Wednesday, July 20, 2016


Some people exercise to reduce their risk of various chronic and severe diseases. Other people exercise because they like the endorphin release (also known as the runner's high). Some people exercise as a social event or to help recover from an injury. There's many reasons that one will start an exercise program, but when one begins to exercise, each and every session is very important that one go through a warm-up period. So a warm-up period is a time that you gently start to use the muscles that you're going to be exercising, whether it be by stretching or starting off at a slow walk and gradually increasing it if you're escalating to a full run. But whether it be throwing a baseball at 92 miles an hour or running around the block, the point of doing a warm-up is to start to stretch the muscle fibers- that’s number one.

To “warm up” means increasing the actual temperature of muscle fibers causing a vasodilation. In the warm-up phase, you gradually bring more blood flow to those muscle fibers and to the muscles before you start to really stress it.  This is crucial because when one is stressing their muscles through a vigorous exercise program, there forms a build up of waste products of that metabolic activity in the form of lactic acid, carbon dioxide and uric acid from breakdown of proteins. These waste products accumulate and, if they are not flushed away in a timely manner, can cause cramping, and can lead to actual muscle damage. And that defeats the whole purpose of exercising to begin with.

Warming up also has to do with one's nutrition in this process. So for example, there are certain vitamins and minerals that help with the warm-up process because they contribute to the process of vasodilation, which is the key component to getting the muscles ready for vigorous exercise. When we think about the nutritional aspects of what it takes to have a successful warm-up period, the two things that lead to mind are MAGNESIUM. Of course, magnesium is a vasodilator, it causes blood vessels to dilate. It relaxes muscles. It makes them more pliable, so that you're less likely to strain it or injure it or tear something.  The in rush of the magnesium ions counter balances some of the calcium channels that are important for the biochemical process that allows the muscles to contract.

Another important element in the warm-up period would be NIACIN - a B vitamin that causes direct vasodilation.  But unlike magnesium, if somebody isn't used to taking niacin, they can turn bright red and they start to have this itchy, creepy, crawly feeling all over their body as these blood vessels open up and toxins start to move out of the tissues that haven't seen the blood flow in approximately one week or two. To blunt that flushing effect, some recommend taking an aspirin tablet with the niacin or start with a very low dose of niacin.
These two substances or supplements are very helpful in the warm-up period. In the form of magnesium, there is a, there are a number of ways you can do this, there is a supplement product called Calm. It comes in different flavors. It's a powdered form of magnesium and as a powder, you throw it in a little bit of water, or a little bit of vegetable juice, down the hatch. Doesn't taste bad, but as a powder and as a liquid, it gets into the bloodstream very quickly.

As vasodilation occurs in your core and in the muscles, you won't have as much vasodilation in the superficial blood vessels in your skin, so you won't get that flushing feeling, but it will still greatly benefit your muscles during the warm-up period before you start to exercise.  These two things can be used together or separately to prep for a major workout and by getting a better blood flow through your muscles right from the start, you gain better endurance because you'll be washing out waste products due to the higher blood flow much more efficiently. Also, you reduce or eliminate cramping problems or the risk of muscle injury, strain, or something torn.  This is because the muscles are already pumping the juice through to remove the waste products, and it will also pump in the oxygenated blood as an important energy source for aerobic metabolism and the production of ATP, the energy currency of our body.

The aerobic process means the more oxygen you can get to the tissues equals efficiently and better performance. There are trendy things called nitrogen baths (Cryotherapy Sauna) where you stand in a chamber and they dump COLD from liquid nitrogen in a gaseous state. This gives your body the feeling similar to jumping in the snow in the middle of winter half naked. The immediate effect is that it causes a VASOCONSTRICTION-  causing the blood vessels to constrict and send all of your blood into your core to maintain body temperature.  Because the cold passes very quickly, there is a secondary hyperemia which causes a huge vasodilation.  This allows the blood vessels to get into your tissues very quickly, and in doing so, greatly increases the oxygen retention long-term in these tissues and washes out waste products which often leaves people feeling somewhat energized and energetic as a result of this rather cold and freezing experience.

This "freeze therapy" is the flip side of taking a niacin pill- but the end result is the same.  You've increased blood flow and you've gotten rid of waste products much faster. You've increased oxygen tension and made muscle metabolism more efficient and faster while relaxing the muscles with a little magnesium and it makes a much safer process if you're going to be doing some sort of strenuous activity.  Sports that require major endurance (like a triathlon, per se) where you really need the muscles to perform long-term demands maximizing the blood flow to the muscles even before you start to take that first step.

DR. JESSE A. STOFF is an internationally renowned physician with extensive credentials in clinical immunology and holistic medicine. A graduate of New York Medical College, he pursued extensive post-doctoral training including a fellow- ship at the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital in LondonEngland. He has authored/co-authored countless articles and 8 books including co-authoring the bestseller "Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: The Hidden Epidemic" and The Prostate Miracle.

This article is produced and written by the writing team at IMMUNOLOGY TODAY- The Official Newsletter of Integrative Medicine of N.Y. of Westbury NY-- Edited and co-published by Dr. Jesse A. Stoff exclusively for the purposes of this blogpost (Immunology Today) and The publisher(s) hold all rights (c) to all elements, images and content herein.  All distribution, sharing or re-posting of this article is only with the express permission from Dr. Stoff and Integrative Medicine of NY (formerly Linchitz Medical Wellness). 265 Post Ave. Suite 380 Westbury, NY 11590  |  516.759.4200  |   Rejuvenate! is a registered trademark of Intermedia Communications Ltd. All written content in this newsletter is produced by the Stoff Institute for Medical Research (SIMR) exclusively for private distribution at the Integrative Medicine of NY ©2016- All Rights Reserved.

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