Why Jogging isn’t that great

As the performer and musician that I am, moving my body to the music has always come natural to me. There are some musicians who are unable to move to the music (I personally think that’s due to conditioned blockages of some sort, rather than a lack of feeling, but that’s another subject). Having chosen dance-aerobics as a child it was logical that my way into fitness was ETM (Exercise to Music). My motivation was expressing myself through music while burning calories and moving in all directions. A combination of art (beauty, creativity, feeling) and mathematics (reps, movement patterns, planes of motion). And of course the sass of it, the performance, the looking at yourself in the mirror posing appealingly and the leg warmers. So there I was, teaching Aerobics and Step.

As a good beginner, I always thought that sweating a lot and moving as fast as possible jumping around the clock would equal weight/fat loss (weight loss or fat loss were indistinct terms), and jogging was a great form of that type of exercise, mainly because it was simple and “anyone could do it”.

Now, like any form of steady cardio, there is an element of high-impact (i.e. having both feet off the floor at the same time at some point, even if briefly) that’s intrinsic to the definition. This takes a toll on your joints (knees, ankles, hips, lower back), overtime. The other problem is that while you may indeed burn calories (from fat or carbs, depending on the intensity of it), it makes you hungrier due to the spike levels in cortisol, and it can also eat your muscle fibres. What is worse, it may make your Type II fibres (anaerobic) behave as Type I (aerobic). Also, as the body gets used to it, you’ll need to increase the stimulus otherwise you don’t burn as much (i.e. you’ll need to exercise for longer to burn the same amount of calories). I had to learn this from people who knew better and then from my own experience overtime.

So, although Aerobics is good fun, do not overdo it. Instead, walk fast, do a kettlebell circuit, a conditioning class, crawl, climb, carry heavy objects (specially overhead – a favourite of mine is overhead walking lunges), and reserve the fun for sporadic occasions. Swimming and cycling are also valid alternative options. These are all forms of cardiovascular fitness that won’t take a toll on the aspects I’ve touched above, and you’ll still burn calories. Above all: WALK. You’d be surprised how many people aren’t able to walk properly for a long period of time. Such a basic survival, inherent locomotive activity to the human being, moving from A to B using your feet with the right posture and balance. If you aren’t able to walk for long distances, well… it’s not a good sign. So look at that first and foremost before doing anything fancier.

One size does not fit all, though. I am not saying that jogging is bad. I am saying that it is not that great. Depending on who you are, what you are made of, what your goals are, and how much you are willing to do to change, also different protocols apply. You can always contact me with specific questions here.

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