“Cardiovascular activity adds an average of three years onto your life and can help prevent heart disease and diabetes”.
We see this promoted all over our industry and though it is well-meaning it is wrong. It is wrong in a very destructive manner. The problem is when we correct the result reads like a nit-picking, unnecessary re-arrangement/re-explanation.
Cardiovascular activity, which basically means doing anything other than sitting still, doesn’t “add” anything to your life. Research evidence shows us (as does basic understanding of physiology):
“Being sedentary (a lack of cardiovascular activity) removes health”.
This is to say moving around is a requirement for living like breathing, eating, sleeping etc. Just as you may not be eating enough of certain nutrients likewise you may be not moving around enough. Eating extra nutrients past the point of basic needs does not give you super health. You can’t get ‘extra’ health from more nutrients, more sleep or more moving around. You can only maintain your health. Your level of health is primarily determined by your genetics and outside stressors.
If you feel healthier from adding to your diet or changing it, you were unhealthy. If you feel healthier getting more sleep, you were unhealthy. And here is the point of this article…if you improve your health from moving around more by adding so-called “cardio” you were too sedentary and thus unhealthy.
This cardiovascular activity has nothing to do with exercise. It cannot affect an unhealthy diet or unhealthy sleep style let alone offset an unhealthy lifestyle in general (too much of the wrong types of stress).
Exercise…real exercise can protect you against outside stressors and minimize weaknesses in your genetic traits. Cardiovascular activity cannot do these things and there is zero scientific evidence to the contrary. Only those manipulating the marketing machine and those misguided by it will say otherwise. Unfortunately this misunderstanding permeates the majority of the fitness industry. It is why we see so much fitness “stuff” out there yet being out of shape is more the norm now than ever.
Be well, be strong…be informed,
Andrew and Tierney