Re: i do not understand: exercise

From: Max More (
Date: Wed Nov 15 2000 - 23:43:37 MST

At 08:48 PM 11/15/00, you wrote:
>There are definite advantages to high heartrate aerobic exercise, say 5
>times a week for 45 minutes or so. Keep ya from having one of those dreaded
>heart attacks :-) As for going for the muscle-bound superman look I am not
>so sure of any benefits from that unless you are a leader of some organization
>and have to look good in public. I fear that all the extra calories burned
>to keep that muscle mass happy may actually reduce your lifespan slightly.

I would say that 45 minutes of strongly aerobic exercise five times a week
is excessive. I think you can get virtually the same health benefit from
around 25 minutes four times a week, with far less free radical formation.

As for building muscle mass -- certainly excessive bodybuilding is not
optimal for health, especially if the bodybuilder is using steroids in
their current form to grow muscle tissue without regard to side-effects.
But I've found that people are relatively unaware of the benefits of
weight-training as compared to aerobic exercise. It is most definitely not
all a matter of appearance.

Weight-training/bodybuilding when done sensibly improves glucose metabolism
and insulin response, lowers blood sugar (=less glycosylation) and reduces
risk of diseases (including diabetes), maintains or restores bone mass
(very important as you age, *especially* for women reaching menopause), and
improves the sense of well-being (more than aerobic exercise).

Beyond those benefits, others will be more relative to the individual. Here
I would include how healthy, powerful, and vigorous you look. Some of us
like to sculpt our bodies, others see them as mere vehicles of no aesthetic

Improved physical strength may save your life in some circumstances and is
useful in many more situations. Given that caloric restriction with good
nutrition is life-extending, muscle building has the extremely important
benefit of giving you tissue to burn in an emergency if you don't have the
fat. I've seen friends lose 30-50 lbs very quickly in hospital. If you're
calorically restricted and have neither body fat nor muscle tissue, a
medical emergency could just kill you.

Remember that I'm not recommending two hour workouts daily. That would
indeed mean unnecessary free radical formation. You can get tremendous
health benefits from shorter, focused workouts. (Mine are 30-40 minutes,
including plenty of rest between sets. But when I do a set, I'm working at
peak capacity.)



Max More, or
President, Extropy Institute.
Senior Content Architect, ManyWorlds Consulting:

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Mon May 28 2001 - 09:50:21 MDT