I’ve been a fan of exercise ever I got my first pair of Adidas and scrambled around the soccer field as a kid. As a competitive tennis player in my teens, I logged hours each day on and off the court, training when I wasn’t playing matches. After a brief foray into the world of rowing crew in my freshman year of college, I decided that the school newspaper was more my speed but even after closing the paper at midnight each night, I would often throw on a t-shirt and pair of shorts and go for a moonlight jog along the Connecticut River.
A true-to-form Type O, exercise feels essential to not only my body, but to my emotional well-being. Makes sense, if you look at it from the point of view of Dr. D’Adamo who tells us in Eat Right For Your Type that Type O’s have higher-than-average adrenaline to burn. Too, Type O’s are something of feel-good chemical addicts, so the fact that exercise elevates neurochemicals serotonin, dopanine and endorphin is no small thing. Certainly, jogging and yoga helped me survive the onslaught of stress hormones that I was constantly exposed to throughout medical school. All of this is to say that I’ve never really skimped on exercising. It’s as automatic and important to me as eating and sleeping. But since returning to NYC to start doctoring, I have to say, I’ve skimped on working out. Certainly, New Yorkers walk a lot and I’m no exception but it’s not the same for me as a good run or a profound yoga class at my favorite studio Kula Yoga Project, in Williamsburg.
Building a practice and attending to patients has trumped my training time many days and I can tell you that I’ve suffered for it. Recently, I was sitting at my desk on a Saturday morning, working as usual, and I notice my muscles felt strange. The only way I can describe it is that they felt tingly and tired at the same time. The feeling was like an itch to exercise. Then I read an article in The New York Times this week that describes how exercise actually helps our body scour its cells, discarding detritus (bacteria, viruses, misshapen proteins, discarded cell membranes and the like) and, in effect, keeps it efficient and fit. This is called autophagy. We all sort of know that exercise goes along with detoxification, but here’s a study that has proven it. Researchers at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas ran experiments on mice, in which they concluded that exercise amped up autophagy and this is partially where exercise’s health benefits derive from.
After taking in this new information, I believe that the exercise itch I felt was caused by a build-up of cellular debris that had been sitting around my exercise-starved cells for awhile. My cure? I joined the gym this week and have gorged on Spinning classes. Is the feeling gone? You bet. If you don’t want to slave away on the treadmill but want to get the benefits of increased autophagy, be sure to start taking the newest D’Adamo Personzlied Nutrition product called Trehalose Complex, which contains a component that enhances autophagy. It’s particularly good in fending off the neuronal aging that leads to memory loss and cognitive decline. One teaspoon twice a day isn’t exactly the equivalent of a five-mile jog, but it’s a very good start.