Each Life By Design step bucks the trend of conventional wisdom, but none moreso than our disapproval of "chronic cardio". “That's blasphemy!” you say. Everyone knows that in order to lose body fat and get lean you need to do spend a lot of time walking the infinite steps to nowhere on the climber. Still not buying in? Go to the gym, take a look at everyone running, walking, cycling and rowing. Head back a year later and voila, no change.
How can that be? How can someone spend hours sweating it out in the cardio section and not lose body fat?
As discussed before, our body's genetics have adapted to our lifestyle over the past 40,000 years. Our hunter-gatherer ancestors didn't spend an hour a day significantly elevating their heart rates, but they did spend many hours walking at a slow pace using fat as the primary energy source. As such, our current physiology is set up to handle those demands. When you begin elevating your heart rate for extended time periods you start to depend on stored glycogen as an energy source and eating excessive amounts of carbohydrates to refuel that lost energy - completely backfiring your goal of decreasing body fat. Total up the lack of results, the inflammatory effects, the boredom and it equals a no-brainer - run if you love to, but don't fool yourself that it'll be your best fat loss vehicle.
Since the anti-cardio stance will be a difficult one for people to accept, here's the proverbial nail in the coffin: some good research suggests that not only is extended cardio not the best bet for fat loss but it may also be damaging to the heart, cause inflammation and heart disease! Now that should have you thinking twice before joining that running group.
The answer, again, is quite simple. By understanding the body's design, we can live congruently with it and reap the benefits of naturally and simply expressing our full potential. Remember: "You're human, not hamster".