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Published on Nov 27, 2015
8. Stress of choice through hormetins and hormesis: In the previous 2 minute video, I introduced the concept of hormesis, that low level of stress of choice is good for health. This general framework of hormesis can be applied to the three pillars food, physical activity and social and mental engagement. Hormesis is best examplified by physical exercise. At the biochemical level, the very act of physical exercise, which is more than the routine physical activity of the day to day life, is stressful and damaging for cells and tissues. Biochemically, there is nothing good about the act of doing exercise. During exercise huge amounts of new damaging molecules free radicals, oxidants, acids etc etc are produced. These bad things are the ones which then induce the cells to employ all their defense and repair systems to counteract the damage. A whole range of processes then come into action, signals are sent all around the cell, tissues and the body, and possible good things start happening after the exercise. This is what physiological hormesis is, and all those things, which can bring about such hormesis, are called hormetins. Physical exercise is a hormetin – it is good because it is bad to start with. You take away the bad starting steps of exercise, you lose the good effects that come out later. This is the science of hormetics. I will talk more about hormetins in the next two minutes.