Tuesday Tip: Too much aerobic fitness? 🏃🏼♀️
There’s been a lot of discussion in recent years about whether or not too much aerobic fitness and training may actually be bad for you. There’s been a shift away from cardio to a focus on resistance/weight training only. There are claims that high levels of aerobic training (cardio) can damage the heart and reduce longevity.
But is that really the case and if so should be be concerned about doing large amounts of cardio/aerobic fitness training?
A recent study, the largest of its kind, with over 120,000 participants seems to suggest that actually the reverse is true. It tracked people over many years and found that aerobic fitness was indeed, as many hoped, related to disease prevention and overall longevity.
Most importantly, they did not find an upper limit where more aerobic fitness was actually worse for longevity or detrimental to health. This shows that while there are certainly examples of endurance athletes doing extreme things to push their
body that may be unhealthy and cause damage, these are the outliers. It should always be remembered that what people do at the extreme end of sports is almost always done for maximum performance, not health. For the majority of people more aerobic training isn’t harmful.
The study also showed that all levels of aerobic fitness above the lowest levels saw a longevity benefit. You don’t have to get to the highest levels to still add years and health benefits. So if you enjoy it then do it! If you don’t do any then try to add some in. If you are pushing yourself to do more and more at the expense of your enjoyment and it’s leaving you exhausted, and excessively hungry then obviously pull back a bit.
If your primary goal is to use fitness as a tool to live a longer, healthier life, including aerobic training as part of it is absolutely essential. And in this case, more actually is always better.