Cardio & Fat Loss
Today I would like to look at why we need to be careful when running and maybe looking at reducing the amount or find an alternative.
Please don't get me wrong, I am not saying running is bad for you and I know people enjoy running. But I feel it is only something that should be performed if you are not carrying too much weight, have correct training and good movement patterns.
During each foot strike the body is exposed to repeated impact forces estimated to be two to three times the body weight of the runner. Applying this fact to a 150 pound runner, who has an average of 400 foot-strikes per foot per mile during a one-mile run, each foot would endure between 60 and 90 tons of force.
On top of this I know from performing posture assessments and movement analysis our movement patterns and core stability are generally far from perfect and result in the joints running out of their correct alignment, pre-disposing the joints to long & short term damage from the above forces.
Running is basically a one legged activity so a simple test would be to stand in front of a mirror, balance on one leg trying to stay as straight as possible, hop a few times and notice what happens to your aligment.
Cardio and Fat Loss 2
The first question is Fuel used and figures. The predominant fuel used during the Cardio exercise we perform in the gym is sugar, of which is stored in the muscles and liver and converted to energy to provide our muscles with fuel. The harder we work the more sugar we burn.
Our body can store approximately 400 grams of sugar, that is 1600 calories, so the calorie read out you see on cardio machines will be virtually all calories from sugar. Some would be fat but very little.
So let's say you did 20 mins on the cross trainer burning 10 calories a minute, that's 200 calories, of which 80% was sugar. That's 160 sugar calories and say the rest was fat, that's 40 fat calories in 20 mins.
To shed a pound of fat you need to burn 3500 calories, that means you would need to do 29 HOURS ON THE CROSS TRAINER!!! Perhaps that's why 24 hour gyms are opening!
To be continued
So most people spend their time in the gym doing either cardio work on the treadmill, cross trainer etc or using resistance machines, free weights, kettlebell etc or both. An interesting question would be which is the most beneficial?
Obviously this is a difficult question to answer as both will contain benefits but which one would be more suitable to help achieve your goals?
As so many people exercise with the main goal being to keep in good shape, lose weight and tone up, you could be thinking I need to spend my time doing loads of Cardio work, burning calories etc, but in my experience and against popular belief Cardio is a very inefficient way to lose weight.
I will be explaining more in the forthcoming post