by Harry Massey
Imagine being bedridden with your body’s immune system losing a continual battle against numerous viruses, parasites, and bacteria. That was me for 10 years. Fast forward to today, where I’m able to exercise 2-4 hours a day and run a thriving business. That seems an impossible transformation and, at first reading, it looks like a recipe for burnout. Yet as you’ll see below, the key to it not only being sustainable but actually taking your health to higher levels, is the often misunderstood paradox of aerobic exercise. Namely, that more of it at a much lower intensity than is commonly practiced is incredibly healing, giving you more energy – not less! – both that day and the day following.
Like most important aspects of healing from serious disease (which you can read about in our series of blogs), it takes dedication. But as you commit to the journey, the rewards are forthcoming. Before you know it, you’ll wonder what you’re going to do with your newfound health & vitality. After all, when you end up with more energy that you know what to do with, your possibilities become endless.
Put more simply: Energy equals Freedom. On every level.
Regaining health can be a hard journey that often has many ups, downs & sideways paths. Especially if you have no knowledge of what to do. It was one of those twists in the journey that led me to the concept of Aerobic Immunity.
All systems in the body are interconnected.
This is something that became especially apparent while recovering from chronic fatigue. Although I had made considerable progress with healing the adrenals, whenever I tried to do aerobic exercise or strength training, I would generally relapse and take a week or two to get back to my previous energy levels. For many years, I put it down to a long history of damaged adrenals and reasoned that I was in a considerably better place than the bedridden decade and should be grateful for that.
Oh, the dangers of self-limiting beliefs…
Life had other plans and showed me another possible explanation and, better yet, a solution. Being a fan of oxygenation therapies, I tried a session on an ECP machine. This machine basically squeezes your legs and arms to enhance circulation and tissue regeneration.
However, my heart had other plans, sending off the ECG’s alarm bell as it wasn’t strong enough to withstand the convulsions and increased circulation created by the machine. We immediately stopped, and thought it likely due to low blood pressure from damaged adrenals and tried a few minutes later with the same result. We certainly weren’t going to risk a 3rd time, especially as the facility had no other patients that had happened to. At that point, I knew something wasn’t quite right with our heart function.
As is the case with most chronic diseases, I experienced both a cyclical and gradual decline in brain function. Again, most experts looking at someone with long term Addison’s and adrenal fatigue would see that as normal.
It kept bothering me, though. Frankly, if your decision making gets too slow, your life deteriorates. Everyday life becomes a challenge, not to mention keeping up with the responsibilities of running a business. So I started looking much more seriously into what affects the brain outside of the adrenal connection. And research paper after research paper came to the same conclusion – that the best way to not just prevent brain decline but to actually regenerate it is through the oxygenation that occurs during aerobic exercise. Not diet. Not hormones. Not detoxification. Oxygenation via exercise trumped them all.
Of course, the concept of exercise improving health was not new to me, and a lack of motivation for more exercise wasn’t my problem. If anything, I was over motivated and was always taking a step back whenever I increased the amount I exercised. I was convinced that the source of my problems was auto-immune or adrenal.
But then I remembered my heart issue from the year prior on that funny machine and started wondering if that was why I got so exhausted from exercise. And then a number of other dots started falling into place…
In our own BioEnergetiX WellNES System, we had a repeating pattern of heart meridian come up. And another electro-photon skin emission device showed that our weakest body systems were cardiovascular and cerebral vessels. I immediately thought perhaps that is the same for many people with chronic fatigue syndrome. Researchers at Newcastle University found that “Patients with CFS have markedly reduced cardiac mass and blood pool volumes, particularly end-diastolic volume: this results in significant impairments in stroke volume and cardiac output” (LINK: http://www.meresearch.org.uk/our-research/completed-studies/cardiac-function/2012).
So, do they have weakened hearts? YES, YES indeed they do – on average people with CFS hearts are 30% smaller! 30%!
That’s a huge amount! Imagine if you had 30% less oxygen and nutrients flowing to your organs? They would not run very well, to say the least – let alone your brain, which needs a constant source of oxygen and nutrients in order to function properly. Now, whether the patients’ hearts were genetically disposed to being smaller is unknown. However, we can be certain that the sedentary lifestyle of CFS patients contributes to a weakening of the heart.
Knowledge is power, even if some knowledge is also quite alarming.
It seemed that a major reason for both the cognitive decline and inability to exercise like other people, despite years of repairing our adrenals, was not all the fault of the adrenals after all. Instead, it was the poor condition of the cardiovascular system and heart.
Eureka! Having tackled and improved so many aspects of my health over the years made me trust that this solution would have huge potential to transform health. So, I set about researching and experimenting on how to do just that. What I knew from the start was that simply exercising how most fitness trainers teach you wasn’t the answer…
You see, the problem with most training is that it’s stressful for the body. For most people on a fitness program, the body makes a positive adaptation to the stress and makes you stronger. However, the result is far different for people with disease, whose bodies are already under a huge amount of stress from the body fighting itself – as in the case of auto-immune disorders causing compromised organ systems. Attempting to eliminate cellular toxins combined with the mental and emotional stress of dealing with disease on a day to day basis is taxing enough. Adding a fitness program takes your total stress levels beyond what you can manage and causes regression rather than all the wonderful benefits that exercise can deliver.
Fortunately, it’s simply the intensity of the exercise that can make exercise too stressful. At low to moderate intensity, exercise is exactly the opposite of stressful. Low-intensity exercise calms the autonomic nervous system, floods your body with healing oxygen and nutrients and helps to move waste products out. It boosts your metabolism for hours afterward & turns on your fat burning system so you’re less reliant on glucose helping to stabilize blood sugar. This means that you can sustain your energy levels all day. As a byproduct – cancer cells, fungi, and anaerobic bacteria don’t reside in a highly oxygenated body…
The aerobic system is truly at the core of your health and fitness. As explained in The New Aerobic Revolution by Dr. Phil Maffetone (LINK: https://philmaffetone.com/the-new-aerobic-revolution/), an underdeveloped aerobic system can even negate many of the benefits of exercise. A body with a strong aerobic system will:
On the other hand, exercising without a strong aerobic foundation leaves you feeling overexerted, fatigued, and craving sugar or carbs. It also puts you at greater risk for potential injury or overtraining during your workout.
This is particularly detrimental to your overall health because regular exercise is absolutely essential to good health! We recently delved into this topic in our podcast on the Revolutionary Impact of Exercise where we shared some shocking statistics. Approximately two million deaths per year are attributed to physical inactivity, and a whopping 15% of the 1.6 million new diagnosed chronic diseases each year are due to a sedentary lifestyle. Obesity, heart disease, and diabetes are on the rise at ever-increasing rates while life expectancies are decreasing. A sedentary lifestyle is a factor in all of those statistics and has also been linked to some forms of cancer.
Prevention, however, is simple. The reversal of a sedentary lifestyle can greatly decrease the risk of disease and early death. Furthermore, physical activity is safe and beneficial for many people currently suffering from diseases like fibromyalgia, lupus, MS, arthritis, IBD, psoriasis, and more – especially low-impact aerobic exercise.
Exercise is also a natural antidepressant and has other mental benefits like improved memory and cognition. It stimulates neurogenesis – the growth and development of nervous tissue – and combats neurodegeneration. One study found that exercise doubled the number of surviving newborn cells in the central nervous system. This is fantastic news for the prevention of Alzheimer’s, Dementia, and brain aging. In fact, The Mayo Clinic found that aerobic exercise (like walking) for just 2.5 hours per week measurably improved cognitive functioning in adults without dementia, in terms of memory, attention, processing speed, and the ability to form and act on plans.
In our previous article about Emotional Immunity, we discussed how the key to activating the body’s healing system is helping the nervous system be more balanced. Put simply – when the parasympathetic system (vagus nerve) is more active than the sympathetic system, the body prioritizes digestion, repair, regeneration, immunity, and healing. Low-level Aerobic exercise not only activates the body’s parasympathetic system, but it also floods the body with life-giving oxygen, helping to make you feel fantastic instead of drained from too much activity.
So how do we activate & build Aerobic Immunity on a practical & sustainable basis?
It all depends where you are, but one of the easiest and most effective ways is to simply walk at a good pace for increasing periods until you reach 2 – 3 hours a day.
With Aerobic conditioning for sports, the rule of thumb is to exercise just below the anaerobic threshold. This is normally the place where you get out of breath, can’t hold a conversation and your muscles are getting increasingly sore from the exercise. When you are truly at an Aerobic conditioning pace, the pace is sustainable for hours. You can talk while you’re exercising, your muscles don’t get sore, and you have lots of energy for the rest of the day. This pace, even for athletes, is considerably slower than what they perceive to be aerobic exercise – which, much of the time, is at or beyond the anaerobic threshold where your body is in oxygen deficit.
There are various formulas for calculating what your heart rate should be based on age, but they really don’t apply to those recovering health. A much better method is simply gauging the level of activity that is sustainable, and stay a bit below where you might get out of breath if you were talking.
More important, though, is simply moving for longer periods of time, even if way below your anaerobic threshold. The first step towards building Aerobic Immunity is finding an activity that you enjoy that you can do for longer periods, such as walking or biking – both examples are low impact on your joints and achievable for most of us. Over 2 to 3 months (depending on your fitness level), build up to a couple of hours of low-level exercise 5 times a week.
Once you’ve achieved that, you can start to increase your heart rate by 2.5 points per week until you are around 5 points below your anaerobic threshold. Then, just stay at this level of heart rate. You’ll notice that you gradually start to go faster over the next few months as your cardiovascular system becomes more efficient. This ever-increasing efficiency translates into increased oxygenation, enhanced immunity, better brain health, balanced hormones, and many other benefits that increase energy for life. Not to mention, you’ll become amazed (as I am) that a body you didn’t think would be able to do “real” exercise is now not only looking forward to it, but has reversed many of the symptoms that you had 12 months ago and is actually fitter and healthier than it’s ever been. Now that’s something worth having!
Adding in some refinements and variety to your aerobic exercise regimen can help boost this further:
A heart rate monitor is a fantastic tool you can use to measure your anaerobic threshold. Many popular heart-rate formulas – like subtracting your age from 220 to get your maximum limit – have a ‘one size fits all’ approach that simply does not take into account the broad spectrum of genetic predispositions, health history, illnesses, energy levels, and many other factors that exist for each individual.
A heart rate monitor, on the other hand, continuously tracks your heart rate during exercise (and whenever else you choose to wear it). It’s a simple, non-invasive way to stay aware of how your body is responding to exercise in real time. You’ll be able to easily see what your exact heart rate is at your anaerobic threshold – the point where you start to get out of breath and can’t hold a conversation – just by checking your device when you feel you’ve hit that limit.
Ideally, you will build up at a pace that avoids injuries – after all, if your muscles are not going anaerobic, they should have sufficient oxygen to both exercise and regenerate your body. That being said, bodies are asymmetric with all their quirks, especially if you have had a disease for a long time.
To release tight muscles and keep you on the path to abundant health and energy, try integrating yoga into your routine as well as using deep tissue massage and devices such as the miHealth to release tight muscles. And of course, remember to switch it up – if you find one leg is cramping a little on a bike ride, then walk or swim for a few days until it’s resolved.
There are so many ways to move! Just find the ways that work for you and your body and before long, you’ll likely find that you can suddenly take on the activities you once thought you couldn’t – Remember the danger of limiting beliefs?
So… what happened to me? Health is a continual journey – and one I’ve been on for 23 years with plenty of room for improvement. However, these pictures of electro-photon emission discharges show what’s happened quite well. You can see a gradual increase in movement over the past 12 months focusing on the cardiovascular system, which is clearly seen as a spike in energy above normal due to the focus on an adaptation in this area.
The effort is paying off in terms of normalizing the energy systems, including the original scare with coronary & cerebral vessels – although, I’m not sure I want to brave that ECP machine again!
Now, I’m still far from being what I’d consider an athlete or being able to train at higher HR Aerobic levels. Being able to go for a medium length run, however, I now believe that’s possible as I continue the journey. For the first time in 23 years, I’m able to do exercise for a few hours and have energy afterward. That’s Energy 4 Life!