Response to: Why Women Should Not Run

Posted: April 18, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , ,

I have fielded quite a few questions regarding this article that I shared yesterday, http://www.dangerouslyhardcore.com/5343/why-women-should-not-run/ .  This article does a great job explaining the energy metabolism issues associated with long slow distance cardio.  I am going to further explain the issues in how too much cardio can negatively impact overall health.

When we perform steady state cardio we are in the citric acid energy system or Krebs Cycle.  This energy system requires oxygen to metabolize fats for energy.  This is the same energy system we are primarily in when we are sitting around watching hours of our favorite sitcoms.  Steady state cardio increases our need for energy, thus increasing the amount of oxygen needed.

The increase in oxygen levels leads to an increase in reactive oxygen species (ROS).  ROS have been linked to numerous diseases such as neurodegeneration and the deterioration of tissues and organs (http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/360/1464/2197.short ).  To combat this oxidative damage we elicit the help of glutathione, our body’s strongest antioxidant.

 If we throw poor diet on top of it we may be leaving ourselves deficient in the nutrients required to produce glutathione and other important antioxidants http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22040003 ).  This decreases our abilities to fight the oxidative damage.  Also, nutritional deficiencies are a stressor!  Let us throw the typical poor sleep habits of most individuals into this mix.

If you are not getting 8-10 hours of uninterrupted sleep in a blacked out room this is you.  Our circadian clocks also fight oxidation through melatonin.  Melatonin should be converted from serotonin when the sun goes down.  However, from increased artificial light, stress, diet, and other lifestyle factors this does not always happen.  This leaves more oxidative stress left unchecked (http://robbwolf.com/2013/03/13/understanding-combating-oxidative-stress-huntingtons-disease/ ).

Long term oxidative stress is what ages us and causes us to die.  Creating excessive amounts of it from prolonged steady state cardio is a quick, and if you ask me not so fun, way to decrease quality of life and lifespan and in fact may make you legit nuts (http://robbwolf.com/2012/12/05/neurotransmitters-prolonged-exercise/ ).  Mix it up a bit.  One steady state day mixed in with some intervals, sprints, and weight training will work.  Get the rest of your life in check too!  You can’t run away from bad diet and poor sleep!

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Comments
  1. So after all this reading (& thanks for posting) I’m left with the overwhelming question –how to exercise right? There is SO much misinformation on the internet & even just speaking to someone who has their own opinion on it (because we all do). So- I’m posing the ‘blog request’ for your next well-informed, good-read: How to exercise right. For those of us who just don’t know 🙂 Thanks!

  2. Andy says:

    Complication of exercise is a major problem these days for the average person. There are advanced protocols, exercises, and periodization for advanced athletes and competitors; however, for the average person, the level of physical fitness required to be healthy can and should be reduced to very simple principles and exercises. Over complication of basic physical fitness is not only un-motivating for the average person, but it’s also just plain unnecessary and time consuming.

    So, what to do right? Lift some heavy things a couple times/week, preferably full body movements you are comfortable with (FYI, heavy can also mean your own body depending on strength levels), move fast 1 or 2 times per week (ie. sprint/jump), and just move instead of sitting all day (walk or stand as much as you possibly can). Aside from walking and standing, your workouts can be quite short, 30-40 mins/day for 2-4 times per week. Tie this in with your walking, standing, and solid Paleo style diet, and you are good to go.

    Just look at Kevin’s daily practice posts, they are simple, efficient and to the point.

  3. Sol Orwell says:

    > This article does a great job explaining the energy metabolism issues associated with long slow distance cardio.

    Quite the opposite.

    • No, it does a great job of showing the negative outcomes of running TOO much. Exercise is a stressor and needs to be curtailed to life so there is no one answer fits all for that. On top of that let us discuss biomechanics. 85% of people who run end up getting hurt, why? Improper biomechanics. This can be negated from sprinting.

      Anything over 1.5 hours may effect immune function, http://jap.physiology.org/content/103/2/693.long. I know plenty of people that run for that long. With all that said too much high intense exercise is not good either. We need to find balance between life and workouts.

      This is a compounding problem, especially with females. Low calorie eating and overexercising. Over the longhaul this will cause adrenal and thyroid issues

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