3 reasons why cardio can be problematic!
Why should CARDIO be problematic, will you ask yourself now? Cardio is supposed to be so healthy and also great for the figure, you can read everywhere!
To answer the question a little polemically, YES, cardio is problematic and you have to look at it in detail. What do I mean by CARDIO at all, by that I mean especially the “classics” i.e. low-intensive long endurance units like jogging, “cross-walker”, “treadmill running”.
So why is it problematic?
1.Wrong “instrument” to achieve the priority objective of “figure improvement
I claim that 95% of the “joggers”, “Nordic walkers”, “ergobikers” etc. want to improve their figure, no matter if female or male! I write consciously figure improve and not removing! Small but fine difference. Losing weight is the easiest thing in the world, I consume less calories as I burn, then I lose weight.
The problem now is sustainability, i.e. can I keep my figure for years and stay healthy and if so, how? Do I lose muscle mass (which is very bad) which inevitably happens when I only do low-intensity endurance sports or do I lose weight by losing fat mass, increasing muscle mass, thus improving my figure and staying healthy at the same time?
You may have noticed that a lot of participants are “fit” and look more like you wouldn’t expect from their figure, even though they are doing well. In men often very thin legs and a light “Wamperl” and in women relatively tender upper body, but a thick butt and rather thick legs. How is that possible? They do so much endurance because you lose weight! Yes, you lose weight, but unfortunately a lot of it is muscle mass and less the fat pads.
If I want to improve my figure and not “ONLY” lose weight, then a little more intensive endurance sport is the worst possible choice. What is additional is that jogging increases the risk of an overload or injury enormously and from the aspect of health, is not recommended, see the following paragraph.
In order to work your way to your healthy “dream body” in the best possible and effective way, this is best achieved with intensive strength training and short intensive interval training.
2.CARDIO variants such as jogging or running on a treadmill are in many cases also the cause of overload damage!
(The sport with the most injuries per training hour is jogging, did you know that?! The ones with the lowest frequency of injuries – weight lifting!)
Popular opinion is yes, I go jogging to maintain my health or to promote this. I improve my “basic endurance” and profit from this increased “basic endurance”, no matter if you are a hobby athlete or a professional athlete.
If one looks at the facts from the specialist literature, it is clearly pointed out that long-distance runners, in contrast to their less active contemporaries, suffer from much more probable heart diseases (1), as does the risk of atrial fibrillation (2), cancer (3), diseases of the liver and gall bladder (4), muscle damage (5), kidney dysfunction (6), acute microthrombosis (7), brain damage (8) and spinal degenerations (9).
As you can easily see from these facts, long, low-intensity jogging is certainly not good for your health!
What should also be considered is the relatively high expenditure of time, which is in no relation to the benefit, but more on that later!
Very often affected by this are the “jogging beginners”, i.e. those who previously did little or no sport, have now gained some weight through their lifestyle, their eating and living habits and have decided to do something about it! These beginners additionally have an increased risk of suffering an overload damage of the passive musculoskeletal system because their muscle corset, but also the passive structures such as ligaments, tendons and joints are less pronounced and therefore cannot tolerate the recurring shock loads during jogging in the long run. This can “go well” for a long time, but at the latest after some years the first problems begin to appear, e.g: Back pain, hip pain, knee pain, Achilles tendon irritation etc. from various causes, weakened musculature, resulting misalignments, shortened muscles, resulting misalignments etc.
Therefore I can only recommend to everyone who wants to improve his figure and his health, to banish the idea of endurance sports from his head and to switch to more strength training and if endurance, then short and intensive interval units!
Because I used to run a lot on the treadmill myself, I would like to say a few words about this popular training tool. Running on a treadmill is of course very tempting on very cold winter days or very hot summer days to spool down your endurance unit, of course, but what you should keep in mind is the following fact:
Running on a treadmill that is “driven” not by yourself but by the machine is unnatural as it does not use the entire “rear chain” of our muscle tract. During “normal” running in the forest, the propulsion must be done by ourselves and this propulsion is generated by the interaction of the entire “rear chain”. If, however, this “pulling phase” is taken over by the machine during running, it is not only unnatural and our running style, running economy etc. suffers, but also dysbalances are forced, which are anyway very often given in today’s time. This means that the front thigh musculature becomes too strong in relation to the rear thigh musculature and as a result, sooner or later there will be overload damage or acute injuries.
3.Since when has jogging existed in today’s sense and who was the “inventor”?
Jogging” in the way we know it today has only been around since the 70’s, when Jim Fixx as a “running guru” cheered on this boom with his books, many more followed. Jim Fixx died of a heart attack while running at the age of 52.
Sure, now you can say that’s just bad luck and one exception and exceptions confirm the rule, but as the technical literature has already shown above, it’s just not the exception.
I do not mean to say that “jogging” is basically bad, but one should critically question the scope and frequency of today’s recommendations.
See also the development towards ever longer distances and crazier competitions, see Ironman, Ultra-Trail, and much more.
(1) G.White, “Is Exercise-Induced Myocardial Injury Self-Abating?”, Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 33, Nr. 5 (Mai 2001)
(2) D.R. Swanson, “Atrial Fibrillation in Athletes: Implicit Literature-Based Connection Suggests That Overtraining and Subsequent Inflammation May Be a Contributing Mechanism”, Medical Hypotheses 66, Nr.6 (2006)
(3) M.Deichmannet, A. Brenner, N. Kuner, J.Wacker, V. Waldmann und H. Naher, “Are Responses to Therapy of Metastasized Malignant Melanoma Reflected by Decreasing Serum Values of S100ß or Melanoma Inhibitory Activity (MIA)?”, Melanoma Research 11, Nr.3 (Juni 2001)
(4) H.J. Wu, K. T. Chen, B. W. Shee, H. C. Chang, Y.J. Huang und R.S. Yang, “Effects of 24 H Ultra-Marathon on Biochemical and Hematological Parameters”, World Journal of Gastroenterology 10, Nr.18 (September 2004)
(5) M.J. Warhol, A.J. Siegel, W.J. Evans und L.M. Silverman, “Skeletal Muscle Injury and Repair in Marathon Runners After Competition”, American Journal of Pathology 118, Nr.2 (Februar 1985)
(6) J.A. Neviackas und J.H. Bauer, “Renal Function Abnormalities Induced by Marathon Runnung”, Southern Medical Journal 74, Nr.12 (Dezember 1981)
(7) M.K, Fagerhol, H.G. Neilsen, A. Vetlesen, K. Sandvik und T. Lybert, “Increase in Plasma CalProtection During Long-Distance Running”, Scandinavian Journal of Clinical and Laboratory Investigation 65, Nr. 3 (2005)
(8) D. Janigro, “Peripheral Markers of Brain Damage and Blood-Brain Barrier Dysfunction”, Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience 21, Nr. 3-4 (2003)
(9) H.Schmitt, C. Friebe, S. Schneider und D. Sabo, “Bone Mineral Density and Degenerative Changes of the Lumbar Spine in Former Elite Athletes”, International Journal of Sports Medicine 26, Nr.6 (Juli 2005)
All my recommendations or blog content are carefully considered and reviewed and are intended for healthy adults over the age of 18. None of my articles can be a substitute for competent medical advice. Please consult a physician before starting any exercise, nutrition or dietary supplement program. Especially if you have had any medical problems in the past.
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