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EMF & Exercise: How EMF Reduces Your Athletic Performance and Recovery

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“Humans today are a lot weaker than they were thirty years ago,” say researchers from Winston-Salem State University, Florida. Their research measuring the handgrip and pinch strength of millennials found that the grip strength of men in their mid to late twenties is nearly 26 pounds weaker today than it was 30 years ago. So, what caused this massive strength decline? The answer is our lifestyle — which has made strength-based physical activities optional. Another contributing factor is the EMF pollution in our environment, which causes a number of health problems and reduces our ability to partake in physical activities like exercise.

EMF Interferes with Your Ability to Exercise

The Department of Health and Human Services says that an adult should participate in at least 150 minutes of physical activity every week. Doing this will significantly improve your physical and mental health, make you physically stronger, enhance your sleep quality and, most importantly, lower your risk of chronic health problems.

Despite these well-understood benefits, the majority of people don’t bother investing their time in exercise. Busy schedules and lack of motivation are likely the primary causes of this lack of activity. But experts say that these may not be the only reasons why people aren’t exercising.  

The level of EMF pollution in our environment is unnerving, and the recent 5G deployments are adding more EMF to our already dense environment. This kind of heavy EMF exposure causes a range of health problems, including hormone shifts, cell damage and stress, cognitive issues, and sleep disorders. These can reduce your ability to exercise or to do other strength or stamina-based physical activities.

EMF-induced Physiological Changes

Over millennia of evolution, our bodies have developed eleven systems. These systems keep us alive and help with our physical and mental growth. The systems are:

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  • Circulatory / Cardiovascular
  • Digestive and Excretory
  • Endocrine
  • Integumentary / Exocrine
  • Immune and Lymphatic 
  • Muscular 
  • Nervous
  • Renal and Urinary
  • Reproductive
  • Respiratory
  • Skeletal

As you know, evolution is not an instant process. It takes thousands of years for our bodies to understand the situation around us and encode the optimizations in our DNA.

So, if we look at the evolutionary scale, human-made EMF is pretty recent. This means that our bodies are also not ready to face the massive amount of EMF that currently surrounds us.

This un-shielded exposure affects most systems of the body, causing temporary or permanent changes in our inner physiological structure. Let’s have a deeper look at those changes.

Increase in Free Radicals

Free radicals are volatile atoms that damage our cells, causing illness and premature aging. To understand free radicals properly, we have to explore the chemistry side of science.

About 99% of our body is made of atoms, which are surrounded by orbiting electrons. Both types of matter are trapped in layers known as shells.

Each shell has a maximum capacity to the number of electrons it can hold. And when it is full, the excess electrons start finding the next shell to fill.

Now, it’s not only electrons that actively seek a shell to fill, but unfilled shells are constantly searching for electrons. These unfilled shells are called ‘free radicals.’

Electron-filled shells are stable, and they don’t cause any health problems. On the other hand, free radicals are unstable, and to cover up for the gaps in those shells, they quickly react with substances that may or may not be electrons. This causes damage to the cells, proteins, and DNA in the body.

Research studies say that EMF exposure increases free radicals in plants, animals, and humans.

The good thing is, free radicals are not unusual to the body. The immune and lymphatic system repairs any damages that free radicals cause.

But, since EMF exposure gives constant rise to the number of free radicals, the damage they cause to the body can become overwhelming to the healing system. This leads to an increase in unhealed damage, creating health problems like atherosclerosis, cardiovascular and inflammatory disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and cancer.

Over Activated VGCC

Calcium is essential for a cell to survive. But if there’s excess calcium in our cells, it causes the cells to die by necrosis, which is an unnatural death.

To prevent this from happening, there’s the Voltage-Gated Calcium Channel, or VGCC, which acts as a barrier between calcium and cells. VGCC only allows the required amount of calcium to enter your cells, preventing any damage that a free flow of calcium can cause.

Now, according to Dr. Martin Pall, VGCC is roughly 7.2 million times more sensitive to human-made EMF than the other natural forms of EMF present in our environment. Prolonged EMF exposure activates VGCC and interferes with its ability to close the channel when the cell has reached its calcium capacity. This results in issues like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD),  atherosclerosis, and the development of systemic lupus.

Altered Natural Hormone Secretion

Hormones are essentially chemicals managed by your endocrine system responsible for processes like growth, metabolism, and fertility. It is because of these chemicals that you have a symmetrical body, you can convert food into energy, and you can experience different emotions.

The endocrine system’s pathways run throughout the body to help hormones reach the designated area when triggered by the brain.

I have a separate post about hormones and the endocrine system and how EMF triggers the endocrine system to release hormones at unnecessary times.

These misfires cause problems like suppressed growth, sleep disorders, reproductive issues, and mental instability.

Reduced Vitamin Availability

One study from Turkey found that 900-MHz EMF alters the vitamin levels in guinea pigs.

Vitamins are essential organic substances that you get from natural sources like food and sunlight. Your circulatory system manages the availability of vitamins in the body.

If you have less than the required number of vitamins available in your body, it will result in many health problems.

Also, when you go through your daily activities, your muscles and tissues tear, requiring intense recovery. Vitamins B, C, CoQ10, and Omega 3s are crucial for the recovery process. But, as I mentioned above, EMF causes an increase in free radicals. This affects your vitamin availability, leading to slow recovery and increased tissue and muscle damage.

Sleep Disruption from EMF

Your nervous and endocrine systems are responsible for giving you a good night’s rest. Seven to nine hours of quality sleep is essential for an adult human, and not getting that much sleep every night will affect your performance throughout the day.

Sleep deficiency has also been linked to growth hormone deficiency, elevated cortisol levels, impaired metabolism, and an increased risk of obesity.

Research studies show that heavy EMF exposure is one of the few reasons why an individual develops sleep disorders like insomnia.

Interestingly enough, scientists have found that quality sleep helps your body fight some of the effects of EMF and prevents them from turning into a chronic condition. This is why it’s important to ensure that your EMF exposure is at the lowest amount possible while you’re asleep.

I have two posts that I recommend you give a read. The content in these posts will help you make certain changes in your life that will not only improve your sleep quality but will also reduce your overall EMF exposure.

Those two posts are: 9 Ways to Reduce EMF in Your Bedroom and Creating a Sleep Sanctuary.

EMF exposure leads to poor sleep which impacts motivation to exercise
Feeling tired can drastically limit your motivation to exercise.

Reduce EMF to Improve Exercise and Athletic Performance

In light of the above, it may be apparent that EMF reduces your ability to exercise. How it does this is by creating a number of health issues, which may not be clearly visible to you at first. But they do affect your health.

It is true that if you exercise, many of the EMF-induced health problems will start to disappear. But you need the strength and stamina to do those exercises in the first place — and those will be lacking because of the health problems.

So, the best way to battle this is to reduce your EMF exposure as much as possible. You can start by making some changes in your current ways and habits. I recommend you go through my “Best EMF Protection” post. It talks about why the best EMF protection is free, and will give you valuable insights on how to start reducing your EMF exposure.  

It’s also worth noting that there are a number of EMF-based gadgets designed for fitness enthusiasts, and that these serve to heighten your EMF exposure levels.  

Why You Shouldn’t Use Exercise Tech

Fitness bands, smartwatches, intelligent yoga mats, posture trainers, smart socks, Bluetooth headsets — these gadgets have become an integral part of exercise regimens nowadays.

There’s no doubt that these gadgets are good for your training, as they provide real-time bio-feedback. But the problem is, they also shower you with their heavy EMF emissions.

Some of these gadgets, like smartwatches and fitness bands, are designed to be worn at all times. I have a separate post explaining why it is unhealthy to wear smartwatches and fitness bands 24/7.

Besides the EMF exposure, these gadgets also add to the information overload that you experience in your daily life. A 2009 Harvard Business Review (HBR) article explains how information overload can negatively affect a person’s well-being, decision making, innovation, and productivity.

So, despite the tech manufacturers’ claims, fitness gadgets can actually distract you from your workout. If you’re focusing on the screen more than your actual workout, it can reduce the efficiency of your workout, or worse, result in physical injuries.

Instead of this, you can make exercise time a time for digital detox.

Exercise Time as a Digital Detox Time

Counting how many calories you’ve burnt, the steps you’ve taken, and your real-time heart rate might seem absolutely necessary to get the desired results. But in reality, it’s just tech companies trying to sell you devices that measure these things.

I’m not saying that these data are useless, and these gadgets don’t help you get results. They do. I am saying that it’s also completely possible to achieve your desired results without using any smart tech.

I recommend you use your exercise time for digital detox. You’ll not use any smart tech while exercising, and your complete focus will be on finishing your workout.

This will do two things for you. First, it will help you quit your tech addiction, and second, it will reduce your overall EMF exposure.

Woman doing yoga stretches

Exercise for Mitigating the Effects of EMF

I’ve already established in the previous sections that exercise helps mitigate EMF-induced health problems.

Adding to that, a 2019 research study with rats found that 28-day moderate exercise training attenuated the harmful effects of RF-EMF emitted from the cell phone.

Besides mitigating EMF, daily exercise also strengthens the systems inside your body, reverses the effects of aging, improves your mental health, and gives you good cardiac health.

Avoiding EMF is truly hard these days — it’s everywhere, and it is deteriorating your health. So, strengthening your body through exercise is one of the few practical solutions to this problem.

Still, the fact remains that EMF causes problems that reduce your ability and willingness to exercise. But, it’s completely upon you to push your body slightly beyond its current limit, and eventually, the limit will increase.

Final Thoughts

Before the convenience of technology spoiled our ways, being physically active was the only way to survive. And evolution has shaped our bodies accordingly, which means that we’re not designed to be at the comfort level that modern technology provides.

But it’s also true that we can’t go back to our old ways, so exercising is our only option to fill the gap.

If you don’t exercise, your body will be vulnerable to many health problems, including EMF-induced ones. On the other hand, if you routinely follow an exercise regime, you’ll reap many physical and mental health benefits. So, it may be a good idea to start thinking about it.

And while on the topic, did you know that proper nutrition also helps your body mitigate the health effects of EMF exposure?

Building biologist and EMF expert Cathy Cooke wrote this super informative post in which she explains what foods and supplements you should include in your diet to make your body more resilient to defend against EMF. So do give it a read.

Featured image for this article courtesy of

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About the Author

R Blank is the CEO of Shield Your Body, which he founded in 2012. With hundreds of thousands of customers in over 30 countries, and having been interviewed on platforms including Dr. Phil, ABC news television and ElectricSense, R is an internationally followed expert on issues of EMF, health and safety. He also hosts “The Healthier Tech Podcast”, available Apple, Spotify and all major podcasting platforms. In the past, he served on the faculty at the University of Southern California Viterbi School of Engineering as well as the University of California, Santa Cruz. Previously, R ran a software engineering firm in Los Angeles, producing enterprise-level solutions for blue chip clients including Medtronic, Apple, NBC, Toyota, Disney, Microsoft, the NFL, Ford, IKEA and Mattel. He has spoken at conferences around the world, including in the US, Canada, New Zealand and the Netherlands, and he is the co-author, along with his father Dr. Martin Blank, of ‘Overpowered‘ from Seven Stories Press about the science of health effects of EMF radiation. He has an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management and received his bachelor’s degree, with honors, from Columbia University. He has also studied at Cambridge University in the UK; the University of Salamanca in Spain; and the Institute of Foreign Languages in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia. Read more about R and SYB or connect with R on LinkedIn.

Have a Question?

I take pride in designing great, effective products, based on real, measurable science – AND taking the time to ensure that each and every one of you has the information you need to understand EMF and make informed decisions.

So if you have a question, just email me and ask.

R Blank

R Blank