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Running: running, the worst way to stay in shape

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The maximum frequency - as opposed to the so-called frequency "submaximal" - is reached by the body at maximum effort.  This is not the way to practice sport, since it is counter-productive from a health point of view.

Running: running, the worst way to stay in shape

The maximum frequency – as opposed to the so-called “sub-maximal” frequency – is reached by the body at maximum effort. This is not the way to practice sport, since it is counter-productive from a health point of view.

The maximum frequency - as opposed to the so-called frequency "submaximal" - is reached by the body at maximum effort.  This is not the way to practice sport, since it is counter-productive from a health point of view.

©Adrian DENNIS / AFP

Anima Sana In Corpore Sano

Sports activity only has virtues if it is carried out correctly: running hard does not help to be in better shape for your health. Exercising on a regular basis is enough to feel good.

Atlantico: Researchers conducted a study on the effects of running on the human body. They compared two programs of 12 weeks each: one of 2h30 of running in two sessions at the weekend, and the second of 4 sessions of 30 minutes of more intensive exercises, followed by 30 minutes of lighter running. The researchers found that both groups saw their oxygenation levels improve significantly. According to their conclusions, intensive running would not be more beneficial for the human body. How to explain it?

Gerard Dine: Human beings are mammals, they are made to move. The balance between assimilation and energy production is very well done. With the sedentary nature of our lifestyles, accompanied by an unsuitable diet, we no longer respect this energy pattern. Men do not need intense physical activity to be in good shape: the main thing is that it be regular, that is to say, carried out three to four times a week over a total period of 30 mins to 1 hour. Energy production is regulated from the muscular work of physical activity.

One must be careful with the temptation of strenuous exercises. Indeed, the improvement from the point of view of health is not correlated with the intensity of the effort provided. Professional athletes are, in this respect, an example that must be taken apart. Apart from competitions, they practice 20 to 25 hours of physical exercise per week. However, this rhythm brings perverse effects, such as injuries or inflammation, which will take precedence over the positive side of the sport.

For a beneficial effect on health, physical exercise should be done three to four times a week, for two to six hours at most. Excessive stress on the muscles and the cardiovascular system, through intensive training, for example, should lead to monitoring.

If we only practice runninghow to be the most efficient, how often should you run for example?

To practice the running in the best conditions, it is first necessary to refer to its age. In addition, cardiac activity should not be pushed to its maximum: the effort must therefore be measured. The maximum frequency – as opposed to the so-called “sub-maximal” frequency – is reached by the body at maximum effort. This is not the way to practice sport, since it is counter-productive from a health point of view. The sport must therefore be practiced at a sub-maximal frequency, ie 20 beats below the VMA (maximum aerobic speed). Such a heart rate makes it possible to sustain physical exertion for an hour.

Walking is a good example. 30 minutes of walking, 3 times a week, already allow you to feel positive effects from a cardiovascular point of view, but also metabolic and musculoskeletal. Again, iYou should not move intensively, but move regularly. That is, 30 minutes every other day.

Are there other exercises to consider when you want to stay in shape, and practice a sport during the week (even if it means spending less time on it)?

All exercises that allow you to move are good for maintaining your form. We were talking about running, but if you have trouble running, you can also walk or cross-country ski. It is necessary to alternate sports called “carried” and sports “in charge”. The sports carried do not rely on gravity, such as swimming. The musculoskeletal system is not solicited. Running, on the other hand, uses gravity and helps develop this same musculoskeletal system. What is good in sport is to solicit the cardiovascular system. 30 minutes of gymnastics, for example, is good but it is not enough. Metabolic exchanges are not done optimally.

Conversely, if one pushes one’s physical effort too violently, what are the risks to which one exposes the human body, whether at the level of the muscles, the heart, or even at the level of the joints?

This is the problem of intensive sport. Inadequate stress on the cardiovascular system is not recommended. Physical activity practiced too intensely attacks the musculoskeletal system. In the same way, the joints and all that goes with them are damaged. When you’re not trained, it’s not good. The activity must be adapted to its ability to withstand the effort. The wound is near. The most common cases are muscle tears. In addition, unsuitable equipment can cause tendonitis. This is especially the case for runners who wear the wrong shoes and can injure their foot. However, all these examples only concern excessively intense practices: a sports activity of 30 minutes 3 times a week does not present any risk.

When you play sports or resume physical activity, you must be supervised by a teacher or a coach who guides you in your exercises.



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