Stress is often considered detrimental to the health and this can be true. Certainly chronic stress that becomes unmanageable is the cause of detrimental health outcomes. However, stress is a requirement of all life as it is the stress applied to cells and tissues that allows them to adapt to different environmental conditions and this makes the organism more efficient. Exercise is one form of stress that is clearly beneficial to the health and regular exercise diminishes the overall detrimental effects of subsequent bouts of physical stress. Other stresses that can be good for the health include fasting and exposure to detrimental weather conditions. Both of these stresses, if manageable and acute in nature, can increase general resistance to detrimental environmental conditions. Any applied stress will generally improve stress tolerance, and the tolerance gained will be specific to the stress applied. Therefore exercise generally improves exercise tolerance, whereas fasting will improve tolerance to periods of abstinence of food.
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