Running & Sit-ups keep us fat!
Have I got your attention?
Now before you throw your running shoe at me, hear me out.
Then after, you can throw your shoe and maybe your water bottle just for good measure.
I’ve never liked running or doing cardio for that matter so perhaps this is a biased blog, perhaps not. I wanted to write a blog like this for a while however I thought it was a bit much and would ruffle too many feathers. Well today I was asked by a colleague if I ran or did cardio. Later in the day I talked on the phone with a long time friend and running came up again. Then later this evening on a Facebook thread, a friend said… “I am running my ass off but gaining weight!!”
Well to hell with ruffling feathers and the backlash that this blog may cause, 3 times in a day is my green light to go ahead.
*NOTE: I am not attacking runners nor people that love doing sit ups. I deeply believe exercise and core training are essential to health and weight management, however… they must be executed properly.
Before we start I understand that running is personal, a challenge, run rain or shine, running through the pain and setting up best times and records. The high you get is euphoric etc.
Do you run for the high or for fat loss?
Running or doing cardio for long durations will not only burn fat, it will also burn and lose precious muscle- and destroying your body in the process. It also creates free radicals and creates acidity in the body.
Doing a lot of cardio (or running a long distance) causes your body to produce cortisol. (The stress hormone) Cortisol leads to food cravings especially to sugars and to carbs. This leads to possibly consuming more calories than you’ve burned. We goto comfort foods such as junk food, carbs and booze. (Do you know that you would have to run 14 minutes just to burn off 121 calories? That is only a 5 oz glass of white wine!)
A properly functioning thyroid secretes a hormone called T4 (which is converted to T3) and is responsible for your metabolism. The cortisol that is produced from excess cardio restricts the production of T4, thus screwing up your metabolism. It slows down and unable to burn fat effectively. Low T3 (hypothyroidism) causes your body to gain weight very easily.
Performing a lot of steady rate cardio (usually long periods) at or just above 65 % of heart rate puts the body into a hypothyroid state! Your body is an incredible and efficient bio chemical machine; it will do anything to save itself. To protect you- It lowers the T3 hormone to conserve energy by using less fat to fuel your preferred activity. Your body adapts, thus allowing you to exercise longer and using a fraction of the calories.
At first running burns fat easily and the results are encouraging, that is until it adapts and goes into hypothyroidism. (This takes as little time as a month) Psychologically after a long session, you feel that you’ve earned that extra pizza slice, glass of wine or plate of pasta. So you indulge. You’ve built up quite and appetite to boot. Not only have you not burned enough calories to offset the extra food, you’ve slowed down your metabolism to a snails pace. Can you see the vicious cycle?
Besides raising cortisol and burning muscle, long and sustained cardio (running) has been known to produce scar tissue on the heart, quicken the aging process, cause inflammation and oxidative stress, damage knees, ankles and feet. (Toenails have beenknown to thicken or fall off along with many other types of injuries.)
*When ever you engage in any lengthy exercise activity you create more and more hunger. Eating less means you can exercise less and vise versa.
Sit-ups & (target exercises)
Do you think that by doing a 100 crunches a day you will lose your belly fat?
Good luck with that! Belly fat does not belong to the belly (it belongs to the body.) Our body stores fat in different places, the thighs hips and gut etc. 100 crunches a day will no doubt get you abs of steel, however the blanket of fat draping it will not go away. Spot training doesn’t work for fat loss-it works for muscle building.
Six pack abs are made in the kitchen, and so is a keg! (belly)
We can never work off a bad diet, especially as we get older. Weight loss is 80% food, and 20% exercise. (Genetics do account for some)
So now what? Do you think I’m telling you to stop running or doing sit-ups? Not at all, do what you want. If you enjoy it do it!!!
If it’s fitness and fat loss that you desire, then there are healthier ways to achieve it. How?
By eating the proper foods, getting plenty of sleep/rest, drinking water, resistance training and cardio…. What cardio? Yes Cardio! Ok you can throw that shoe at me now!!!! HIIT Me!
HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training cardio. This means doing a high level of cardio for 30 seconds at maximum heart rate, then going to a low level of intensity for 60-90 seconds. (Some people do 60 seconds at a high level then so 60 seconds at a low or level. These times can vary, you have to find what works best for you.
HIIT burns fat and preserves precious muscle! More muscle is more calories burned. Muscle burns fat, fat makes fat.
LISS stands for Low Intensity Steady State cardio. This is usually 65-75% of maximum heart rate for around 45 min. (This is the type of exercise I’m writing about)
Instead of running I would encourage brisk walking instead. Some fitness pros suggest alternating between HIIT and LISS. Well since I don’t like cardio I’d rather do less than more.
HIIT me with your best shot! Not with your shoe because you’ll need it!!!
The benefit of weight training is that you burn off calories many many hours after you lift. With cardio, the burning process stops when you stop. So you see if you combine a clean diet with weight training and HIIT, you will achieve your fitness goals. There is a theory that alternating LISS and HIIT is even more effective. You have to see what works for you.
Anything that is done in excess is a form of addiction, a way to escape and/or distract one from facing some type of mental and/or emotional pain. Like I said in a previous blog, this can be anything from eating, drinking and even exercising too much. Balance is key!
This blog is intended to get you thinking out of the box, and you may disagree with me whole heartedly. It’s always in good fun and never about preaching.
Thank you for staying with me until the end. Speaking of the end…
In the end, it is all about your decision and educated choices. This is just a blog with my opinions and is not intended to sway or change your mind in anyway.