Biohacking : We are Wired to Exercise at a Moderate Pace
Exercise is an easy life hack. It provides us with many rewards from mood boosts to improved memory. Two specific studies took a closer look at how exercise can reduce our sensitivity to pain. Our bodies internally produce anandamide (AEA) among other endocannabinoids during exercise. AEA binds to cannabinoid receptors in the brain in the same way THC does. AEA has been shown to lower our pain sensitivity, aids in performance, increases BDNF and leaves us with a feeling of well-being. These endocannabinoids provide such a powerful reward system that they might be part of the motivation to exercise in the first place.
Taking a leisurely walk or sprinting at high intensity will not produce a signifcant amount of of the pain numbing AEA. However, slow jogging and comfortable cycling have both been shown to be the ideal way to produce the highest concentrations of this cannabinoid. The ideal effort level is between 70 – 85% to produce the highest concentrations of AEA. With 75% being the most well researched. Let’s take a look at applying these results to a real life trianing plan with the goal of reducing our pain sensitivity.
Estimating maximum heart rate:
The easy way to guess at your maximum heart rate without a treadmill VO2Max test is to use this fomula:
220 BPM – AGE = 180 BPM
Based on my own maximum heart rate of 184 BPM I added in example values on the right in brackets.
Our training can be tailored to meet different goals based on heart rate. While this might not sound like a surprise the research is offering us more than old model of “burn fat” or “get faster”. Now that cognitive, mood and reduced pain have been mapped to levels of effort we can spend more time in those zones to take advantage of those rewards.
Adafruit publishes a wide range of writing and video content, including interviews and reporting on the maker market and the wider technology world. Our standards page is intended as a guide to best practices that Adafruit uses, as well as an outline of the ethical standards Adafruit aspires to. While Adafruit is not an independent journalistic institution, Adafruit strives to be a fair, informative, and positive voice within the community – check it out here: adafruit.com/editorialstandards
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.