I see it daily in real world and on social media sites. People are running, walking, biking, rollerblading, skipping and some even frolicking through a dewy meadow. However, there still seems to be this fear or lack interest in men and women doing weight training to improve their health. Running and aerobic exercise will always seem to take precedent over lifting weights.
First I need to you to ask yourself is why are you running? If you’re running because you like to run and enjoy the feeling it gives you that are great, good for you. If you’re running because you have a goal of running a 5k, 10k, or a half or full marathon to say you did it and get this sense of accomplishment then more power to you. However, if you’re strictly running because you think this is the best and most efficient way to get in shape, get back in shape, stabilize blood sugar, increase or get back your metabolism, and lose fat (not weight) and keep it off long term……..well then you just might be misinformed.
I am sure you hear these two words quite often “In Moderation”. I have never cared for these two words because I usually see people use these two words as an excuse to slack off or because they are already going over board in regards to exercise and even food. We live in a society that many believe “MORE” is almost always better.
We want to have exercise not in moderation but in “Balance” running excessively with no concern for your muscle is not a very effective approach to long term health and lasting changes in body composition.
I see far too many people running, and running and running and they have no goal in mind but to run more and farther and this will somehow eventually give them the body of their dreams or great health. Will it? Lets see some of the effects of long term running on the body.
Effects of Long Term Running:
Good Short Term Effects
Has the potential to burn fat
Can improve stamina and endurance
Can improve speed
Can Improve mood
Can strengthen heart and cardiovascular system (if done moderately)
Bad Effects (Short Term and Long Term)
Breaks Down (Burn) Muscle Tissue (if excessive)
Produces Scar Tissue around heart (long term)
Raises cortisol and accelerates aging (short and long term)
Raises inflammation and oxidation stress
Destroys ankle and knee joints (if excessive and on a hard surface over time)
Comprises immune system
Causes metabolic damage
Decrease reproductive size and function
Effects of Long Term Strength Training:
Builds and strengthens muscles
Increases Metabolism and burns fat
Strengthen Bones and Joints
Strengthens other internal organs
Strengthens immune system
Increases and improves bone mass (helping prevent osteoporosis)
Helps prevents and treats diabetes
Helps prevent Parkinson’s disease
Increases Testosterone levels
Risks of Weight training
-More supervision is required as the risk of injury is greater.
-Certain exercises, such as lunges or incline bench press, can be difficult to perform.
-There is a need for lower back support, or strong back and abdominal muscles, when performing certain free weight exercises such as squats and or any standing overhead barbell presses.
-There is a lot more to remember about how to do each exercise safely and correctly.
-Free weights can seem intimidating.
Yet, all the above risks for weight training can be reduced or completed eliminated by working with a qualified and competent trainer or coach.
So don’t assume I am saying running is bad but is it the best and only thing to do to see great results in health and body composition? NO. Does it come with far more risks if done in excess? YES.
It’s not only my opinion but backed my science that the most efficient way to improve health, body composition (not just weight), and overall fitness is a BALANCE of resistance training, “moderate” cardiovascular exercise (i.e. 3-5 times per week for 30 minutes), and supportive nutrition. Balance is the key. If you’re running almost daily and currently not happy with your weight on the scale or more important the way your body looks and feels then you should add in some consistent resistance training and a proper nutrition plan. How much weight training? A minimum of 2 days per week full body is recommended to start but I would strongly suggest working up to 3-5 days per week.
Don’t know where to start? Need help with a properly designed resistance training program you can do at home or at the gym? I offer in person or distance (online) fitness and nutrition coaching if you dont live near me.
GET BALANCED GET RESULTS!
Your Fitness and Nutrition Coach,