Today, while driving toward my house I saw a fairly out of shape older man trying to jog. He was really struggling and looked in pain! In his mind, I am sure he is celebrating putting in the work and taking good steps to get healthy and lose weight but it was all I could do not to pull over and have a chat with him.
Conventional wisdom, both from reading fitness guru’s and scientific papers is that 85% or more of weight loss is tied to diet, not exercise. You simply cannot “Out-Train” a Bad Diet!!!
And unfortunately, for most, steady state cardio actually encourages weight gain (due to blood sugar drops, metabolism decreases and the “reward effect”) and doing something like jogging on payment, that is about as hard as you can get on pretty much every part of your body from your knees, hips and ankles, to your back, to your ears (yep, joggers can start to go deaf). It is in my opinion the worst place to start when wanted to “Move”.
May I suggest instead Walking … preferably outside and uphills as an awesome alternative!
Why Do you ask? I’ll Tell you 5 great reasons.
- Walking protects your brain – is prevents shrinkage, increases plasticity, wards of dementia and preserves memory
- Walking up hill protects your joints to the point that it has an actual positive effect on them it is the recommended form of exercise of knee joint replacement rehab. It also burns more calories than flat land jogging. What’s not to like!
- Walking boosts your energy – it increases circulation which provides oxygen to all of your cells without the damaging effects of jogging
- It wards off disease – Walking induces your lymphatic system to kick in which cleans out all your pollutants and prevents anything from getting “Stuck”
- It is very easy to multi-task – do it outside and get some vitamin D, check your emails, problem solve something at work, write your next blog or just enjoy the morning and be present … science shows that the brain will “shut off” having to think about moving your legs and free up space to work on other things in as little as 5 minutes of walking.
So, if you want to lose weight, let’s work on that diet, but if you want to get healthy, let do an exercise that you can sustain for much of your life that is easy on your joints, great for your heart, brain and immune system, and over time will definitely decrease your pants size!