Should You Run?

Should You Run?


Current trends in Fitness and Health (e.g. CVD risk factors, increases in BMI, Blood Pressure, Diabetes, Orthopedic injury in knees and backs, etc.) are not exactly following an upward trajectory, though some of them are beginning to taper off. Perhaps this is a turn towards the positive?

Present methods to combat these negative trends are, in my opinion, generally erroneous and may lead to poor outcomes, such as the following:
• Doing Long Slow Distance Cardio as the main source of Energy System Development.
• Jumping on the Gluten Free (or Dairy Free, or Vegan, or Juicing) bandwagon.
• Going all in on High Intensity, Orthopedically Risky Training protocols as the Gold Standard (i.e. Tabatas, Crossfit, Bootcamps).
• Taking on the P90X “Muscle Confusion” and “Do a Different Workout Everyday” Mantras as your own.
• Doing Nothing.

While none of these are inherently negative, we often have the wonderful response to these ‘new’ trends to embrace the novel and jump in without thought. Taking on the mantra of “more is better” as one’s own without proper evaluation on whether or not the chosen method is the right one results in improper care and recovery.

Case in point: Not everyone needs Steady State Cardio training (as was heavily promoted in the 1970’s). It’s not necessary for everyone nor even advisable for many. It is important to choose a training method that fits you and works for you.

The Journal of the American College of Cardiology’s explored the idea of dosage as related to health benefit in the study “Leisure-Time Running Reduces All-Cause and Cardiovascular Mortality Risk.” Specifically, it looked at the associations of running with all-cause and cardiovascular mortality risks in 55,137 adults, 18 to 100 years of age (mean age 44 years)” to explore the “long-term effects of running on mortality.”

The conclusion?

…5-10 minutes a day is great and will improve most health measures.

For those wondering, “Is more actually better?” take a look at the study by the American College of Cardiology, titled “1197-358 / 358 – Are Cardiovascular Risk Factors Responsible for the U-Shaped Relationship between Running and Longevity? The MASTERS Athletic Study”.

The synopsis of the study is this: those who ran more than 20 miles/week actually decreased life longevity compared to those who ran less that 20 miles.

Ask yourself:

“What is my goal? Why do I train? How much do I actually need? What is the minimum effective dose?”

Assess your needs, research your options, and make an educated decision.

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