My doctor asked me during my last appointment if I do aerobic exercise. I asked him to be more specific, in which he replied, “You know, do you run?” I responded with something to the effect of ‘my program gives me all the cardiovascular benefits I need’, and I left it at that. I am 42 years old with under 8% bodyfat and a resting heart rate of under 60 and a blood profile to die for(no pun), but yet do no “conventional” aerobic exercise. How is this possible?
Society has been fooled. The fitness industry has convinced you that a Jane Fonda workout or a Cindy Crawford tape will improve the quality of your life or transform your body into one like theirs. Aerobic exercise will potentially lower heart rate and burn calories, but will do little for enhancing muscle tone and preventing heart disease. In fact, heart disease has more to do with diet and exercise (www.mercola.com).
Steady-state aerobic exercise causes the body and its associated parts like the heart and lungs also to become more efficient. That means the heart and lungs-pretty important systems for optimal health will actually shrink in size because they aren’t being challenged. By the way, a smaller heart and lungs is not a good thing.
An adequate intake of Omega 3’s will do you far more good than doing 1hour on the Elliptical trainer, 3 days a week. Furthermore, if you think your 30 minute jogging sessions on the treadmill are doing anything for burning fat, you are sadly mistaken. Here’s why.
When a person does steady-state aerobic exercise such as; fast-paced walking, slow jogging, or the Stairclimber your body does burn fat WHILE you perform the movement, but what happens post exercise is not so good. You see, because you are training your body to utilize fat during this exercise session, it will sense this and store bodyfat in anticipation for the upcoming workout. Read that last sentence again because its very important in achieving your fitness goals.
Have you ever seen an aerobics instructor or any cardio enthusiast who just cannot lose weight; in fact, every time you see them they seem to get bigger? This is the reason why. The body actually goes thru these constant cycles of “burn fat/store fat”, thus never really allowing the body to naturally use stored bodyfat as energy as nature intended.
Our modern ancestors never casually jogged for great lengths of time or did any form of steady-state cardiovascular exercise. They were too busy sprinting trying to escape animals or other humans, and finding their next meal. The last thing ancient man needed was less muscle and a compromised immune system, thus not being able to ward off bacteria and viruses.
In my opinion, I think people become addicted to aerobic exercise such as running. It can release euphoric-like hormones called endorphins. This endorphin release is very addicting. It’s like a drug.
Compare the physiques of a sprinter and a marathon runner. In most instances, the bodyfat of a marathon runner is higher than a sprinter, and their immune system is severely compromised due to the intense physical activity.
Marathon runners or any person that does extended aerobic activity longer than 60 minutes is 6 times more at risk for colds and flu (www.marathonguide.com).
Bottom line is if you want maximum bodyfat loss and reap the muscle building (toning) effects of aerobic exercise, stick to interval training lasting no more than 20-30 minutes.
You continue to burn fat after the exercise session and actually strengthen your immune system, heart and lungs. Am I saying never to do steady-state aerobic exercise? No. There is always a time and place for everything, including conventional aerobic exercise.