Sunday, August 9, 2009

Swan Lake, running in the drizzle, and why exercise won't make you thin.

My friend Linda sent a link to this Time Magazine article the other day. The reporter John Cloud suggests high intensity exercise (like running) may actually make it more difficult to shed those junk pounds. Despite spending $19 billion annually on gym memberships obesity figures in USA have risen dramatically since 1980. About 1/3 of Americans are medically classified as obese while another 1/3 are simply overweight and yet 57% of Americans say they engage in regular exercise. What's with the contradiction?
According to John Cloud, we often reward ourselves by eating after exercise. The higher the intensity of exercise, the bigger the reward! "The basic problem" says Cloud " is that while it's true that exercise burns calories and that you must burn calories to lose weight, exercise has another effect: it can stimulate hunger. That causes us to eat more, which in turn can negate the weight loss benefits we just accrued. Exercise, in other words, isn't necessarily helping us lose weight. It may even make it harder.". Go here for full article.
Hey I just ran 14 miles. Make mine a double-double. Oh, and a couple of those Maple Dips while you're at it. ;>)
I had a perfect 12 mile solo run this morning. I left the house at 7:50 hoping to avoid the imminent rain. The weather was absolutely ideal for running: 17 degrees Celsius, a little foggy with steady but light drizzle, and a titillating breeze to cool the effects of the moderate humidity. I turned my pace function off and just followed the rhythm of my heart; 140 to 145 beat per minute felt great, 148+ was unpleasant, and 138 too easy. I had three walk breaks and one pit stop at the St. B. My average heart rate was 139 bpm and my average pace was 10:15 m/m. I could have easily picked it up at any point, but in keeping with my new mantra, no runner ever injured themselves from running too slow, I purposefully kept the pace down. It was a good run; lost in my thoughts and enjoying the freshness of the morning.
Thought you might enjoy this video of Swan Lake performed by the Chinese State Circus. You've never seen Swan Lake danced like this! Makes marathon training look like child's play.
And a final note,
Our thought and our prayers are with Bernice and her family.
Take care out there on the life-trails; there's some slippery corners and steep falls. Best bring a friend.
Mike
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