Cardio

 

If you don’t have a plan,
you become part of somebody else’s plan

~ Terence McKenna

 

And that somebody else’s plan, probably doesn’t give a shit about you.

Take “cardio”, for example. The need to do more, more, more of it, is rammed into your head from Instagram, etc. You probably even think huffing and puffing and pounding is good for you, healthy, safe, whatever.

It’s not.

Yet there you are, out like the rest of them, all of you in droves. I know this; the other night I overheard some people mention the “need to do more cardio”.

Yuck.

 

POPULARITY IS THE
CROWN OF LAUREL WHICH
THE WORLD PUTS ON BAD ART.
WHATEVER IS POPULAR
IS WRONG.

~ Oscar Wilde

Let me tell you why drudging along like the masses, has nothing to do with being “healthy”.

Remember when Ron Bergundy in Anchorman called it the fad of “yogging”? He’s right; unfortunately, however, it’s a fad that’s lasted wayyy too long.

The saneness of repetitive, breathless “exercise” needs to be questioned. Now.

 

Let me define cardio, or cardiovascular exercise, so that we’re on the same page as we begin the investigation.

Lots of “cardio” spells catabolism.

Catabolism

Lots of cardio = catabolism =
Less muscle = lower metabolism =
Fat gain

Most people think the opposite:

Lots of cardio =
more calories burned =
weight loss

Shouldn’t this be the right equation?
Well, it would be, however, you are leaving out one very important component — hormones.

Lots of cardio =
elevated cortisol,
decreased T3 (active thyroid),
and increased estrogen
(fat storing hormone) =
Muscle breakdown +
lower thyroid function =
FAT gain and muscle loss.


Billy Craig of The Science of Health Deduction, echoes Deering, in “Enduring Endurance Exercise”, stating that:

“Studies seem to show that, particularly in women, endurance exercise chronically shuts down the production of the thyroid hormone triiodothyronine (T3) (Baylor and Hackney, 2003. Boyden, Pamenter, Rotkis, Stanforth & Wilmore, 1984).”

But the problem remains two fold: the need for recognition that low thyroid function very often can provoke menstrual problems, and the need for recognition, too, that hypothyroidism may be present despite laboratory tests suggesting it is not.

~ Broda Barnes

Ray Peat, Ph.D. Biologist, and researcher of aging, nutrition, and hormones, discusses the “slow heart rate” of long-distance runners and the implications of hypothyroidism from excessive stress:

“There are now many people who argue that a low metabolism rate, a low body temperature and slow heart beat indicate that you live a long time: “your heart can only beat so many times.” Most of these people also advocate “conditioning exercise,” and they point out that trained runners tend to have a slow heart rate. (Incidentally, running elevates adrenaline which caused increased clumping of platelets and accelerated blood clotting. Hypothyroidism–whether preexisting or induced by running–slows the heart rate, raises the production of adrenalin, and is strongly associated with heart disease, as well as with high cholesterol.”

Further:

“I’m not sure who introduced the term “aerobic” to describe the state of anaerobic metabolism that develops during stressful exercise, but it has had many harmful repercussions. In experiments, T3 production is stopped very quickly by even “sub-aerobic” exercise, probably because of the combination of a decrease of blood glucose and an increase in free fatty acids. In a healthy person, rest will tend to restore the normal level of T3, but there is evidence that even very good athletes remain in a hypothyroid state even at rest. A chronic increase of lactic acid and cortisol indicates that something is wrong. The “slender muscles” of endurance runners are signs of a catabolic state, that has been demonstrated even in the heart muscle. A slow heart beat very strongly suggests hypothyroidism. Hypothyroid people, who are likely to produce lactic acid even at rest, are especially susceptible to the harmful effects of “aerobic” exercise. The good effect some people feel from exercise is probably the result of raising the body temperature; a warm bath will do the same for people with low body temperature.”

And:

“Besides fasting, or chronic protein deficiency, the common causes of hypothyroidism are excessive stress or “aerobic” (i.e. anaerobic) exercise, and diets containing beans, lentils, nuts, unsaturated fats (including carotene), and undercooked broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and mustard greens. Many health conscious people become hypothyroid with a synergistic program of undercooked vegetables, legumes instead of animal proteins, oils instead of butter, carotene instead of vitamin A, and breathless exercise instead of stimulating life.”

My doctor told me that jogging
could add years to my life.
I think he was right.
I feel ten years older already.
~ Milton Berle
 

In a piece called “Can Endurance Exercise Really Cause Harm?”, Gary Huber details some research on endurance exercise:

“A 25-year review of autopsies in military recruits by Eckart showed a higher than expected rate of nontraumatic death at 13 per 100,000 recruits per year.8 86% of these deaths were related to exercise. Of those determined to be cardiac in origin, 61% were secondary to coronary artery pathology. The surprising finding is that despite autopsy, 35% of deaths determined to be nontraumatic sudden death were idiopathic. Another 20% of the cardiac deaths were diagnosed as myocarditis.

“Endurance training clearly taxes liver function, as demonstrated by the Moncada-Jimènez study wherein endurance athletes completing a duathlon demonstrated endotoxemia in 50% of participants.”

What?!?!

No doubt, some people do dig steady, long doses of pounding the pavement. If you’re one of those, don’t let us tell you not to!

But if you’re doing endurance exercise
only because you believe
the claim: “it’s healthy”,
some empirical skepticism might be handy.

This calls to mind Robert Anton Wilson’s:

Belief is the death of intelligence.
As soon as one believes
a doctrine of any sort,
or assumes certitude,
one stops thinking
about that aspect of existence.

Add perhaps, another thinker’s thoughts:

Every kind of culture in this country is dedicated to self-improvement.
Why do some people go to the opera or the symphony?
Only a small fraction of the audience goes to the symphony to enjoy it.
The rest go to be seen there and to see themselves there because that is culture,
that is doing what is good for you.
Take jogging, that deplorable practice.
It is a very nice thing to run and go dancing across the hills at a fast speed,
but we see these joggers shaking their bones,
rattling their brains, and running on their heels. 

There is a grimness about it because it is so determinedly good for you. 
~ Alan Watts

I think physical activity itself, born of moving through life as if it were simply play, is the opposite of grim, and the opposite of unhealthy.

But “jogging”? Get the fuck out of here.

 

______

Look, I admit, there are some people who are “born to run”…

At least some people seem born to run fast (as Watts said).

Like Eric Liddell, a 100m and 400m Olympic sprinter.

(below: a scene from Chariots of Fire)

Dashing aside (I adore dashing), it seems that it’s the arbitrarily designed, result-oriented, “cardiovascular fitness” programs, which are hyper-marketed as cure-all, that get people into sloppy trouble.

These types of “cross-training” classes, led by any “certified” screaming robot with a whistle & stopwatch, can seem healthful… but mass appeal can often be murderously wrong.

So when you attend your next workout, ask, “What is it that I really want out of this?” If it’s to flirt with the human in Lulu yoga pants next to you, proceed. However, if it’s peace of mind, abs people can see through your shirt, and a flavorful attitude that you desire, then perhaps leave immediately – and go by yourself into the country for a stroll.

(Zenso and some coffee)

More?

More studies and opinions pointing to the pitfalls of “cardio” or endurance training – like ones previously referenced – are not hard to dig up. But you’ll have to sort through [LOTS of] the bullshit first.

Thoughtless bone-jolting – aka exhaustive exercise – may be what you’re used to; it sure seems that it may be what people in your circle have said is “good” for you.

When we last searched #cardio on Instagram we got over 17 million results!

Again, “cardio” seems to be, basically, just another [unnecessary] stressor, added like a crushing weight to people who seem to be already overstressed.

In Deering’s book How To Heal Your Metabolism, she writes:

In a stressed body with a damaged metabolism, exercise can cause more harm than good. We have to remember: Exercise is stress.

She comments that intense exercise can offer great benefits “when the body is healthy, not when you are suffering from lack of sleep, an 80-hour workweek, digestive-upset, no sex drive, and/or a cold… Adding exercise will only contribute to more stress, and this will inhibit the healing process.”

A post from Deering’s Facebook page (about a week ago), can sum up Part 1 of this topic. She heard someone say the following:

“I splurged last night
and had dessert and wine,
I need to do an extra hour of cardio today
to burn off the additional calories.”

Deering’s response:

“Sigh…

Sadly, the theory of exercising/burning your additional calories away by cardiovascular exercise is an ineffective and misrepresented approach to losing weight (long term), increasing metabolic rate and producing a healthy body.”

Why?

A few reasons (she writes):

1. Increasing exercise time (especially cardio) to burn calories will create metabolic efficiency in the body. Thus, this approach, long term will actually SLOW your metabolism making it harder for you to “burn” calories.

2. If you overconsumed calories from the night before, whatever you did not utilize as energy, repair, muscle growth, etc, will get stored as fat. Exercising more to burn calories will first utilize stored glycogen as energy, after glycogen is used, the body will burn a combination of not only fat but also MUSCLE.

3. Relying on exercise to burn your calories vs just having a high metabolic rate to utilize more energy, creates an unhealthy relationship with not only exercise but with the food you are eating. You feel you have to “earn” your  calories and “pay back” with exercise. You end up not enjoying the food with the fear of having to workout extra hard the next day.”


The population appears to be generally inflamed – maybe from mindless consumption, lack of leisure, etc.

That writ, isn’t it possible that many could gain more [health] by doing less [“work”]?

I think so yes!

By engaging mostly in the exact opposite of what $$$ interests say we should be doing, we may feel, finally and remarkably, okay about ourselves…  

 


~ Jiddu Krishnamurti

As the true method of knowledge
is experiment,
the true faculty of knowing
must be the faculty which experiences.

~William Blake

 

 

Notes

Article about scientists being human, and credibility of “research”:
“Big Science is Broken”, by Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry, April 18, 2016 The Week

A recent Instagram post of ours, re: Posture’s (or Acture’s) effect on endocrine function 

Some Tenets of enjoying Feldenkrais Method

Functional Performance Systems’ “Exercise” pages

Functional Performance Systems’ Ray Peat quotes

Laughter and diabetes: A study you might not laugh at

Danny Roddy talks with Haidut:

“This Year, Exercise Less”  by Katy Bowman

“Strength Training Frequency: Less is More Than Enough” by Paul Ingraham

“How to Successfully Shift to a Metabolically Supportive Diet” by Kate Deering

“Why Eating Like a “Celebrity” Will Ruin Your Metabolism” by Kate Deering

Kate Deering Fitness Facebook page

Top Ten Worst Training Exercises, from BreakingMuscle.com

Robert Anton Wilson – philosophical comedy:

The Ordinary Extraordinary‘s Alan Watts: Where It’s At”

“Fitness, Exercise, and the Feldenkrais Method” by Steven Shafarman

“The Flying Scotsman…” (actual footage of Eric Liddell taking Gold in 1924)

 

 

References

Baylor, L,S., and Hackney, A,C. (2003). Resting thyroid and leptin hormone changes in women following intense, prolonged exercise training. Eur. J Appl. Physiol. Jan;88(4-5):480-4.

Boyden T,W., and Pamenter, R.W., Rotkis, T,C., Stanforth, P., and Wilmore, J,H. (1984). Thyroidal changes associated with endurance training in women. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc. Jun;16(3):243-6.

Deering, Kate. How To Heal Your Metabolism. San Bernadino , CA: Kate Deering, 2016.

Eckart RE, Scoville SL, Campbell CL, et al. Sudden death in young adults: a 25 year review of autopsies in military recruits. Ann Intern Med. 2004;141.

Moncada-Jimènez J, Plaisance EP, Mestek ML, et al. Initial metabolic state and exercise induced endotoxemia are unrelated to gastrointestinal symptoms during exercise. J Sports Science Med. 2009.

Peat, Ray. PhD. www.RayPeat.com

Pfeiffer, Carl PhD. MD. Mental and Elemental Nutrients. 1975

Selye, Hans MD. Textbook of Endocrinology. 1947