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Exercise Column

The purpose of duration days

Duration days serve two primary purposes. Systemic wide adaptations and increased energy expenditure (far above normal levels).

One - duration days force your entire body to adjust to extended exercise - your cardiovascular, nervous, digestive, endocrine, renal, thermoregulatory, orthopedic, ... systems of your body. One will get systemic adaptations which are different from those of other workouts.

The long duration workouts teach your body how to work at a higher level for extended periods of time. You have to learn to eat while exercising and therefore stress and adapt the digestive and endocrine systems. You have to filter and clear waste products and adapt your renal and hepatic systems. You have to regulate your body temperature and fluid level and hence adapt your thermoregulatory systems. And many more changes are necessary for smooth, easy function.

Long duration workouts stimulate adaptations in many systems and help to teach your body to do those things listed above, and more.

Two - duration days provide an added stimulus for caloric expenditure and help to kick start or boost your metabolism higher than is attained by typical workouts. By stressing the entire body they create a stimulus for adaptation and change and those changes require additional energy after the workout has ended. The longer the workout lasts the longer the elevation in metabolism after the workout ends. Hence duration days boost caloric expenditure and aid in fat, weight loss.

Written by Dr. Sternlicht for on 3.04.06