Cardio is bad for you.
I was told today that I can’t be interviewed on a podcast about my new book, RUN YOUR FAT OFF, because I would contradict other guests on the show who have talked about the dangers of excessive cardio. This is what I was told:
“We have to ensure we stay close to our messaging. We have so many experts on the show talking about the potential damage from excessive cardio and running, I think it would be a negative for us (you and us) to have you on the show, because it would come across as contradictory. I hope you understand.”
Seriously? So I can’t be on a podcast because I may contradict what others have said?
There is a MOUNTAIN of evidence to show the many physical, psychological, and cognitive benefits of running and other cardio. To be fair, there is some research to suggest that large amounts of endurance training—like running many marathons and ultramarathons over many years—can cause fibrosis of the heart, but that is true for such a small percentage of the population that exercises. Most people will not do any damage to their heart by running, and quite the contrary is true: Running (or other aerobic exercise that sustains a high heart rate) is EXCELLENT for your heart, making it a larger and stronger pump and increasing its stroke volume and cardiac output. Make a bigger, stronger heart and you make a healthier person. Because you cannot live very well or very long without a healthy heart.
This is just the latest issue that has been served on my plate from the fitness industry. The fitness industry really has a problem. They tell people want they want to hear (like cardio is not good for you), make exaggerated claims (lose 10 pounds in 10 days with Diet X), and people talk through their asses without any education behind what they say. I’ve had enough.
If I weren’t so deeply passionate about running and what it can do for a person’s life, I would seek a career in a different industry. That’s one big thing I miss about being in academia. I miss being surrounded by very intelligent, highly-educated people, who seek the truth through experimentation and hypothesis testing. That doesn’t mean that all fitness professionals don’t know what they’re talking about. Certainly there are. But not having someone on a podcast because his message contradicts what previous guests on the show have said is ridiculous, especially when that person has the body of research to back it up.
It’s going to be hard to spend the next 30 to 40 years dealing with crap like this. I hope you get my new book to learn the truth about weight loss, calories, metabolism, and running. It’s worth a read. I donate ten percent of sales to the American Heart Association in memory of my father and Susan G. Komen for the Cure in memory of my mother.