I believe that every human has a finite amount of heartbeats. I don’t intend to waste any of mine running around doing exercises.
― Neil Armstrong
You probably know, if you read this blog, my basic stance on exercise. I’m agin’ it.
Well, not totally against it. I’m just against what is in vogue today, which is hours and hours of useless treadmilling/biking/jogging/running. All those things do are wear out your joints. Running can make you a better runner–but that’s it. It can’t make you a better jogger, a better dancer, a better swimmer, or help you improve your “cardiovascular fitness.” Take three devoted runners and three sedentary fat guys. Tell them you’ll test them in two weeks to determine their heart/lung rate when using an elliptical for 20 minutes. Tell the “fit” runners to just keep doing what their doing. Tell the fat guys to hop on the elliptical once a day for 20 minutes till the test, but otherwise behave normally.
The fat guys will pass your test, and the runners will not.
The runners have not “increased” their “cardio fitness.” They’ve only gotten really good at running. This is why when runners and joggers use treadmills in the winter they come back out to the road in the spring complaining that they’ve “lost fitness,” and wondering how that happened when they were running the same distance and difficulty–or perhaps even more–indoors on the treadmill. They didn’t lose what they didn’t have. They only lost the ability to run over asphalt as efficiently as they have now learned to run along moving rubber.
“Cardio,” as it is popularly termed, is also a great way to lose muscle.
I’ve blabbed on about this a little in the past. I mentioned that perhaps the best advice anyone can give you is to lose some weight and get feeling better by eating well first. Then you can actually move around and will feel like doing it. But, if you’re big enough/old enough/diabetic enough, you may have a tough time losing too much weight without some exercise–some people definitely experience that. Lots of people don’t, though. It’s an individual thing.
I can tell you my experience, which is only what one person’s experience is worth. Back when I was fat and exhausted all the time, I exercised regularly. It did no good for anything. I wasn’t more “fit,” I wasn’t stronger, and I didn’t lose any weight. I really did it because I figured it was somehow, ephemerally, good for me. Once I started eating lots of fat and meat and no more whole grains and fruit, I quit exercising and lost 100 pounds without it. My stamina and muscle increased, as well. Then I felt like moving around a lot; but whenever I did, an odd thing happened.
I’d stop losing weight.
By 130 pounds down I really could do whatever I felt like, but I was convinced that anything labelled cardio or aerobic was a scam.
If you are currently a fat person running around on a treadmill or splashing in the pool or doing some kind of “aerobics,” I’m going to lay dollars to doughnuts that you aren’t happy with it. So here’s something to read.
This is one of those rare occasions when I’m not going to go on and on myself. Somebody’s already done a good, readable job and you should check it out.
It’s easy to read, and explains why, on the cellular level, there’s no good to be had from aerobic exercise, why it destroys your muscles and endangers your life, and why what you really want is a way to increase your musculature–as well as why you don’t have to worry about either spending hours and tons of money at a gym, or that you’ll somehow end up like one of those weight lifters that can’t make their arms meet in the middle because of all the muscle.
Muscle is life. Increase in muscle is what increases the strength cardio and respiratory systems. More muscle is what keeps you from falling and protects you when you do.
I’ll give you a small taste from one example of his. A 30-year-old and a 60-year-old walk up two flights of stairs. Why is the 60-year-old more out of breath? Perhaps you, like me, would have answered, “Because he’s out of shape.” Only there’s no such thing.
What happened is climbing the stairs takes X number of muscle units to accomplish. Let’s say 50. 60-year-old has only 100 total units of muscle left, while 30-year-old has 200. Therefore, it was twice as much effort for 60-year-old to climb those stairs. He used up half the muscular strength at his disposal to do it, while the other guy used only only a quarter. This means twice as high a tax on the 60-year-old’s lungs and heart. He’s not out of breath because his lungs and heart aren’t “in as good shape.” He’s out of breath because they just worked twice as hard as the young guy’s did. If the 60-year-old had lots of muscle, it would have been a different story.
Give it a read, if you want. If nothing else you’ll learn a lot about the amazing way you are made.
Plato says he’s hungry
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