The Benefits of High Intensity Exercise

Learn how high-intensity exercise can benefit your brain and other tissues by activating pathways other types of exercise cannot. Click below to watch!

Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Dr. Robert Sheeler. Today, I’m here to discuss the benefits of high-intensity exercise.

Any exercise or even regular movement that doesn’t rise to the level of being called exercise is of value for health and well-being. After all, conductors live longer than engineers, presumably because they walk the length of the train all day, while the engineers sit in one place to drive.

However, even short intervals of high-intensity exertion have specific benefits that lower-intensity exercise doesn’t achieve. High-intensity exercise activates various signaling pathways that cause the body to make different growth chemicals, which leads to more muscle development and in-turn improves the way your body uses insulin and processes blood sugar.

One of the most interesting chemicals the body makes with high-intensity exercise is called BDNF-Brain Derived Neurotropic Factor. BDNF is a signaling chemical that tells the brain to make more connections or synapses. And when the brain makes more of these connections, it’s able to learn and process more efficiently and attain higher levels of function.

So, if you can safely incorporate some high-intensity exercise into your longer duration, aerobic exercise regime, you may be able to improve not only muscle and bone, but also the health of your brain and nervous system.

Unfortunately, many people who would benefit from high-intensity exercise have orthopedic limitations that prevent them from doing so. If that’s your situation, an anti-inflammatory, Mediterranean-style diet may be helpful, along with inflammation-specific supplements.

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Dr. Robert Sheeler

About Dr. Robert Sheeler

Robert Sheeler, M.D. is Board Certified in Family Medicine, Integrative Medicine, Holistic Medicine and Urgent Care. He is certified in Functional Medicine by the Institute for Functional Medicine and as a Headache Specialist through the United Council of Neurologic Subspecialists.

His special interests include food and nutrition, Functional Medicine, headache care and Integrative Medicine. In addition, Dr. Sheeler is a certified teacher of Evidence Based T’ai Chi and Qi Gong and has studied numerous mind-body disciplines.