I was all set to post about this new web service thing I found this morning, but I’ll come back to that another day. Instead, I’m thinking about this article that demonizes steady state cardio. It has the oh, so provocative title of “Why Women Should Not Run.” It’s well cited, includes a lot of scientific and anecdotal evidence and, frankly, makes a lot of sense.
The long and the short of it is that our bodies are genetically programmed to survive and will adjust to burn LESS energy if we spend a lot of time exercising at or above 65% of our max heart rate, which our bodies see as useless expenditure of energy. And so it actually LOWERS our metabolism. HOLY SWEAT DEPOSITS, BATMAN! This happens to men too, but not to the same extent.
The answer is not, as you might suppose, not exercising. We see well enough on every corner of our country how THAT doesn’t work.
No, the answer is high intensity interval training and weight lifting. Exactly the kind of thing I’ve been doing with the Spartacus Workout (and need to get back to more seriously). None of this sweating for HOURS at the gym, killing ourselves on cardio machines (which is hella boring anyway). 30-35 minutes of HIIT and/or weights, a few times a week. Half an hour.
Everybody can fit that in.
As I’m getting ready to gear up to take charge of my weight again (I keep gaining and losing the same 3 pounds since Christmas), I needed this reminder that I don’t have to get up any earlier (praise the lord). I just need to change up what I’m doing. Instead of all these days of cardio (I’ve been doing intervals but not as high intensity as I should) that I’ve done because it’s sort of automatic and allows me to watch TV, I need to get back to my weight lifting and mix that up with shorter bursts of tabata training. I can throw up some of the MASSIVE backlog of DVRed cooking shows while I do that since I don’t actually have to fully pay attention to those.
So I’m armed with a new tracking app on my phone to actually track daily weight (not to obsess over, but to sort out what foods tend to cause an inflammatory response–I’ve recently discovered beef is one of them…blah). We all know I’m a sucker for data and charts. And we’ll see how it goes!
This post makes me very happy. 🙂
I’ll wait to hear more about your experience with The Diet before jumping in but it makes sense to me, along with the tabata. The reason it makes sense is two months ago I was basically doing short bouts of intense activity and eating whatever I wanted minding portion size and staying away from things most sources hailed as healthy. (they weren’t healthy for me as I noticed headaches, aches and pains, lethargy, crash and burns, etc.) I began losing weight steadily. 10lbs the first week then 3-5 the next few weeks. When I changed this routine (we moved) and went back to the healthy diet and work out, I gained weight. HELLO! I figured something was up and kept thinking about how women’s bodies go into famine mode when it feels threatened. So yeah, this makes sense to me. And YAY!