MED: Minimum Effective Dose

You can always have too much of a good thing. The first time that you heard that dark chocolate was good for you, what you actually heard was “I can eat any type of chocolate I want in whatever form it comes in and not feel bad? Awesome!”. What you didn’t hear was dark chocolate is good for you in MODERATION (a couple ounces a day at most) and by dark I mean at least 75% cocoa dark….not that stuff you find in dark chocolate M&Ms dark. The same goes for exercise.

 

So your New Year’s resolution is to get back in shape. Great! Time to start looking for a place to help you with that. As you search around you come across a place where people train in groups, in what is essentially a warehouse (not that there is anything wrong with a warehouse, just trying to paint a picture), taught by an instructor that took a course over the weekend

Stress-Dose-graphteaching him how to “train”, with people jumping up and down off of boxes and throwing weights over their heads after running around the building 10 times pushing a weight sled carrying 200 lbs. One at a time they start to fall to ground in exhaustion, calling up dinosaurs and unable to move any more. As you sit there and watch, you wonder “Is this REALLY what I have to go through to lose weight and get in shape?!?! Forget about it!!”

 

Society and the media have painted this picture that you have to end up on the ground after every workout in order for it to be effective (which is actually counter productive). See, in everything that you do in life, there is a minimum effective dose (MED), the sweet spot. In nutrition and fitness, the MED might as well not exist. Take our example about dark chocolate. Yes, dark chocolate is good for you….IN MODERATION!! The MED is too small for most people to be able to stop and say “I don’t need any more”, so why even have any? With exercise, it’s important to understand that you don’t have to walk away (or crawl away) from your training session, waking up the next morning wondering how in the world you’re going to get out of bed.

 

Exercise should be fun and enjoyable. If working out until your muscles explode (yes, this can really happen) is fun for you, by all means have at it, that’s your choice. If that’s not your choice, but you feel like that’s the only way you can get results, don’t be fooled, the MED is much lower than that. Do not confuse my words though. HARD WORK IS IMPORTANT, and it is hard work getting back to a healthy lifestyle. It takes dedication, self-control, willpower and many other traits. Take the step towards a healthy lifestyle and start to feel better, you won’t be disappointed. Just don’t be pulled to the extreme.

 

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