By Rosemary Marchese
Physiotherapist and mum of 3 fit kids
Far Out, Are You Serious?
Quite possibly, yes. I am. Now, as you know I cheer for exercise. I live and breathe it every day. It’s how I start my day! But like anything, there is too much of a good thing and I am starting to see it more and more as we age.
Why? People are setting goals. Run a marathon. Do 100km walk with friends. Wow! Great goals, people! I take my hat off to you. Literally I do. But I think these goals and achievements must come with a warning. Extreme amounts of exercise, especially when performed over and over, could very well be ageing you and indeed not very good for you.
Let’s take a look at the marathon runner. They run thousands of kilometres over their lifetime. In the short term this can produce numerous amounts of health benefits not to mention the psychological gratification from achieving such a feat (I might get around to one, one day). But, when this type of event is completed over and over during a lifetime then research is indicating that this may not be a good thing. For a start, prolonged cardio doesn’t really contribute to muscle building and muscle helps preserve life. It helps keep us young. Just compare the ageing sprinter versus the ageing marathon runner. Who looks healthier? The sprinter! (Sorry, marathon runners).
When you do loads and loads of cardio without a proper balance of rest and muscle building techniques then you are prone to:
- More stress hormones circulating in your body
- Ageing quicker
- More injuries.
Is Exercise Ageing You?
- If you love the long cardio, go for it. Just make sure you balance in enough recovery, some resistance training and have a plan that doesn’t involve a lifetime of excessive amounts of ultra-endurance types of events. Do it once or twice, then tick it off your list perhaps?
- Make sure you are fuelling your body with nutritious foods, and enough of it.
- Drink enough water.
- Make sure you are guided by a professional who knows how to plan your yearly schedule well!
Rose is a Fit Busy Mum of 3 fit kids. She aims to empower mums who are time poor. She acknowledges that mums are ‘busy’ but tries to inspire them to regain their fitness through simple everyday habits that she promotes through her book ‘The Fit Busy Mum: Seven habits for success’. Visit www.thefibusymum.com.au