EXERCISE AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY – an understanding
Exercise and physical activities require extra energy to be expended. The primary energy supply is often referred to as “blood sugar.” More simply put, blood sugars are glycogen levels in the blood, the muscles, and the liver. The body gets its energy supplies from these three major sources. These supplies are utilized from the blood first, the muscle second, and the liver third.
When activity is increased, the blood sugar level is the first to be affected. Lowered blood sugar levels cause the body to go into a “survival mode.” This survival mode of too low a blood sugar level is often called “starvation mode.” When the body goes into starvation mode the survival mechanism causes the metabolism to slow down or become more efficient and store more food for future energy supplies (added body fat). The starvation mode is only a temporary condition, provided that the body is supplied with regular supplies of energy or food.
The more intense or prolonged the activity, the greater the need for increased levels of blood sugar. The importance of timing or regular intervals of food consumption is imperative to reduce body fat and still allow the body to utilize repair foods for repair (see Priorities of Food Utilization). Regular intervals or timing of food consumption is one of the most important factors in reduction of body fat.
When physical activity is intense enough to stimulate the body to increase its lean or muscular tissue, the body will then have an increase in its daily energy requirement or needs. The reason for this increase is the fact that the added lean tissue requires oxygenation, repair or revitalization, energy and removal of oxidized materials. This means that the blood sugar level again is affected to an even greater degree. So when muscle and activity are increased the importance of regular timing of food consumption becomes even more important.
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