Saturday, February 6, 2010

Is Running a 'Waste of Time'?

If you believe an article (4-Feb-10) in the Telegraph, then yes: Millions of people 'waste their time by jogging'.

But, according to Runner's World, this is an example of overblown, misleading media spin by the British newspaper. The Telegraph was reporting on a new paper published recently in the Journal of Applied Physiology. RW quotes a report by LiveScience/MSNBC on the same study:
The researchers stress that exercise has benefits, regardless of whether or not a person can improve aerobic capacity. You can still lose weight, and other health factors such as cholesterol levels could benefit.
Dr. Claude Bouchard,Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Tulane LA, also told RW:
Running and other forms of exercise are always the right thing to do, because they can improve your health even if they don't increase your vo2 max.
What to do? OK, maybe I'm one of the 20% of the population who, whether I run 25 miles per week or 100 miles per week, won't see a huge difference in my vo2Max. I also know that regular running is no guarantee that I will avoid heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes, etc. But I also know that regular exercise carries many benefits -- it improves the odds that I will be more healthy for more years, it helps me control my weight (burning 100+ calories per mile is huge), it helps me feel better. What difference does it really make that I can never be an elite runner? I think I'll keep running -- it's not a waste of my time.

See RW's full report here: Peak Performance: Feb. 4: "Running Is a Waste of Time": Grabby Headline, Bad Reporting

Run well, y'all,
Bob
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