Running in Circles

The concept of cardio is a common topic in relationship to weight loss and body composition. It is also very common to debate cardio vs interval training along with other callisthenic HITT versions of cardio, but often times distance running is what epitomizes cardio. I used to demonize cardio do to my previous dogmatic stance against distance running. My thought on the idea on distance running/cardio have changed albeit slightly.

To start it is a good idea to create a list of positives and negatives with some slanting to remain slightly dogmatic.
The good and the bad of cardio/ long distance running

The Good The Bad The Ugly
Helps relieve stress May create injury due to gait/posture May cause overuse injury
May help people lose
bodyfat percentage
Weight loss from cardio can be
perceived as BF% when often times it
is more likely water weight
Cardio has never been demonstrated
to be more efficient than interval
training at conditioning the body
for “realistic”(1) work output
Helps people have a goal in
relation to course distance
and time
Once a certain distance/time/course
goal has been demonstrated sooner or later
intensity or volume will need to be added
to progress
Too often people add distance and not
intensity. Interval training tends to
demonstrate greater achievements in
time for distances
Running distance can condition
the body travel at a moderate
pace for a long distance
Distance running tends to make the
higher threshold motor units behave like
slower threshold motor units.
Athletes involved in high levels of
cardio can lose their ability
to demonstrate power in various
activities until they lower
cardio volume
In the correct program you will gain
or maintain functional range of motion
Loss of mobility due to running only Chronic injury due to short range
of running gait
Some people were designed to
run/row/ski far
Some people were designed to lift
or throw heavy objects or run fast
or a little bit of each
Some people lack motivation
because they blame genetics 

(1) What the author defines as realistic work output

Taking the above slanted rubrics one would seem to be left with few alternatives when in actuality there are a myriad of things you can do that are and or can be aerobic and or anaerobic. I think the best way to describe the alternative to the monotony of distance running and or any cyclical activity would be to describe it as skill training most of which I can be describe as anaerobic and can be done by yourself.

Gymnastics Dance Rock Climbing Olympic Weightlifting

In conclusion, the goal of skill mastery can lend itself to a sense of accomplishment that is not seen in steady state cardio. A good time frame would be 30-45 minutes a day, 5-7 times a week. Distance running is not the some evil hobby. Distance running without some goal of getting a better time at said distance is the enemy. Rather than work for volume of an activity work towards mastery of a skill there in.The idea here is rather than to trudge along doing the same thing over and over monotonously is to obtain a skill and to learn something new along with the vocabulary there in. Within each section each group there are various skills boxing has a great variety of combination of punches you can throw at a bag if you buy a membership to a boxing gym you can pay a person to train you in how to throw a punch efficiently and break down the subtle intricacies of said combat vs getting into some version of cardio kickboxing that has no real carry over to real life. Gymnasics and Yoga have similar attributes where you can learn and perfect a new pose or skill all of which have a greater difficulty and a progression to the point where mastery of one skill leads into another. With the advent of the internet there is virtually no limit to the number of skills you can learn that that have various progressions. People want to help, and be recognized for their talent.

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