Fitness, Made Simple
Want to reach peak fitness?
Just do what you like!
For some people, that's endurance exercise like cycling or hiking. For others, fitness-crafted fun looks more like bodybuilding or olympic lifts. Or why not something in between?
If you think about it, the pursuit of fitness really has no end goal in and of itself. Fitness isn't about static achievements or numbers - but rather about helping your body become higher and higher, physically speaking, above the equilibrium drain of its environment.
Someone who squats 400 pounds, for example, will obviously be far above the baseline level of strength required to thrive in this world. They'll be closer than the average person to overcomng gravity, if only by degrees, and when pitted against everyday tasks they'll find things easy and light.
In the same way, a person who can bike hundreds of miles on end will find the daily slog of the workday or the fun(!) slog of watching one's kids that much easier.
It's all relative, and progressing in fitness provides for a new normal - one that makes everything else comparatively (relatively?) that much easier.
Another plus to working out?
If you're feeling down, it could be that all you need is a good workout or two. It may be of note that runner's high - aka, endocannabinoid release - is more likely to occur after steady, consistent endurance exercise than anything else, though.
Indeed, endocannabinoids and endurance sports go hand in hand. Endocannabinoids are pro-catabolism, pro-estrogen, and pro-lipoxidation, after all. They seem to help the body utilize its internal fuel reserves more efficiently. ECB's are great for day to day life, though they may not be ideal as the strength athlete's pre-workout.
And yet even Eddie Hall, one of the world's strongest men, promotes them (well, he promotes CBD, which is proven to boost eCB levels). Could it be that cannabinoids help one switch the metaphorical switch off, making one's recovery times more blissful and restful? That would lead to benefits for the more intense, on times, if only indirectly.
While strength training may not be associated with quite as much euphoria as other types of exercise, a 2014 study still it found that "a single session of RE ]resistance exercise] increased the mechanical nociceptive threshold" through endorphin and ECS activation.
Could it be that many of the known benefits of exercise are caused by our endocannabinoid system? And if so...why??
We like how one study put it:
"exercise induces changes in mental status, particularly analgesia, sedation, anxiolysis, and a sense of wellbeing. The mechanisms underlying these changes remain unknown" ...
While much more research should yet be done on these topics, a conclusion has already emerged: When it comes to exercise, listen to your endocannabinoid system. It probably wants you to get as holistically fit as possible.
And you can do this...simply by doing (i.e, exercising) what feels good.
Perhaps we should rename it the endo-guidance system! Activate it, and you might just activate the health benefits that are personally best for you. Why not let your endocannabinoid system guide your next training plan? According to the science, there's not much to lose...
Written by Thomas Wrona, a cannabis consultant + copywriter and fitness enthusiast.