Homeostasis: The Difference Maker Between Gains and Pains
To understand this blog post, we'll need to educate you on your Autonomic part of your Central Nervous System (CNS). This part of your CNS controls everything that you cannot. Think of things that your body does AUTOmatically, and it's usually controlled by this part of your CNS.
Some examples of this: your heart rate, hormone production, and digestion (just to name a few).
Your Autonomic Nervous System is broken up between Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) and Parasympathetic Nervous System (PSNS).
SNS is designed for survival. You may have heard of the phrase “Fight or Flight” as a response when your SNS is more active. When exercising, your SNS becomes very active by increasing your heart rate, increasing blood flow, and increasing hormone levels of cortisol and adrenaline. When your body goes through these over-active levels, it will start to break down.
Yep, your body is willing to sacrifice itself for survival. Your body doesn’t know the difference between being chased by a man-eating lion and an INTENSE exercise routine. Your body is willing to do ANYTHING to survive.
PSNS is designed for recovery. Probably the lesser familiar phrase “Rest and Digest” is a response when your PSNS is more active. These are the moments when you are NOT working out. This is the state of relaxation where your body has the ability to rebuild muscle, produce hormones, make strength GAINS, and your body fat BURNS.
Don’t think that just because you are resting and digesting, that you should do nothing. Low levels of activity such as walking outside, diaphragmatic breathing, and mobility movements have proven to increase your levels of activity in your PSNS.
Achieving the state of homeostasis is essentially balance: being able to activate your SNS during your exercise, but then also being able to activate your PSNS for the recovery portion. How do you expect to gain muscle and burn fat, if your SNS is overly active?
Remember, your SNS is responsible for breaking your body down. The “Rest and Digest” phase of your recovery is what will REBUILD that damage that was done to your body through the “Fight or Flight” phase of your workouts.
If you workout too much, you'll never allow your body to enter a state of homeostasis and take the proper steps to recovering.
Here at Rise Above, we end every one of our fitness classes by trying to jumpstart your PSNS and get your recovery process started. We do dynamic mobility exercise combined with diaphragmatic breathing to achieve this.
The idea of homeostasis is a ying and yang effect. You cannot achieve your ideal body type without some sort of balance between these 2 divisions of your CNS.
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