Exercise – Maximizing the Health Benefits – Part 1 – Overview


A Flayed Athlete

Proper diet, stress reduction, and good sleep provide an environment where cells can thrive. If any of these components are missing, the cells will be under duress and cannot be healthy. However, simply providing a healthy environment doesn’t mean the cell is going to do anything useful with it, and this is where exercise comes into the picture. This is not a new notion.

We will suppose that you are also eating a healthy diet and reducing stress as far as possible, or at least intend to. Here are some dietary guidelines, and here are some stress reduction guidelines.


Degenerative disease prevention, mental health, slow aging, energy—in short, everything—depend on the cells’ biological power, its resources, and molecular machinery. Food is fuel; we want clean fuel. Stress and poor sleep compromise the cells; these problems must be avoided to the furthest extent possible. But exercise is what makes the cells active, makes them powerful and healthy.

This includes all the cells, not just muscle, but joints, ligaments, and tendons. Neurons (nerves) likewise improve their function. Even cells seemingly having little bearing on exercise, like those in the kidneys or liver benefit as well.


Most exercise programs emphasize weight loss; most of the rest are about bodybuilding. Our exercise program is like no other. You could say it emphasizes biological power, at least that is the end result, but it proceeds step by step, starting at the most fundamental level.

Our program is graduated from easy to strenuous, and its benefits track this progression. The more strenuous levels provide greater health benefit and disease prevention. You may or may not be a regular exerciser, but read through them all. Make sure you understand the concepts behind joint health maintenance and osteoporosis prevention, and are tailoring your exercises to encompass these. As you progress, attention will be focused on heart rate and its response to exercise. This is key to cardiovascular health. Finally, keeping the mitochondria busy and challenged provides the huge energy increases, degenerative disease prevention, and increased mental acuity that are the hallmarks of Quantitative Medicine.

This may sound a little complicated, but ahead in future posts is a step-by-step approach. Follow it carefully, and you will succeed. To summarize, here are the key points in the order in which they must be mastered:

Skeletal Health

The initial exercises aim at getting the joints into good shape, with full range of motion, strengthening the tendons and ligaments, strengthening the bones, and stimulating the neural-muscular paths. If you master these:

  • You will completely repair and strengthen your joints, preventing or reversing osteoarthritis.
  • You will improve your coordination and balance, causing new nerve to grow (You may have once been taught that you cannot grow new neurons or nerves. This is incorrect.)
  • You will strengthen your bones, preventing or reversing osteoporosis.

These items alone can benefit a good many people, and can be accomplished with a fairly easy program.

Heart Rate Variability

Many doctors recommend brisk walks and other modest approaches to exercise. While better than nothing, the heart and vascular system isn’t particularly challenged. The heart will get into a groove. It will become efficient at dealing with the mild demand placed on it, but will be unable to deal with increased workloads.


The modest elevation in heart rate means a modest increase in blood pressure and blood flow, but the cleansing and rejuvenating effects of a brief high pressure and high blood flow rate will not occur.

Running the heart rate up and down, intensely, but briefly, circumvents these problems. (And takes far less time as well.) Such activities strongly stimulate arterial repair and general heart-lung capacity. Heart attack instances plummet with such exercise, and, somewhat amazingly, cancer plummets as well. “Intense” sounds like work, and it is. However, the time is considerably shorter. A 30-minute brisk walk, for instance, might be replaced with three 30-second sprints up a hill.

The health benefits of this sort of exercise are hard to overstate. Repeated research has shown again and again that short but intense exercise practices are markedly beneficial, with noticeable health improvements occurring within weeks.

Mitochondrial Health

In a state of ideal peak health, the energy generating mitochondria are busy. Their efficiency goes up, as does their rate of proliferation. Such a state pushes every cell in the body towards its individual peak performance. This translates to better mental acuity and memory, retarded aging, and a healthy and active immune system that completely overwhelms degenerative disease.


Attaining this level of health entails yet more dedication, but is available to all who are willing to make the commitment. Exercise sessions become more strenuous, but not necessarily longer. For most people, two intense sessions per week, with a third milder one added for maintenance of balance, coordination, stability, and flexibility will do it.


Though it works faster than most exercise programs, ours is not a quick fix, but is instead a lifetime commitment. The system works well, has been endlessly refined over the last 20 years, and for most, will deliver the promised results. Consider wisely what level of commitment you are willing to make. Be careful and be patient. Take note of these three caveats:

Avoid Medical Risk

Consult a physician before undertaking any of this. Tell him or her what you are intending to do and see if there are limitations you should observe. You may need to get some tests to determine this. Try to avoid having the doctor dictate the type of exercise. This isn’t likely to be productive. (For decades, most doctors have recommended aerobic exercise. As you will soon learn, this is a poor exercise, and time consuming as well.)

Don’t overdo it.

Joints and tendons take a few months to strengthen, but can take a few years to heal if you injure them. You will be building muscle strength faster than joint and tendon strength, so you will be in a good position to injure yourself. Start slowly and build up. If you ignore this warning (and most people do) you will likely get injured, which will significantly slow your progress. Some soreness is normal. Some joint pain is normal. So you have to push yourself a bit, just don’t overdo it.

This Works For Most People, But Not All

Some joint damage is permanent. This program won’t reverse that. Some people can’t build new bone and reverse osteoporosis. There may be other challenges. For most people, and we are talking 80% to 90% of people of all ages, these programs are effective. If some element of the program doesn’t seem to be working, see a specialist. Most barriers can be overcome.

Next post in this series – Optimizing Skeletal Health – Joints


  3 comments for “Exercise – Maximizing the Health Benefits – Part 1 – Overview

  1. Jim
    August 5, 2015 at 3:48 am

    Drs. Mike and Charlie,

    What do you think of the observational reporting related to “intermittent sedentary lifestyle”. By this I am referring to individuals that do exercise with intensity, but then are primarily sedentary the remainder of the day. Some report that this type of individual is ” losing” the benefit of their exercise to the extent that is no better than a mostly sedentary individual. This doesn’t ring true to me.

    • August 5, 2015 at 9:23 am

      If you look into the details of such studies the counterintuitive part vanishes; they define intensity in such a way that someone who actually engages in ‘intense interval training’ wouldn’t recognize it and they define the sedentary part in such a way as to be simply sitting for hour upon hour. Someone with true biological power doesn’t live in either of the modes they describe. The whole enterprise reminds me of the communist term ‘false consciousness’ in that they use the right terms but slip a deceptive meaning into them. And then we believe it. I think this is one reason people do not trust ‘studies’ or professional health recommendations. People suspect the guidelines are serving someone else’s agenda. This sounds like conspiratorial paranoia but see Gary Taubes’ “Good Calories, Bad Calories” to see the web of personal, professional, governmental, and ‘scientific’ entanglement and the debased health guidelines that issue therefrom as an example; and not an unusual example at that. OK, I will stop.
      Dr. Mike

      • Jim
        August 5, 2015 at 9:42 am

        Thanks, pretty much what I thought. I have read Gary Taubes’ book and was amazed at how we ended up where we are.

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