Thursday, December 11, 2014

Running is the New Cheeseburger

I get a number of emails and newsletter from various exercise sites and individuals. From running to yoga to kettle bells, I get some interesting points of views and information. They are usually good and are sources of suggestions and ideas.

A week or so ago, I received one with this challenging title "Never do this exercise". The letter contained this:

Paul, If you've ever wasted hours per week exercising for NO results, then you probably made this common mistake... You need to know the TRUTH about the one exercise that you must NEVER, ever do again. ==> Discover the #1 exercise to never do In today’s article, by my friend Craig Ballantyne (Men’s Health contributor and fat-loss expert), you'll discover the exercise that stops your fat loss dead in its tracks. Plus, you'll discover a revolutionary new approach that takes just minutes to melt away belly fat and eliminates all the scary side effects of the one exercise you should never do again.

The worst type of exercise, according to the article is cardio. Yes, all that time you spend on the treadmill, eliptical, stationary bike and running is useless. In fact, more then useless but dangerous. In fact he gives 4 facts that prove how terrible cardiovascular exercise is for you. Although I note he keeps talking about boring treadmill exercise. I don't know anyone who would disagree with that statement. It's not referred to as the "Dreadmill" for nothing. The four facts are:

  • Cardio makes you fat
  • Cardio damages your heart, joints and muscles (a.k.a. cardio will kill you)
  • Cardio makes your body age faster
  • Cardio makes you fat, old, ugly and unhappy
  • The best exercise is the one touted by the author of the article and if you want to know more then take advantage of the money saving offer and purchase the program for $49.00.

    Oh where to begin. Let's consider the first one, yeah the one reason why I hate watching the Boston Marathon on television is the sight of all those fat dumpy people running for 26.2 miles. All that jiggly body fat, yuck. Really? I have said in a previous blog I'm not a doctor, but I look at the test subject I have spent the most time with and that is me. Three years ago I weighted 192 lbs, when I was on Prednesone I probably pushed the scale to over 200 lbs. I now weight 160.5 lbs. I went to the doctor a couple of days ago and can verify the weight. What changed in the last three years? A couple of things, first of all I have cut snacks out of my diet, not totally since I still enjoy my two cookies with my evening tea. But things like chips and pop, I've cut way down. No real reason, just haven't been interested. I eat more fruits and vegetable, and drink more water. The last difference is I run more. I've always run but before it was only the nice weather and rarely over 5 km. Now I run year around and I have lost weight. From what I can tell with my clothes, the fat around my waist has more disappeared rather then developed. Also I've been told I don't eat as much as I used to, which disproves one of the points raised in the article. I'm not starving after I run, I eat enough, am full and go on my way. Then there is my Cholesterol count,I was always hovering at the line of being high-normal to high as in 'start taking these pills'. During the same period, my levels have decreased.

    In the article, the author goes way back to the first run from Marathon to Athens and how that killed the guy. Some have suggested the story is a bit of an add-on. Then there's Jim Fixx. As we know, Jim Fixx died when he was 52 of a massive heart attack when he was out running. From that point alone you would say that running did nothing for him and probably killed him. Now this is where the story gets interesting, Fixx didn't start running until he was 36. Before that moment, he was overweight, had a stressful job and life and was a heavy smoker. One other point, his father died when he was 43. His cause of death? Heart attack. So Fixx may have had a genetic disposition to heart issues, plus his lifestyle before 36 did not to alleviate the possibility. If you look at it, by running, he gained an extra 9 years of life. Some have suggested that he used running as his solution for everything and didn't even bother to go to the Doctor. One wonders if he had proper check-ups then maybe the condition that killed him would not have happened. Still, to simply digest the numbers, by running he did increase his lifespan by the order of 20%. That isn't a bad increase in life expectancy.

    Then there is all the joint and muscle problems. There is an increase in people looking for help with pain and injuries to joints etc, doctors call it 'boomeritis', since it affects members of the baby boomer generation. Let me deflate a myth, baby boomers are not that healthy. We think we are, but in reality we are not, if there is more people of baby boomer age seeking help its because there is simply more of us. Besides after 50-60 years of regular life, joints are giong to hurt. But as for muscle degeneration, seriously? I suppose you can't see the muscle for all the fat.

    Apparently if you do cardio exercise, you will look older. You get that gaunt look, and you will look horrible. It's all those free radicals attacking your organs and skin. Makes you look horrible. All those ugly runners. Yuck.

    Fat, Old, in pain and unhappy. This is because cardio is boring. As you run on the treadmill, like has this person never heard of running outside, you will be bored, because it's boring. You will feel a slave because you are working so hard and instead of losing, you gain, and you become unsexy and you will scare small children and then you die. No wonder you're unhappy. Yes the treadmill is boring, as far as I'm concerned, the most boring exercise is doing lengths in a pool. Mind numbing. You see it's boring. Boring, boring, boring. Good solution is to try his wonderful plan, because its intense, its high energy, its short time wise. You will lose fat, get sexy, have an exciting life, look years younger- all for $47.00 if you act today.

    So if I had only known, instead of running and losing weight, I could have eaten cheeseburgers and had the same experience. I didn't spend the $47.00 and I'm suffering with loss of weight, increased energy and a generally good bill of health.

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