So, my good friend Ali (3rd year med student at Emory) took offense to my blog yesterday that dissed straight cardio and running. Also a little known fact: don’t ever call it “jogging” in front of a runner, because they will rip you a new a-hole. As a future doctor and marathon runner, I guess she knows what she’s talking about, so I amended the post to be less one-sided and more informative. She also brought up a good point when it comes to medical articles and fitness articles; you shoud always check your sources, and the sources of the authors. Even though MSN reported on something, not citing their source could mean that the study hasn’t been published yet, had unusual results, or all the facts simply weren’t published.
Thank you Ali. In her defense of cardio, she has come up with the five best reasons why you should be doing 20-30 minutes of cardio (even just straight running) at least 3 times a week. See, my last blog was biased because running bores me. However, for others it’s a great way to start your day, get away from reality for 30 minutes, and stay in shape. Without further ado, here are those reasons!
1. Running really is one of the most efficient ways to burn calories, both time-wise and money-wise. You burn approx 100 calories per mile (regardless of pace) AND all you need is a good pair of shoes, no other equipment of gym membership necessary. The basis of weight loss involves expending more calories than you absorb. Each mile gets you closer to a better body!
2. Reduced risk of cardiac disease Nobody likes heart disease, especially your heart. Why not have a healthy heart, and live far longer, spend less time in the hospital, and don’t spend nearly as much money on health care? If you want the boring proof on this, here is your article.
3. Running gets you high. Running causes some pain, which causes endorphins to be released. Endorphins activate the same chemical receptors as morphine (and heroin), so you get a little high, and it makes you happy. Plus, you don’t have to deal with the whole extremely drug-addiction, arrest thing…so you got that going for you, which is nice. You’ll also have more energy which will allow you to concentrate better during those marathon sessions in WoW.
4. Running is a weight-bearing exercise, so it promotes bone growth. This is especially important for women. Stronger bones = happy bones = happy people.
5. Improving cardiovascular health (making your heart stronger, lowering blood pressure, etc.) will improve your endurance for OTHER exercises, like hopscotch and twister. Wait, what exercises did you think we were talking about? Pull your head out of the gutter! (but yes, it will help there too).
So there you have it, from the mouth of a marathon-running doctor-in-the-making. Even though there are millions of diet pills, stupid ab machines, and “NEW” workout plans that will make you lose weight faster than anything in the past…it’s all crap. What it comes down to is a consisten diet, burning more calories than you eat, and getting 20-30 minutes of raised-heart rate activity at least 3 times a week. Between yesterday’s blog and today’s blog, hopefully you see that these options are all variations on the same theme. Whatever you decide to do, DO IT, and stick to it.
Check back tomorrow for an interview with my friend Saint, a software developer who has lost 24 pounds (and counting) over the past 9 weeks.