We’re not saying you’re not healthy, just that you could be healthier
One of the greatest characteristics about cannabis is that no matter what your fitness goals are, it can help improve both your workout regime and overall health. No matter if you’re 300 pounds or 120; if you’re all muscle or are trying to lose that muffin top that keeps you from wearing your favorite jeans – consuming cannabis will help you realize your true potential physically.
Here are eight major effects cannabis has on the human body that will improve your overall fitness and health:
The common belief that cannabis causes laziness and couch-lock is only half true. There are strains that do the exact opposite, increasing energy in the consumer and allowing them to easily manifest their intentions and goals into reality – especially those of exercise. However, an energy boost could also be needed to get through the work day or finishing up a project. To be able to complete tasks in a timely manner will allow the mind to feel more at ease as such actions are easily taken to progress towards one’s goal. These strains are usually either of the sativa variety or hybrid.
While cannabis increases heart rate, it simultaneously relaxes smooth muscle which includes artery walls. This means lower blood pressure despite increased heart rate, and increased oxygen transport to the tissues of the body. Not only does this enhance general wellness within the body of a consumer, it can also improve one’s workout regime by fueling muscles in a more efficient manner.
Pain, Tension, and Inflammation Relief
You can toss your Ibuprofen, Tylenol, and even prescription pain killers in the trash (so to speak). Cannabis has been proven to be an analgesic, reducing pain and tension from both nerve and muscle damage. Specific strains will work better with nerves, others with muscles. The best part is, cannabis doesn’t work like opioids. One can find the perfect strain that both relieves pain while keeping the mind clear enough to function throughout the day and perform regular tasks. For those of us with arthritis, cannabis eases pain and inflammation from this as well. Even those suffering from glaucoma use cannabis to ease the inflammation/pressure in their eyes.
Increases Metabolism & Lowers Fasting Insulin
The pancreas produces insulin which allows the body to use sugar from consumed carbohydrates for energy. If energy isn’t needed, it’s stored in the body for future use. Insulin regulates how much sugar is in the bloodstream - and when it isn’t regulated properly, diabetes develops – and in many instances, weight gain. Cannabis reduces the level of fasting insulin in the body, leading to better/faster metabolism as energy from sugar is used up and expelled faster. A study linked lower insulin levels (17% lower) with smaller waist circumference and cannabis use.
Increases Lung Capacity
The Journal of the American Medical Association conducted a study that confirms cannabis smokers have increased lung capacity while tobacco smokers’ lung capacities diminish. Better breathing, better oxygen levels in the body, better body and brain function. It isn’t certain whether this is because of therapeutic qualities from the plant or the mere fact cannabis smokers inhale deeply and hold it in.
Improves Mood & Reduces Stress
Many patients seeking alternatives to prescription drugs have turned to cannabis, finding it’s a natural medicine reducing anxiety, stress, paranoia, and other debilitating symptoms from mood disorders. Harvard Medical School published an article suggesting this, and patients that are out of the closet will readily confirm their successes with the plant as a therapeutic medicine. This can be beneficial to those of us seeking relief from a stressful day at work or if we’ve received bad news and want to calm our mind’s thoughts.
Enhanced Runner’s High
Because THC is stored in the fat cells of the human body, what do you think happens when fat is being burned during the workout of a cannabis consumer? A study confirmed that “exercise enhances plasma THC levels in regular cannabis users.” Not only will a pumped-up workout regime grant you a natural runner’s high, stored THC has the potential to enhance the effects. This might be worth considering if caffeine isn’t your thing.
Improves Bowel Function
Cannabinoids found in cannabis help regulate bacteria and intestinal function according to a study recently conducted in Israel. They took patients suffering from Crohn’s disease (a “chronic inflammatory disease… especially of the colon and ileum, associated with ulcer and fistulae”) and medicated them with cannabis, finding several underwent complete remission of the disease while the rest had reduced symptoms. For those of us with healthier tummies that need a bit of a relaxant every so often, some strains of cannabis can help get us into the bathroom a little quicker. Best part? No side-effects like some relaxants that only tie things up worse in the intestines.