Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company. This blog is a unique perspective of one persons journey into fitness. Not all clients and participants at Parsons Training undergo the same training, and each person makes his or her own decisions regarding dietary discretions.
By Steve Sharpton, Parsons Training Center, Tucson, Arizona
August 5, 2017
If you look at the title, I’m sure some of you will have some issues with it. While we love to talk about weight training and flexibility training, we have to start talking about the other side of the coin….cardio. Now recently, I have been lamenting about my own issues with running, mainly in the realm that my legs have been having some stiffness issues. Throw in some knee problems and foot problems and even cardio problems, and you can see why I have been struggling both mentally and physically i this process. I have managed to stay positive by maintaining a good workout schedule, but I have gotten a little frustrated along the way. I saw an old post of mine where I ran six miles one night in 56 minutes, and that was only two years ago. Now I can barely run a mile without hurting or running out of gas. Now this is my own personal struggle, so please bear with me as I battle past this issue in my life right now. Either way, I have been working on other stuff while I try to figure out a way to regain my old running ability, for even though I have done a fairly good job of maintaining my quick cardio and my weight lifting, I seriously need to get this back on track. And why should I focus on running? I mean, when you have read all of the articles and testimonials, running is bad for you! At least that is what certain groups of people want you to believe. Pure propaganda nonsense is what I tell you. Here is the thing, like with everything in your fitness, you can’t just jump into the deep end without any training and preparation. Here’s how it went down for me. By the time I started running, I was maybe doing 30-40 miles a week walking, and the next logical step for me was the running aspect. I had lost 100 pounds and started getting proper running gear to accommodate the major change in my life. I will admit, there were a couple missteps and a couple bad ideas (like my last pair of shoes), but I managed to stay on the right track with my abilities. So let’s start talking about how running can benefit you!!
Okay, so like I mentioned earlier, a lot of people are going to say bad things about running. You will hear stuff like running will destroy your joints, they will mess up your hips and worst of all, it will lead you to bad eating habits due to the increased need for calorie consumption. Now I will not lie, some of these things can actually happen. However, the thing that these propaganda articles forget about is the fact a lot of these negatives can be remedied. Proper maintenance will be needed to maintain your running ability which means you will have to work on your legs frequently and properly stretch on off days. This also means you have to lose weight and actually get out there. Here is the biggest piece of truth you can swallow on the subject—don’t go out there thinking you can run 10 miles or something. If you start off just running a couple miles, then be satisfied with that distance and keep working on it. The biggest way to lose your love of running is to go too hard too early and then injure yourself due to the lack of preparation. That is why I am trying to ease myself back into running form…I don’t want to aggravate the tightness and lower back problems I constantly deal with. And let’s talk about nutrition. Sure, your eating habits might be altered because you will be increasing your appetite, but this is where discipline will be necessary to keep yourself from creating a stalemate. I’ll admit, this is the toughest part for me to overcome, mainly because I have issues with eating in general. Now that I have dispelled some of the most common misconceptions associated with running, let me tell you about the actual benefits of taking part in one of the world’s oldest sports. http://www.npr.org/sections/13.7/2016/09/14/493803246/is-running-good-or-bad-for-your-health Leave it to NPR to have one of the better articles about running. There are some variable that might affect your overall health, but the bottom line it seems from some of the studies being conducted that some form of running—an estimated 50 minutes a week—can reduce the risk of basic cardiovascular diseases. Of course, you would have to have a good eating regime to accommodate the health benefits of running, but then again, that is pretty relevant for all things physically oriented. And here is another excuse I have heard many times over the years, that running can hurt you long term and turn you into a gimpy old person. https://www.silversneakers.com/blog/running-seniors-try-jogging-older-years/ Well, studies indicate that as we get older, the benefits of running can steadily help with your longevity. Not only are you pumping more oxygen into your brain and keeping it healthier, you are keeping your body more vibrant. According to the article in the link above, multiple studies have concluded that doing some running every week can steadily increase your life expectancy. In men—who are notorious for not taking care of themselves—they add nearly six years to their life! And then there is really the most important detail for cardio…you need it to gain muscle! Now you might believe that simply lifting weights will be good for you, but you need that extra “umph” yo get you over some of those humps in your weight lifting. http://www.healthguidance.org/entry/11336/1/Importance-of-Cardio-Workout.html Many body building magazines and websites will recommend some form of cardio, whether you do the cardio asa “2-a-day” routine or do it on your off days, getting in at least 20-30 minutes of cardio would certainly help in your weight lifting regime. Think of this way. With an increased cardiovascular network in your body, you can increase your ability on the weight lifting side of the coin, using your extra lung capacity to do more reps. When you also do heavier reps, you have much better cardio endurance when trying to lift that giant stack of 45 plates during your dead lifts.
Now cardio doesn’t just mean you should stick to running, but running is an exceptional way of maintaining your focus. This is a great addition to any workout regime, mainly because you are providing yourself a chance to maintain good health and fitness on days where you may not feel ready to do weights. Running is especially good when you do multiple muscle groups during a single workout, kind of like what I do. In between your primary workout days is perfect for doing a little jogging. It gets a little trickier when you try some assorted “Push-Pull” workouts you see online and one of two of the days tell you to do a 2-a-day. Whatever the case may be with your workout regime, it still boils down to steadily prepping yourself to do the work. Right now, I have to take what I can get with my running, for I don’t own a running machine or a bicycle right now, which will be future topics w will talk about in regard to fitness. Plus, I ultimately want to get back int that running spirit, for Christa has now challenged me to try and take on a half marathon in December. That might be a hard goal to reach in regards to my current fitness, but it would be a good fitness goal for my 40th birthday. Either way, this is the life I am trying to regain, and I will be damned if I am stopped from doing so.
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Parsons Training is a Tucson leader in fitness and personal wellness training. Every personal trainer with this company designs and implements effective fitness programs for their clients; these programs serve as the foundation for good health, fitness, and wellness. Additional information about Parsons Training is available at http://www.parsonspersonaltraining.com
Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company.
About Our Blog
Steve, a Parsons Training Client, went from 400 pounds to Running half-marathons, from lifting pizzas to lifting hundreds of pounds through training with us.