Welcome to the episode 2 of the Canadian Minds on Health Podcast. In this episode we Dave and I will talk about the concept of Hormesis, which sounds complicated but is actually a pretty simple & very IMPORTANT concept for your health!

Please check out my prior blog post for an introduction on the concept of Hormesis here.

Here’s some of the highlights from this episode. A “Dose” of Exercise DOSE RESPONSEIf we’re talking about a dose of medicine, a small amount has no significant effect, while a large amount is fatal. The dose-response model below shows the effect caused by differing levels of exposure (or Exercise as DOSE doses) to a stressor (usually a chemical) after a certain exposure time. The dose-response model can be applied to exercise, as well. Make no mistake: exercise is a stressor. Borrowing from the world of pharmacology, I think of exercise as a “dose:” too little has no significant effect while too much is harmful. However, it’s worth noting that some exercise is infinitely better than none. Zero exercise has a negative effect, so we could argue that the curve should start in “negative” territory. But for simplicity’s sake, let’s start at “neutral.” As you can see, a relatively minimal amount of exercise can produce optimal results. But while some exercise produces a positive effect, too much will result in net negative effects (marathoners beware).



The dose-response model can be applied to the following concepts, as well:

  • Micronutrient intake.
  • Sunlight exposure.
  • Protein intake.
  • Coffee drinking
  • Antioxidant supplement.
  • Sleep.
  • Carbohydrate intake.
  • Stress (management).

Aim for the “Minimum Effective Dose” MEDThe goal is to maximize the net positive effects of exercise before reaching the point of diminishing returns. An optimal dose of exercise produces desired hormonal and physiological response with the minimum amount of stress.  Essentially you are trying to find YOUR SWEET SPOT!






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Things referred to during this PODCAST.

Hormesis defined.

Upside down U curve (see examples in prior post & above).

Exercise Hormetic effect.

Caffeine Hormetic effect and here.

Washout period.

Male former Collegiate Athletes & fat gain.

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