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Medical background

Insufficient physical activity

To recover, you need a moderate intensity exercise that your body is currently unable to do. You will tire quickly, so the results are bound to be slow.
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Insufficient physical activity

Breakdown of metabolic balance

The process occurs for the reasons described above: your body does not use fat metabolism for physical activity due to lack of exertion, the number and size of mitochondria as well as their overall efficiency decrease over time. It's not complicated: if you don't use your muscles, they lose mass, you don't get as strong. Now that's in small ways. [1] The wrong form and intensity of exercise (it can even be too strenuous) forces your body to rely on carbohydrate metabolism. This leads to shortness of breath, fatigue, and blood sugar swings. So now even if you start moving, your diesel engine isn't running as well, you're still able to keep up the activity by taking in gasoline, running your body on big gas spurts. And we're talking here about people who are still in good health, where the metabolic pathways and the structures associated with them start to change because of inadequate physical exertion.

The zone where you can effectively reverse this process is narrowing, becoming easier to choose inappropriate, effortless exercise (see walking) or swinging over to the other side and overloading the system. Not your fault! The field is narrowing and you really need to learn to balance on it.

In fact, insulin resistance is not actually a disease, but a clever evolutionary solution to store up the raw material no longer needed for exercise during the summer. It tries to protect the muscles from being oversaturated and instead stores leftover in the liver and, to a greater extent, in adipose tissue. The insulin resistance of the cells signals that they have had enough, they don't need any more!

But in nature, autumn and winter come when things go wrong and, among other things, muscle cells start demanding nutrients. It's cold, food is scarce, so muscle cell insulin resistance goes away and insulin sensitivity takes over. By now, there is not much sugar in the blood either, so mobilisation begins from the places where it was stored during the summer. So insulin resistance and insulin sensitivity show periodicity in nature. But where it is 22 degrees all the time, where food does not have to be physically fought for and is available in unlimited quantities at all times of the day...well, only one half of the cycle is functional.

If you carry on like this - and I won't go into how - you'll get diabetes, which will make the problem worse. You're already unable to remove sugar from the blood because, on the one hand, it starts to accumulate in all forms in the muscles as a result of the lack of exercise, and on the other, it becomes harder to store and mobilise. You have a warehouse where you store an enormous amount of fuel in barrels, tanks and who knows how else (glycogen, fat), but you can't even lift the barrel (transport), you can barely pour it (use) and when another load arrives (and it does: food) there's nowhere to put it and it's getting harder to stuff it into the warehouse, so it's in the corridor, at the gate, everywhere...

And then comes the protocol advice to
- Eat light 5-6 times a day (i.e. that's how many times a day you need to logistically manage your petrol);
- If you're going out for sport, order a portion beforehand to make sure you don't run low (carbohydrate intake before exercise);
- And measure it, because 160g of carbs...well, that's a sure thing....!

I'll get stoned, for sure, but it's pretty steep...and the worst part is that we all learn it that way. It never occurs to us to ask, "Is this really OK?" No, it's not OK at all. If it were OK for the mitochondria, then the diabetics would lose weight, they could slowly be taken off Merckformin, insulin would be back to doing its job, they wouldn't have to run around with scales and hello!, they'd be fine. And all it takes is

every week

minutes of running

would be more than enough.

But you're still going to do sport because you've been told to. You take in the prescribed carbohydrate, which is a light source of energy compared to fat and is delivered to muscle cells via, say, GLUT1 and GLUT4 channels. Now here would come a terribly long description of why it is difficult to get carbohydrate into a depot (e.g. muscle cell) that is already full, why it matters less and less that the storekeeper (insulin) is calling you every minute (by now who cares? ), the point is that fat metabolism cannot be activated because it requires low-level and continuous (at least 40 minutes) exertion (fat mobilization is slow) and necessity is not present as a major driving force because there is plenty of energy readily available...

While the first moment of exercise you feel like you're on a burst of energy, which is ensured by high blood sugar levels, this will be important when choosing the intensity of exercise, as the wrong choice of intensity will only add to carbohydrate mobilisation (let's run fast, mate, I can do this!). If the morning did not start with breakfast, the drop in blood glucose would subjectively prompt a reduction in workload, and a decrease in intensity would trigger fat mobilisation as a secondary energy-producing process. Thus, circulating carbohydrate simultaneously causes a metabolic state where muscles fatigue rapidly, with no chance of mitochondria increasing in number and size in response to the appropriate stimulus. This leads to the accumulation of, for example, fat vacuoles in muscle tissue which, despite being in the place of use, become inaccessible.

As your exercise becomes more carbohydrate-driven, the mitochondria become smaller and smaller, and their number also decreases. It is now vital that carbohydrate is available to the body, depending on the rate of use, the size of glycogen stores, the rate of mobilisation, huge fluctuations in blood sugar levels occur, insulin levels increase, sugar (in various forms) accumulates in cells and should flow into the cell against huge concentrations, which e.g. the GLUT1 channel (as I recall) cannot do and GLUT4 suffers. The effect of insulin is consequently less and less.

To summarize: not exercising leads to a loss of muscle fat utilization, narrowing the range of exercise intensity and making it harder to choose the right intensity of exercise. Poorly chosen intensity activates the metabolism of sugars, leading to fatigue, a reduction in the duration of movement and a further reduction in the muscle's capacity to use fat. Alongside this, of course, your eating, sleeping and hydration are a disaster...

...and now the storekeeper is standing there, looking out of his head, wondering what the hell to do now...

[1] https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00421-022-05120-0
[2] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25243820/

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Rebooting your body