Jogging and low-fat food will make you fatter and damage your heart

Now this is a sentence I never thought I’d type – I found a really very good article on the Mail Online this week (via Facebook).

It is based on a new book by Dr Charles Clark, a consultant surgeon, expert on diabetes and honorary research fellow at the University of Glasgow. The crux of the article is that two common activities associated with getting fit actually do more harm than good – jogging and low fat diets.

I was ready to jump to the defence of running but the advice is actually very good:

“Jogging is an excellent form of exercise when you are fit (but) if you are overweight with poor muscle tone, jogging is a fast track to ruining your hip and knee joints and put unbearable strain on your heart and lungs.”

This feeds right into something I have mentioned previouslyrunning is a high skill activity. It is not easy and if you are seriously out of shape you probably can’t do it safely.

Dan John has been quoted as saying “Squats don’t hurt your knees, what you are doing hurts your knees.” and the same applies here.

If you are just starting out on a mission to get fitter there are much better options. Look at the pros, their movement is smooth and they seem to glide over the pavement. Even if we will never be as quick, this is what we should aim for too. For a lot of runners that is far from the case – to be frank they look awful when they run.

No movement that is being done well ever looks bad. A rule of thumb I follow is to try and make every movement look as good as possible. If it looks smooth and athletic, then the form is ok. If it looks clunky and painful, it’s probably not. That’s not to say that all my movements look good, far from it – but that’s the aim.

This is demonstrated perfectly by picture they use of Boris Johnson.

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You can clearly see that both his feet are touching the floor. One of the key characterstics of running is that one foot is always in flight. Boris isn’t running, he’s doing a wobbly,fast walk thing with an exaggerated heel strike. He’d be better off lifting weights and using one of his bikes.

The article also has great advice regarding diet. Essentially that low fat dieting is a farce because the foods are so high in sugar – they have to be to actually taste of something. This extra sugar plus a generally high carb intake is the actual cause of people’s weight gain – sounds familiar.

Why mid-life health kicks can WRECK men’s bodies: Jogging and low-fat food will make you fatter and damage your heart

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