Fluff Pieces In The Media – 5% = 100%

Kate send me Staying young with fitness by Joanne Richard asking me for my opinion on a specific section:

“Endurance running – and other aerobic exercise that relies on repetitive motion over a long period of time, such as stationary biking, or using a stepmaster – results in premature symptoms of aging: slower reflexes, shorter and weaker muscles, less flexibility, worn out joints, broken posture, and inflammation that takes hours to stabilize.”

Well, it’s true. If Adam or Tony made that statement I would agree with them.

But the statement doesn’t supply the context by which it is accurate and the article it is from doesn’t seem to shed any light on it either. So I conclude that it’s a dangerous statement REGARDLESS of its accuracy with the 5% of the population it applies to. I draw this conclusion from the fact that it is misleading and it the type of information that pushes people away from exercise that they may have considered doing.

Please keep in mind that the statement comes from the book The Happy Body by Jerzy and Aniela Gregorek WHICH I HAVE NOT READ. These authors and fitness professionals are well accomplished and the principles they encourage of a well balanced body through appropriate rest, relaxation, flexibility, nutrition and strength training are completely sound. This is true 100% of the time – eat, train and recover in appropriate amounts and you’ll achieve more of your potential.

My beef is with the lack of context in the piece that appears on canoe.ca. The most important thing a human being can do to improve their health is to move and move more. Nothing does the body good like moving it. Ideally, you do movements that take your joints through their full range of motion, you perform movements that are challenging for the body in terms of movement complexity and over load and you eat and rest for your activity level. But if you don’t do the full range of motion movements, you’ll never get the benefit of doing them. For this reason, if someone likes riding a bike, doing a step mill or running, but doesn’t like lifting weights, they should ride, run or climb stairs as opposed to stopping or not starting out of fear of the aging that will occur as a result of their endurance type activity they are doing.

5% of the population would likely benefit from decreasing their endurance activities and substituting them for more strength based movements. The other 95% of the population would benefit from doing MORE (or any) endurance training in spite of the “aging” effects of it. Carrying excess body fat while NOT having a strong cardio vascular system will see you age faster than becoming a decent 10 km runner.

Move now and become fit. Even if it’s movement that some gurus doesn’t necessarily agree with.