Embracing uncertainty Training theory

Embracing uncertainty pt 1: Exercise is the polypill

“Combination pharmacotherapy offers the potential to decrease the incidence of cardiovascular disease worldwide, perhaps especially in people who have never had a cardiovascular event,” concluded the Combination Pharmacotherapy and Public Health Research Working Group, convened by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States.

The report, which was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine in October 2005, came up with the finding that combining several anti-hypertensive drugs (usually aspirin, a statin and blood-pressure lowering drugs) at low doses is likely to be more effective and have fewer side-effects than high-dose therapy with a single drug. This ”polypill” is then supposed to be administered to large populations as a prevention for cardiovascular disease.

Similar if not overall higher benefits are achievable with regular exercise, a drug-free intervention for which our genome has been shaped over evolution. Exercise has been shown to affect risk and treat such a multitude of chronic diseases such as metabolic syndrome-related disorders, cardiovascular diseases, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. And, unlike the idea of the medical polypill, with a low cost and practically no adverse effects.

Just perceiving yourself as someone that have an active life style in itself seem to matter in order to increase health. Therefore the most important thing we do is probably accommodating for individuality when dealing with our members and designing their training program as an agile training process.

”The training you do is the only training that matters”. To some degree this is true but it is not only through the traditional physiological pathways commonly referenced in training interventions.  One other way training seems to work is to change the perception of oneself  which in turn has been shown to affect coping strategies and motivation.

In a study containing samples from over 60.000 US adults, with follow up periods of 21 years it was found that the physical activity relative to peers was associated with mortality risk. Individuals that perceived themselves as less active than others were up to 71% more likely to die in the follow-up period than those who perceived themselves as more active. This after adjusting for actual levels of physical activity and other covariates.

In another study 84 hotel cleaners where divided into groups that was either informed or a control group. The informed group where told that what they were doing at work was exercise and how many calories different work activities they performed together. That what they was already doing was exceeding the general recommendations of 30 minutes of exercise every day. In short: that they we’re doing good, that they already were people that did exercise. 30 days later – despite reporting not having changed exercise outside of work – the informed group had improved different health markers as weight, BMI, body fat %, waist to hip ratio and blood pressure.

Also, there is the ‘Training-Injury Prevention Paradox’: a phenomenon whereby athletes accustomed to high training loads have fewer injuries than athletes training at lower workloads. Physically hard, but appropriate, training loads may protect against injuries.

If we accept that training is exerting a multitude of positive effects not only on physical health but also reducing stress and improving mental health then that strengthens the doctrine that the most important thing for every single session for us trainers is that we try to make people come back for the next. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *