exercise is a drug

I think it’s safe to say that we all know that exercise is a drug. It’s probably one of the most under-utilized drugs out there. It helps with treat issues from sarcopenia to depression. From frailty to diabetes. We all know the dangers of over-dosing, but are you under-dosing exercise?

We all know we should exercise and many of us do exercise, but we aren’t seeing the results we need or want.

Why You Aren’t Seeing Results

Just like any drug, you can over and under-dose. Overdosing a drug can kill you, so can under-dosing. Think of an antibiotic. If you don’t take enough, whatever gumbo you’ve got-it might just kill you. When talking about over-dosing exercise this is when you get hurt or injured, or over-train. However, most of us don’t recognize the effects of under-dosing exercise.

Years ago, I was walking behind two women walking into work. They were complaining about how ‘tough’ their morning workout out was, and how exhausted they were, and how they were sure to have burned thousands of calories and this was going to help their weight loss. All this was done will drinking a soda drink larger than 32 oz and each holding 3 giant bags stuffed from Carls Jr. Bad news, that ‘really hard workout’ isn’t going to out-do the calories there were currently consuming.


There are other ways you sabotage your fitness goals and fitness results by under-dosing your exercise. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends when it comes to resistance training, that you work each major muscle group each week. However, there are other factors beyond just this frequency.


If you have a raging headache and only take 5 mg of Tylenol it isn’t going to do a thing for your headache. If you aren’t hitting the right intensity (dosage) of your exercise/workout you will not see results. There is a reason why you can’t just get any drug in any dosage right over the counter. Many you need a prescription. That is why all of our clients have their own individual programs. You don’t share your prescription meds, why should you share your exercise prescription? Having a professional can help you know the intensity you should have to get the results and still keep you safe.


Tylenol isn’t a cure all. You don’t take it if you’ve had an organ transplant-you take anti-rejection meds. However, why is it that when asked if you workout, almost everyone defaults to saying the walk or do the elliptical. That’s only ONE TYPE of exercise, and while beneficial it is in NO WAY a catch-all for your physical activity needs. If you want to be fast and powerful, like a sprinter, train like a sprinter-not a marathoner. If you want to prevent and reverse sarcopenia and other age-related illness you’ve got to do the right type of exercises. Having a professional (this is NOT your medical doctor!!!!!!!!) can help you navigate what is appropriate and not.


When you take drugs prescribed from a medical doctor, they will usually follow-up with you during your next appointment to make sure the drugs are working correctly. When you work out on your own, it is often difficult to determine if what you are doing is working. Working with a fitness coach helps solve this because they are seeing you several times a week and month so they can ascertain if the frequency, dosage and type are correct.