Cardio Carks - Overstraining On The Treadmill

Cardio Carks - Overstraining On The Treadmill

The Treadmill On a Family Backdrop

Barring a handful, every busy corporate (and his/her family) will rejoice and throw a party the day the treadmill becomes a part of the home equipment, just everybody wearing rosy glasses about straightforward, efficient aerobic workouts that shall henceforth take care of the accumulating calories. Dreamy discussions on indoor morning jogs also come up, some even going as far as strength and endurance building through interval training running on the mill. It is, after all, optimum advantage with a form.

Why The Treadmill?

It’s true that running on a treadmill generally burns calories faster than most other forms of in-home exercise. It is more effective than biking and often allows reading, music or television to keep the boredom out and stretch the exercising time-limits. And this is where things start going awry.

Ills Of The Treadmill:

A steady-state cardio exercise while watching TV or reading is a disconnection between the mind and the body. Besides, the metabolic response received is also low, which is further worsened by Cortisol, the stress hormone, released as a response to stress from the adrenal cortex. The hormone, besides being a stress regulator, also increases short-term memory; helps the liver remove bodily toxins and regulate blood sugar level. But in excess, it raises blood pressure, lowers bone density, reduces protein synthesis in the body and prevents tissue growth. It is noticed to go up whenever the body is stressed over 60 minutes; this will, at best, eat away at the muscles and reverse the effects of exercises. To understand it better, you must first understand the difference between losing weight and losing fat. Fat is lost when a higher metabolism breaks them to feed the muscles. This is healthy weight loss. Muscle is lost when the body breaks existing muscles and feed the body to cope with the stress. Cortisol is the agent that does it. Too much of cardiovascular exercises is thus, bad.

Reversing the Treadmill Effects

In this case, the rule of thumb is less is more. Cardio sessions must never go above 4 days per week, 15 minutes every day. And it must be a vigorous one.

Diet plays a major role in reversing high levels of cortisol but it doesn’t require any special food; all it requires is breaking up the day’s total calorie intake into small, equal parts. Thus, break up three (or four) square meals into 5, 6, 7or 8 smaller meals, with maximum calories going in during breakfast and with the post-workout meal.

The reason breakfasts and post-workout meals are given more stress is due to the Cortisol levels staying high during these times; this is when the brain needs more glucose. If the food doesn’t supply enough glucose, cortisol will break down muscle fibers to obtain glucose.

So focus more on proteins(40-50g) and simple carbs (50-70g)these two times; it will keep insulin spikes from striking and help clear excess Cortisol. As a quick tip: Cortisol levels are raised by caffeine; more than a cup of coffee a day may well trigger its levels up. The rest is about rest and relaxation, but that’s almost a no-brainer to find out.

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Reviewed By:

Dr. Kaushal M. Bhavsar (MBBS, MD)

Assistant Professor in Pulmonary Medicine, GMERS Medical College, Ahmedabad