandma or grandpa who’s fresh as fudge.

Easy ways to improve balance is by having a strong lower body. Simple walking or taking the stairs are underrated ways to improve balance. Yoga is another great balance training which also improves your flexibility. Most gyms also have dedicated balance boards or pilates balls. If one thing is for sure it’s that a Pilates ball will make you question everything you know about balance…

The brain on exercise

Oh, our little mushy head lump, our brain. This weird incredible thing which controls our whole existence. Talk about a power trip. We mentioned that exercise boosts our mood, but how?

  • Dopamine kick. Why do we feel so great after a nice pump? It’s all about dopamine, baby! When we exercise we stimulate the hypothalamus, the part of the brain responsible for hormone production. In the case of exercise, our hypothalamus goes cray cray on releasing the feel good hormone dopamine. Exercise is definitely one of the best happy kicks there is.
  • Brain cell growth and brain plasticity. Who knew that while working that junk in your trunk your are also supporting new brain cell growth? So don’t come here and tell me fit people aren’t smart! Exercise has this wonderful effect of pumping oxygen around our body, and this also includes the brain. More oxygen to the brain stimulates new cell growth and brain plasticity – forming new connections and neurons in our brain.
  • Reduce risk of disease and inflammation. As we age there’s unfortunately a higher risk of catching an “age related” disease such as dementia or Alzheimer’s. Exercise might have the effect of battling these diseases as it improves the formation of new brain cells and plasticity. Besides this, exercise helps regulate other underlying factors such as obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes.

Sex it up

Now let’s get into the saucy part which everyone loves – sex. Exercise will significantly improve your sex life. Not only does your stamina increase with regular exercise, but as a man you’re less likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction. And for us females exercise and specifically strength training makes the pelvic floor stronger leading to pretty sweet orgasms. Do I even need to give another reason to sweat it out?!

Exercise and sex

So, by now I hope I haven convinced you even more to why you should put on those training shoes and get a good sweat on. What matters in the long run is what you do consistently. It’s better to walk 10 minutes a day than doing nothing. What’s your reason for training more?


Training for longevity

Training have over the years been associated with looking good, staying slim and slaying in a bikini. Somewhere along the line of moving our bodies we forgot to look at training for the sole purpose it serves – to keep us healthy and to live longer and stronger. Longer and stronger so we can keep spitting these fire rhymes! Longevity and cool rap bars. I mean, that’s all you need in life!

Exercising trends change as often as you change your underwear and everybody is a fitness expert and will give you advice on how to train. One day you should spend hours on the treadmill and the other day you should pump it up like Arnold Schwarzenegger. It’s all about loosing weigh and becoming fit. Nobody does really highlight the actual health benefits of exercise. I mean sure, they do, but it’s not the main focus.  So who should we trust?  The only guy who really knows how to train for longevity and health is science. Science is pretty cool. In my opinion he should get all the ladies. When it comes to health and longevity we need to look at our cells. They are the  building blocks of our DNA and our entire existence so naturally they should play a huge part in our health and life.


Cell division and disease

4 divided by 2 is 2. That’s pretty much my level of mathematical division but luckily that’s not the type of division I’m talking about here. Not really. Our cells divide naturally within a process called mitosis. It’s almost like the birth of new cells from a single cell. Cells are sneaky like that, capable of reproduction by themselves. These cells will then grow to their full size, do the job their supposed to do in the body and then die. This is completely normal and something our cells should do, so don’t get turned off by the death part. Pretty similar to our own lives. When a cell dies will depend on the environment it’s living in. If we feed the body wrong nutrition and keep an unhealthy lifestyle our cells will obtain those nutrients, grow larger and simply not die after its job is done. When we have to many large cells in our body is when disease occur. Cancer for example, is a product of cells that never died and grew larger and stronger. The cell simply becomes to cocky, power blind, and starts to take down the other healthy cells around it.

Cell repair

Our cells divide but they do also repair themselves when needed. If a tissue is broken down the cells will drop everything they’re doing to repair this tissue, even the large and cocky ones. When a tissue is broken down our cells believe our body is in danger. They will rush over to the tissue, repair it and build it up even stronger than before to prevent it from breaking down again. This is a basic survival mechanism. Tissue breakdown happens to us in some form everyday, so just as cell division, cell repair is a natural process. But cells are a bit lazy just like us and to divide is easier than to repair and build up, so we need to force our cells to repair more and divide less. This is where our lifestyle and diet plays a huge role.

Train heavy

In a cardio crazy world we need to shift our mindset towards getting on those heavy weights. You need to train dirty and mean! Get on those weights and challenge your muscles. Do you even lift, bro? You better start doing it! When we lift heavy we break down our muscle tissues causing our cells to go “okay, muscle break down, we need to repair this tissue!”. This is how muscles grow and we become stronger. We train heavy, break down our muscles, and repair. A good weight to work against will be the one that you can do mildly comfortably for most reps, but that will become a challenge for the last two – three reps. The key is the challenge. Work towards always keeping the last reps being uncomfortable because this is where the muscle tissue breaks down. As you become stronger you will need to increase the weight your training against. This is where it becomes fun! You will always become better, stronger and you’ll never get stuck on a routine based workout that can happen with cardio training. Ladies, we will not get bulky! We will get lean, strong, happy and increase our metabolism. Show the guys who’s the boss over at the weight section at the gym.

Resistance training

Training against your body’s limits. Just as lifting heavy, resistance training forces you to push yourself past the point of feeling comfortable. This is where exercise such as HIIT (high intensity interval training) and plyometrics plays a huge role. Training like this usually combines cardiovascular exercise with strength training. Intervals of pushing your body to the max followed by a rest period, and then back at it. What’s even better with this kind of exercise is that you can spend less time at the gym but reap the same results. Both health related, and “look” related. It’s all about pushing yourself against your body’s limit. In the state of feeling uncomfortable is where the magic happens. Both in life and with exercise.  


Stress and recovery

Major key note! Training hard, heavy and against resistance will put your body through stress. To exercise like this everyday is not recommended and can break your body down to much, leading the cells to not prioritize anything else but tissue recovery. Recovery is critical to make sure you don’t burn out. Sleep properly, eat real nutritious food, and the right amount of it. Don’t be scared to eat! Especially not when you are training hard. Your body will need it – trust me!

Of course, any movement is better than no movement. So the “go hard or go home” mindset doesn’t work when it comes to exercise. A simple walk is alway better than nothing, remember that. Your body will always thank you for keeping active. But to really maximize yourself you should incorporate heavy resistance training 2-3 times a week. And don’t sleep on cardiovascular exercise either. To get your heart rate up and going is of course super healthy and beneficial, but try to alternate your exercise routine with heavy training a few times a week. Get out there, pump that iron and let’s grow old and strong together!   

The brain on exercise

Exercise. A word, an action, a physical decision to create movement.We love it and hate it at the same time. Some people really hate it, and others really enjoy it. It’s a process of pain to pleasure. Something we, in this day of age need to learn and discipline ourselves to love.

When we think about exercise we usually associate it with weight loss or getting fit. A little spoiler alert, exercise is not the most effective way for weight loss. It actually makes you put on weight, but in the form of muscles though so it’s going to help your muscles burn more calories during rest. Diet is a crucial part in your results if you’re looking for weight loss.


Does this mean that you should boycott exercise? HELL NO! As mentioned, it helps you tone your muscles, increase your resting metabolic rate and it has a huge positive impact on other parts of your body. Not to mention your brain!! It’s activity time to crank up the cookie jar and see why exercise is so powerful when it comes to our brain.

Neurotransmitters – There are three specific neurotransmitters that exercise has a huge impact on, which will effect our body in a positive way.
Dopamine – Responsible for motivation and reward. The dopamine gives us motivation to focus on the reward, whatever it might be. When you brain is running low on dopamine you will feel, well, unmotivated to do pretty much anything. Exercise fires up this bad boy and makes it flow around like a kid at a rave.
Serotonin – This guy alters our mood. Low levels of serotonin leads to sadness, anxiety, and could be so bad to end up in depression. Yes, you guessed right, exercise will boost our serotonin levels as well!
Norepinephrine – Prepares our body for activity or to take action. Pretty necessary if you want to get shit done, or just survive in general. When you get scared your brain will produce a bunch of norepinephrine to get your body ready to take some action in case danger occurs. Exercise will increase these guys since it requires your body to get moving.

These are the holy trinity of mood boosters that our brain needs for us to remain happy, energized, motivated individuals. Exercise lights the fire up and creates a mood boosting party up in there.


You won’t forget shit –  When we learn new things our brains need to grow.  When we exercise our brain produces a protein called BDNF – Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor. Enough of this guy and we allow our brains to produce more neurons, improve their growth and protect them from cell death, which happens naturally as we age.

Stress out – And I mean like stress ooouuutt. Like adios amigos, bye bye lil fellah, see yah later alligator! When we get stressed a rush of cortisol is bombarded out in our body which is what leads to stress. Exercise reduces the amount of cortisol and will replace it with all these feel goody nice neurotransmitters instead. Isn’t that just lovely?!

Stronger heart – So you can spread more love to everyone around you! Yey! Okay, not really, but exercise will make your heart stronger and bigger. The heart is a muscle so it’s capable of some real gains. A stronger heart means that we get more blood an oxygen flowing around in our body which help us to absorb nutrients better and to keep the right amount of oxygen to our vital organs. This will increase the glow of our skin as well.


Physical activity should be incorporated at least three times a week for children who are in school learning, and it should also be a part of every grown ups work schedule. Not only will this promote healthier people, but it will also lead to better productivity which in turn will lead to better results, which equals more profit! Nobody can complain about getting more money. Am I right or am I right?

If you try to focus on exercise as more than just a tool to “look sexy af”,  it can be easier to actually get it done. You don’t need to run marathons every day to get the benefits exercise provides. Getting your heart rate up for 30 minutes three times a week will do the trick. Also, something is always better than nothing! A five minute brisk walk or a hard core dance session while cleaning is so much better than just sitting on your sweet booty all day. Boost your brain! Go get moving, RIGHT NOW!!