Why should you get in the zone?

As we talked about over the past 2 weeks, Zone 2 training is going to be the topic that we dive into over the next several weeks.

Today we are going to discuss the specific changes that will occur within our bodies, more specifically our muscles, with a steady dose of Zone 2 training. These changes while microscopic in nature, lead directly to improved quality of life and extended life expectancy. 

The largest change while doing Zone 2 training is in the mitochondria within our cells. As a quick high school biology refresher, if you recall the mitochondria have long been referred to as "the powerhouse of the cell." It has been called this because it is responsible for extracting energy from food through cellular respiration. The mitochondria produce energy from one of two sources, either Fat or Glucose. The ability to use both of these sources is important and is referred to as Metabolic Flexibility. Fat is typically utilized primarily when the heart rate is lower, and Glucose is typically used as the heart rate increases.

The current research indicates that, during Zone 2 training, our mitochondria improve in their efficiency and also increase in number. So not only will you have more mitochondria, but they will all be more efficient and more flexible. There have been studies that show that training in Zone 2 also induces your body to eliminate the mitochondria that may not be functioning as well.

Improving our mitochondrial function can lead to significant changes in many of the systems in our bodies. According to Dr. Martin Picard, mitochondrial dysfunction has been linked to "every disease that (he knows) of." Let that sink in for a moment. Dr. Picard is a professor of Psychiatry and Neurology at Columbia University and has dedicated his academic career to studying the impact that mitochondria can have on the human body. He certainly knows more about them than any of us, and he is willing to go out on a limb and make that statement...

If our mitochondria, and their function, are related to every disease process, then doesn't it make sense to spend some time focusing on Zone 2 training?

Certainly makes sense to me!

Next week we will dive a little deeper into how the mitochondria can impact so many different disease processes... Stay Tuned!

Movement is my medicine,
Dr. William "Chip" Bleam

Dr. William "Chip" Bleam


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