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Long Runs Are Not My Preferred Form Of Cardio

Posted on 25 Jan 2017
Dr Ethan
Singapore
Consult Doctor
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Dr Ethan
Singapore
Posted on 28 Jan 2018
Consult Doctor

Myth: Long runs are a great form of cardio

I just had to address this one, as I've always struggled to understand why anyone would regularly do long, uncomfortable runs in the outdoor sauna that is Singapore.

Off the top of my head, there're only 2 good reasons I can think of for long runs:

  1. You love running as a hobby
  2. You're preparing for the army half marathon, IPPT and 2.4 km run etc

What about cardio and burning fat/calories? What about all those runners with lean, toned bodies?

I'm sorry to report that long runs are really not your best option for burning off all those calories from snacking on Chinese New Year goodies, for 2 simple reasons:

  • If you're able to run for an extended period of time, you're obviously not working yourself hard enough.
  • Long runs tend to trick you into overestimating the amount of calories you've burned, which results in compensatory overeating.

There're much more efficient things you can do as a form of cardio, that give you more bang for your buck.

This includes High Intensity Interval Training, swimming, rowing, spinning, and weight lifting.

If burning calories while simultaneously leaning up to get a toned body is your goal, you have to undergo some form of strength training. The most effective method of strength training for both guys and girls is weight-lifting at the gym.

I wish I could get more word about how pointless running is to the majority of people who use it as a primary form of exercise. I'd be rich if I got a penny for every time I saw a Singaporean pounding away aimlessly, day after day on the treadmill.

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