Can Cardio lead to Cardiac Arrest?

Aerobics, the phrase coined by Dr. Cooper simply means “with oxygen” and Anaerobic means “without oxygen” it’s just that simple.

  • Cardiovascular conditioning equates to the ability of the heart, lungs and bloodstream to supply whatever the muscle needs.

  • At any point in time, you’re using all three energy systems: Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP)/Creatine Phosphate (CP), Anaerobic and Aerobics. Intensity decides the system but most people engage in steady-state cardiovascular training which never utilizes enough stored glycogen in the muscle.

  • “Aerobics” is a low-intensity form of physical activity that allows the mitochondria (power house of the cell) to use converted glucose (sugar) for “aerobic” metabolism.

  • If the glycogen stores in the muscle are already full when additional glucose (ingested carbohydrates) attempts to get into the cell, the enzyme phosphofructokinase inhibits glucose from being metabolized and instead shuttles off the excess sugar towards fat storage. This would be like keeping the faucet running but clogging up the sink.

  • Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas that regulates the flow of glucose in the blood. Insulin is a very slow moving hormone that stays in the blood stream even after driving sugar into fat or muscle.

  • If insulin levels are high because of sugars in the bloodstream, even in the face of caloric deficit, lipase will be inhibited and fat burning becomes essentially impossible.

  • Insulin causes an inflammatory state which affects the arterial walls of the heart. Damage to the insides of the blood vessels are repaired by Low Density Lipoprotein (bad cholesterol) patching up the grooves. This begins a cascade of events that leads to blocked arteries and possible cardiac arrest.

  • It would seem that the very exercise people are doing on a daily basis to improve cardiac function and fat metabolism is actually the exercise that could be leading to cardiac arrest.

  • In a 30-minute cardio session, you could walk 1 mile, or do interval sprints for two miles… more distance (at that higher intensity) would help you to burn stored glycogen in the quickest amount of time. Running 6.0 mph, 200 calories, only 40% calories from fat (80 calories from fat) Walking 3.0 mph, 125 calories, 50% calories from fat (62.5 calories from fat). Now that you see the calculation done if front of you it makes more sense to perform high intensity interval training (HIIT).

  • Since the heart and lungs only respond to intensity, it does not care if it is from a Leg Press or a Stationary Bike. It is mechanical work that helps improve the cardiovascular system.

  • High Intensity Training (HIT) does two things that steady-state cardiovascular training cannot. First it taps the fast twitch glycolytic fibers (FGIIB) which can deplete and reload glycogen and second, hormones epinephrine and glucagon stimulate triacylglycerol mobilization by activating an enzyme called hormone-sensitive lipase. This would be like shutting off the faucet and unplugging the sink.

  • Starchy carbohydrates and processed foods should be restricted from your diet and instead ingest lean proteins and green leafy vegetables. This would keep sugar levels low and glycogen levels constantly metabolizing for muscle.

  • Stop by the fitness department and learn more about HIT and the benefits of strength training for the improvement of both the muscular and cardiovascular systems in less time.

  • Remember this “Exercising does not make one an Exercise Specialist any more than having surgery makes one a Surgeon!”

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