We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
It is true that if you jog a mile three times/wk for a month you can add another mile the next month, and so on until you hit your limit (or the limit of available time). That's fine, but far from efficient endurance training.
It's good to see that the media is finally catching up with what exercise physiologists have known for decades: Mild-moderate aerobic cardiorespiratory/cardiovascular ("Cardio") exercising does not lead to much improvement (but it's better than sitting):
At the ordinary gym, you will see many people diligently, virtuously, monotonously, putting in their 45-60 minutes on treadmills, bikes, ellipticals, rowers. You will see joggers doing the same outdoors. They will not lose weight by doing that, they will not get stronger doing that, and it can only benefit (and then, only slightly) a damaged heart in cardiac rehab.
The American Heart Association doesn't tell you that. It's not their narrative. They are still telling people to avoid fats, so that tells you how out of touch they are.
More below the fold -
As in the other parts of the Conditioning Triad for Athleticism, Strength, and Endurance (Cardio + Resistance + Calisthenics), improvement only comes with intense stress of the physical components
involved. Thus, while overhead presses with 5 lb weights or walking 3
miles might be of help to an 85 year-old lady, it does nothing for
anybody else. There is insufficient stress.
Whileusing your body to do stuff(playing recreational sports, hiking, fast walking, jogging, swimming, etc) are fine things to do, they contribute little to improving conditioning unless you have been entirely sedentary (the modern euphemism for physical laziness).
We are not fans of distance jogging or running - terrible for joints
especially knees, and with minimal benefit unless you love doing it. I used
to do, and enjoy, a lot of it. I would run ten or 20 miles, with my puppy. Glad I quit it in time. Doubt it did me much good, and it gave my Lab early arthritis.
For efficient Cardio improvement, we recommend HII in the form of
10-20 minutes of maximum sprints of 30-seconds to one minute
(elliptical, treadmill, rower, stair machine, etc) alternating with 1
minute of lesser, aerobic-level intensity. Two or three times/week.
Twice a week if you also do 30-40 minutes of intense
calisthenics/week. That's enough Cardio unless you are a serious
athlete. Calisthenics themselves are high-intensity cardio - plus they
are other good things too. I love high-stress calisthenics but many of our readers
prefer weights alone.
Nobody wants to grow frail, doughy, and weak. We all want to maintain vitality, energy, get-up-and-go, and a positive spirit. Overall, the key to
conditioning improvement is to attack exercises with full aggression if
not ferocity for max stress. I try to connect with my inner predator
when I exercise, imagining that survival is on the line. A more passive, putting-in-your-time approach may help
with maintenance, and there is nothing wrong with that if drudgery with minimal gain is
what you want.
The general principle of "Use it or lose it" applies. Goals of
maintenance are different from goals of improvement so if you just want
to keep being able to hike 12 miles or to ski at age 90, you just have
to keep moving or you will end up with one of these sooner than you wish
Pic on top is the evil, evil, stair mill. Ten minutes of intervals
on that thing is a bitch and a half and far more stressful that an
aerobic hour on the elliptical.
Agree with the comments about diet playing a bigger role in fat loss than exercise - you can't outwork a crappy diet. I love to eat and what usually happens is that I can add more work to accommodate some dietary indiscretion, but trying to add too much exercise to deal with really bad dietary habits doesn't work long term.
RE The StairMill or StepMill a.k.a. The Gauntlet: Holding onto the hand rails on this machine (or any other machine) takes a SIGNIFICANT amount of bodyweight off of the legs and significantly reduces the work done.
"unless you have been entirely sedentary"--Never underestimate how many people this category includes. If you've been sedentary, you absolutely will get stronger if you do 45 minutes a day of low-intensity treadmill drudgery, and it may be all you're up to for a while, especially if you're significantly overweight (a condition BD doesn't understand in his bones!). This isn't just 85-year-old ladies--it was me last fall. It's lots of people.
Now I'm graduating to a more HIIT approach, as is appropriate for my lower weight and increased strength. But I still do 4-5 miles a day jogging or walking, including taking out a bunch of dogs one at a time. The walking is easy, but gets me off the couch at regular intervals. The jogging is still strenuous enough to be a challenge, even though it's only about 20 minutes a day. When it gets easy, I'll replace it with something else.
Throughout all this, calorie control was key. I was eating 2-3 times as much as I should. Sure, I needed to get stronger, but getting lighter was more urgent.
HII is great, I agree. I just wonder if you have much notion what "high intensity" means to a lot of sedentary fat people. Sadly, it includes an initial period of the boring, low-intensity cardio that seems like such a waste of time to you! But of course I completely agree with you when it comes to a useful program for relatively fit people. The data seem pretty convincing there.
I did calisthenics and aerobics for years, but it wasn't until I took a HIIT "challenge" that my body began to improve. The funny thing is that I never sweated so much or felt so sore doing aerobic exercises as I do now with HIIT. It's a complete lifestyle change and one I would also recommend. Finding a group setting (for accountability) with an instructor that knows there stuff is key. I'll never go back to the old ways.