Running Makes You Fat! »

Indiana winters can be brutal and force most people into the gym to get in their daily workout.  This is beneficial for me because it gives me great insight into how people think they need to exercise in order to lose weight.

The first group you see at any gym is the treadmill warriors.  This group spends anywhere from 15 to 60 minutes on the treadmill with varying intensities and wackiness.  Yesterday I saw someone walking backwards with the treadmill at a 6% incline!

Another group spends there time cycling from the elliptical machine to the rowing machine, to the cycles, and back to the elliptical.  Sometimes this group is even reading magazines or talking on the phone while “exercising.”

What do these people have in common?  For one thing, dedication.  That can’t be questioned.  They are taking the time out of their busy day to actually spend time working on bettering themselves.  But what if they could be doing it much more efficiently?

A 2006 study tracked 12,568 runners for a nine year period.  It wasn’t a pretty sight for those that use running as a means for fat burning.  The majority of runners GAINED weight even if they never quit running.   Read that again.  They ran consistently for 9 years and still gained weight!  The study found that the only runners that didn’t gain weight were the ones that significantly increased their mileage over the 9 year period.

Running just isn’t a great fat burning method.  I know I say this continually, but losing weight involves two simple things:  eating right and lifting weights (and you really) don’t HAVE to lift to lose weight.  But one thing is certain:  you cannot outrun a bad diet.

Some people can’t live without doing cardio.  And that’s fine.  But rather than the proven to be ineffective for fat loss traditional methods why not try something new?  Hill sprints, kettle bell swings, jump rope.  Anything that gets the blood pumping fast and furious and then stops is much more effective as a fat burning cardio workout.  And the best part is that you don’t have to spend half your day on a boring cardio machine!

So the next time you are in the gym smile at the treadmill warriors and instead of taking the open treadmill next to them head to the weight room and then finish off your workout with a mini kettle bell cardio workout.  It’s the best way to avoid being part of a study of 9 year exercisers that gained weight.

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