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NIFS Healthy Living Blog

Thomas Livengood

Recent Posts by Thomas Livengood:

Inspiration for Inspiration: Where NIFS Trainers Get Fitness Ideas

trainers-2.jpgTo begin, let us visualize a scenario: the sound of weights moving; bodies exercising yet moving in unconventional patterns; and grunts and groans from fitness enthusiasts, gurus, and wannabes alike. The setting is unlike any you have experienced, because there are hundreds of people, exactly like you, motivated to not only learn about fitness and new exercises, but also driven to get better (both physically and mentally) from a personal standpoint.

If you guessed that you were at a Fitness Summit, you are correct. Every year thousands of trainers descend into various summits around the world, all looking for professional development, motivation, and enlightenment.

Where Your Trainer Finds Inspiration and Education

Fast-forward a few weeks or months. Your trainer asks you to do the impossible: a single-leg pistol squat on a BOSU ball with an overhead dumbbell press. “Whoa, did you just say what I think you said?” or “Do you trainers just sit around and dream up these crazy exercises as a way of torturing us?” you may think to yourself. The answer to that question is “Well, yes, we do.”

From a professional standpoint, learning about new exercises is very important in making sure you are getting the best, most up-to-date information available for not only safety, but also results. When you aren’t here at the gym working out with us, we like to “sit around” and discuss new exercises, variations of exercises, new equipment, what works and what doesn’t work, and programming. Then once or twice per year, we drive to another city to meet with hundreds and thousands of other trainers who all bring their individual ideas. We actually learn a lot every time we go to a summit. We bring it back to NIFS and share it with you and our coworkers.

Other Sources of Workout Ideas

Other than summits, we read fitness journals and blogs, watch web videos, and meet daily to discuss what we have found. Watching other trainers train and other members try their own exercises from a distance gives us inspiration to try something new, or at least register it into our fitness library. But be warned: just because Suzy can do one-armed handstand pushups doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good idea for you to do it as well. If you see something and want to try it, ask a NIFS staff member whether it is right for you. There’s a good chance it is good for you, but if not, there are possibly several alternatives.

For an updated fitness plan or to try something new altogether, see a NIFS HFS or personal trainer to discuss your needs. We will provide the direction and motivation, and you provide the SWEAT!

As always, muscleheads evolve and rejoice.

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This blog was written by Thomas Livengood. To find out more about the NIFS bloggers, click here.

Topics: NIFS Thomas' Corner motivation workouts education inspiration

Goal Setting: What’s on Your Fitness Bucket List?

Do you have a bucket list? Your bucket list includes many dreams and aspirations that may be obtainable but take some effort on your part to complete. Items on a bucket list could include (but are not limited to) visiting other parts of the world, furthering your education, and even going to see your favorite musical artist in concert. All of these things are great, but how can you create a bucket list of ideas for your health and wellness? The answer may or may not come to you right away, but given a little thought and strategy, you can begin a good, realistic fitness bucket list.

Setting Your Fitness Goals

ThinkstockPhotos-497641362.jpgMy fitness bucket list was created using SMART goals. SMART goals were first developed in the early 1980s by George Doran in Management Review magazine as a way to be more effective in goal-setting strategy situations. The acronym SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time Bound. To tie this in with your bucket list, think about goals that may be a little adventurous or challenging, but not too easy. I would avoid having goals such as “go to the gym” and “stop eating cake” and include goals such as “climb Machu Picchu by the time I’m 40 years old” and “complete a marathon in less than two hours.”

What are your dreams and aspirations? Including fitness and wellness goals on your bucket list can have a positive impact on your health. Keep it fun and don’t forget about your short-term goals as a barometer to determine whether you are progressing toward completing your bucket list objective.

Get Help from a NIFS Personal Trainer

So, create your bucket list today. Refer to a NIFS HFS or personal trainer for assistance in taking the right, necessary steps toward your goals. Although your list can be private, sharing it with others can help hold you accountable. If you are comfortable in doing so, please share 1, 2, or 3 of your bucket list items below.

As always, muscleheads evolve and rejoice.

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Set your goals and get started! Schedule a free fitness assessment with a NIFS Trainer!

Free Fitness Assessment

This blog was written by Thomas Livengood, Health Fitness Instructor at NIFS. To find out more about the NIFS bloggers click here.

Topics: NIFS fitness Thomas' Corner goal setting health personal training wellness

Music with Workouts: Motivation or Distraction?

ThinkstockPhotos-499628790.jpgSalutations, NIFS friends. Picture yourself running across the finish line or standing on the winner’s podium at a major marathon event, scoring a touchdown in the Super Bowl, or even finishing up your final set of EZ Bar preacher curls. (Wait, what was that?) Now that you are wondering what I am getting to here, I must say that all three of those events have something in common, and that is the accompaniment of music.

Do music and fitness go hand in hand, or is the connection overdramatized in television and movies? One thing I know for certain is that when I work out, my music motivates me to sometimes give another rep or stick to my plan, when otherwise I could just as easily pack it in and go home. Here I would like to explore the undeniable links between fitness and music.

The Connection Between Music and Work

Although fitness, as we know it, is a relatively new industry, music and song have been intermingled with work (physical labor) since long before recorded history. There have been articles and studies such as “Let's Get Physical: The Psychology of Effective Workout Music” in the Scientific American online magazine which reiterate that music played in the workplace and workout place contributes to a more productive environment. 

This question has even made its way to the world’s stage, where individuals are prohibited from using personal music devices while participating in Olympic events because it has been shown to provide an “athletic edge” over non-music-listening competition. In essence, working out at the gym isn’t much different than many manual labor jobs, so it would make sense that the same benefits of music to workers and laborers would affect people who work out. Hard, driving beats in the music almost illicit our caveman/cavewoman mentality… beat the drum fast, work fast (Jabr, 2013).

Relaxing Effects

Music can also have a second effect on fitness. Many times it is used as a way to relax and meditate. Soothing ocean sounds make for enough peace and serenity to almost transport you 1,000 miles away to a sunny beach. An example of this type of music takes place in yoga class. The movements of yoga are slow and steady, yet precise. Calming music allows the mind to connect with the body, creating a relaxing atmosphere.

There is the dilemma; not every person wants to “head-bang” to heavy metal at 6 a.m., and not every person wants to take a 30-minute siesta to the sound of trickling water from a creek when their final set is about to go down. In fact, some people prefer that it be completely quiet, because it may be the only time of the day that they get away from the various noises and commotions that accompany day-to-day life in the big city. That’s precisely why the Sony Walkman was introduced in 1979 (and the modern MP3 version, of course); a milestone in human achievement. These devices are great for the music aspect, but not as great for communication and human interaction.

What Music Gives You Motivation for Workouts?

What music gets you pumped or soothes your soul? I know what is on my Top 10 playlist, and it consists of plenty of variety (but always starts and ends with something from the Rocky soundtrack). There are others, of course, but all in all, it’s what drives and motivates me to work out. 

NIFS, not surprisingly, has music in nearly every group fitness class, and in the free-weight room. In adherence to the idea that “not everyone wants to hear your Mega Mix Tape Vol. 2,” the fitness center is limited to personal listening devices only. In the comments, please share what music you are listening to right now to help you get through your reps and sets, or even your day.

Rejoice and Evolve,

Thomas Livengood

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This blog was written by Thomas Livengood, Health Fitness Instructor at NIFS. To find out more about the NIFS bloggers click here.

Topics: fitness center Thomas' Corner motivation group fitness workouts music

Never Give Up: Fighting Diabetes with Exercise and Diet

Diabetes is a very familiar topic for me. Being diagnosed with Type I diabetes in my early 20s (not far removed from being a collegiate athlete) has made a huge impact on my life and how I face every day.

Always being on the active side and loving the endorphins of exercise has been both a blessing and a curse. Exercise plays a huge role in fighting diabetes, not only in prevention but also in management. Some people who have diabetes are the unlucky ones with inherited genetics, while others develop it through lifelong lifestyle habits ranging from poor nutrition to inactivity. More often than not, we can take control of this situation and overcome the effects by following the guidelines set forth by our healthcare providers and by listening to our bodies. 

Countering the Effects of Diabetes

Covering serious health topics such as heart health and foot health, the negative effects of diabetes are vast. With limited options available, we must turn to good old Mother Nature. Healthy lifestyles consisting of proper nutrition mixed with a modest yet consistent workout routine provide your body the necessary tools to cultivate and sustain some resistance to the overwhelming complications of diabetes. From this, you can see that your best friends will soon be a good gym buddy or a personal trainer to help hold your workout routine accountable, and a myfitnesspal app or a registered dietician to help hold your nutrition plan together.

The Importance of Monitoring Glucose Before Exercise

You may say, “Thomas, this blog can’t be all sunshine and rainbows.” You are correct. There are underlying factors that make simple solutions to diabetes an even steeper hill to climb. Individuals with diabetes are affected by almost every food they eat and every rep and set of exercise they push through. High and low blood glucose levels from improper insulin dosage or other medication are extremely dangerous. The only way to ensure you are ready to work out is to utilize a glucose monitor multiple times throughout the day. This includes before and after meals, before and after workout sessions, and the first thing when you wake up in the morning (fasting) and right before you go to bed. That’s a lot of little finger pokes. 

Diabetic Neuropathy

Another diabetes-related issue is called neuropathy, which is basically the desensitization of nerves in the extremities. You may be thinking, “This is great; I won’t feel pain anymore!” But what you don’t know is that now you can injure yourself without knowing and make it even worse by not addressing the issue, which can lead to irreversible damage. From this, you’ll find that your new best friends are going to be your endocrinologist and your podiatrist.

We Are Here to Help

There are many other friends that you will make along the way, ranging from your optometrist to the friendly types encouraging you to stay on the wagon. My suggestion is to let them help you. Because diabetes is a road that is nearly impassible without the help of others, you will find each helping hand not only makes the journey easier, but lets you know you are not alone in your fight. 

For more information about how NIFS can provide you with the proper atmosphere and knowledge to succeed with diabetes, contact the track desk to speak with one of our certified and degreed fitness professionals. NIFS is also proud to offer a registered dietician who can help you make informed decisions regarding your diet plan.

NEVER GIVE UP

What did you eat today? Don’t underestimate the role that proper nutrition plays in your health and fitness. Contact Angie Scheetz ascheetz@nifs.org or call 317-274-3432 to find out more about the My Nutrition Coach app

Learn MoreThis blog was written by Thomas Livengood, Health Fitness Instructor at NIFS. To find out more about the NIFS bloggers click here.

Topics: NIFS exercise nutrition Thomas' Corner diabetes disease prevention

Video Game Fitness: Is the Trend Here to Stay?

iStock_000015738239_SmallSeveral years ago the Nintendo Company introduced its newest entry into the video game market with the Wii and hit game Wii Fit. The idea seemed bold at the time; graphics were all the rage, but the Wii brought a more simplistic design to the table. While focusing on easy-to-use controls and replay ability, the crossover to the fitness world was quite easy, yet revolutionary. Let’s face it, video games had become synonymous with, to put it nicely, deconditioned individuals. This new technology, however, allowed the gamers to interact with the games in new ways.

Video Fitness for All Ages

What I felt to be most interesting was that this video game phenomenon wasn’t just for 12-year-olds. We started noticing our parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles up and out of their recliners and actively working on balance, strength, and conditioning, and even hand-eye coordination as part of senior fitness. What made it work, though, was the fact that it was both simple to operate and at the same time addictively fun.

10 Years of Wii

Fast-forward almost ten years and we can still see this influence among all the major video game consoles on the market. With the constant upgrading of technology, we must ask questions such as, “How far are they going to take this?” and “How can we make the most of these technological tools to help motivate people to stay fit?” 

Although the future is uncertain, we can definitely see that systems such as the Wii are being used for good, purposeful exercise. The in-home system may be your end-of-the-day stress relief, but more and more laboratory studies are using Wii technology to train athletes and assess abilities. Physical therapists are now using the Wii to help individuals with issues ranging from developing balance and stability for the elderly clients to helping an adolescent with spastic diplegic cerebral palsy to develop movement patterns. 

Are Video Games Real Exercise?

Will video game fitness ever gain enough momentum to be accepted as genuine exercise and a good workout? It would seem as though it would be swept out by most skeptical fitness gurus, but we must be cautious when doing so. If the mission is to bring fitness to the masses, in a realistic scenario, skipping this vast population of typically sedentary individuals would be a huge disservice. The best solution, I feel, is to embrace the tools that we have and translate fitness in a convenient way. The development of smarter technology will only enhance experiences, in turn changing lives. This blog makes it easy to see some of the options that are out there. 

In closing, video game fitness is currently alive and well. Making fitness fun isn’t always easy, but it definitely does not have to be dreaded. Don’t get me wrong, your local health and fitness professionals are still going to give you the best, safest experiences with bountiful knowledge, but now we can develop beyond the two or three hours per week we work out at the gym, in the comforts or our own home and among family and friends. NIFS offers video game fitness opportunities in the nursery area for youth. Contact the service desk for more information regarding hours of operation.

Evolve and Rejoice.

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This blog was written by Thomas Livengood, Health Fitness Instructor at NIFS. To find out more about the NIFS bloggers click here.

Topics: exercise fitness exercise at home Thomas' Corner motivation balance senior fitness technology

Sleep and Athletes: Are You Missing Out?

Sleep can be a wonderful thing. Then again, when we oversleep, we sometimes feel more tired than we were when we went to bed. Is Mr. Sandman playing a prank on us, or is sleep even more of a mystery than we’re led to believe?

I enjoy my recommended 7 to 8-hour snoozes each and every night. For the average Joe and Jane, many studies link sleep deprivation to brain function, hunger control, and disease and illness prevention.

How Much Sleep Does an Athlete Need?

ThinkstockPhotos-78056869The question I have is, “Do athletes and individuals with higher fitness aspirations need more, less, or the same amount of sleep as everyone else?” Although not many studies have been conducted on the topic, the Gatorade Sports Science Institute published an article entitled “Sleep and the Elite Athlete” that talks about sleep deprivation in depth. 

The article is somewhat inconclusive in some areas, but it goes on to state that elite athletes can perform, but begin to decrease output at around 30 hours of deprivation. The main side effects were stated as being diminished cognitive capabilities. On a positive note, napping is encouraged for improved performance, even in sleep-deprived individuals. In summary, it’s safe to assume that athletes need and benefit from sleep and naps just like everyone else (Halson, 2014).

How Can You Get More Sleep?

You may be asking yourself, “What can I do to maximize my sleep potential?” The answers vary depending on the person. 

  • Know your body and your goals. Your goals, lifestyle, and demographic (age, gender, etc.) are the major factors of your individual needs. 
  • Set the right mood by ensuring your sleep sanctuary is nice and dark, and free from distractions. 
  • Try not to take your pre-workout supplements two hours before bedtime (the instruction/warning label will give you exact information on the subject). For that matter, any caffeinated beverages will hinder your ability to fall asleep. 
  • Start a sleep journal to chronicle your sleep behaviors. Indicate duration of sleeps and naps, moods, exercise production, and eating patterns to determine what works and what does not work for you (Halson, 2014).
One thing that we know for sure is we need sleep to live. It’s part of our everyday routines, just like eating food and blinking our eyes. Trying to make sleep a priority isn’t an easy task in this fast-paced society that encourages overtime and pushing deadlines, and puts rest, relaxation, and recovery on the back burner. In a previous post, we found that sleep, along with exercise and nutrition, is one of the pieces to our fitness puzzle. Without it, we cannot see the entire big picture. 

You can improve your fitness results with a healthy sleep schedule along with exercise and nutrition. For more about the positive impacts of sleep, contact an HFS at NIFS to discuss a sleep game plan. Lastly, take time for a nap; all the cool kids (at least those aged 0 to 5) are doing it!

Until next time, REJOICE and EVOLVE.

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This blog was written by Thomas Livengood, Health Fitness Instructor at NIFS. To find out more about the NIFS bloggers click here.

Topics: NIFS fitness Thomas' Corner mental sleep

Personal Trainer Lingo 101: What Are These Exercises?

Not long ago, we posted a blog entitled “Where Do ‘They’ Come Up with These Exercise Names?” in which I discussed some of the more bizarrely named exercises and provided a little background for each. Here I’d like to extend that process and discuss Personal Trainer Lingo 101 (aka “Where Do ‘They’ Come Up with These Exercise Names? Part 2). We have all heard fitness center lingo for workouts such as Pyramid Sets, AMRAPS, Supersets, and so on, but what do they mean? Some of them make sense; others, not so much. Enjoy!

Pyramid Settraninig

A pyramid set has absolutely nothing to do with building a stone structure in Egypt, but the method’s format does look similar to that of a pyramid when diagramed out. The pyramid set is a routine that is made of several rounds in which the reps decrease and weight increases each round until you reach the fewest reps you are attempting. Typically you would perform 10, 9, 8, 7, etc. until you reach one repetition. This is common practice for someone who wants a good workout without too much thinking. 

When you have completed your pyramid set, you can complete the workout by doing a “reverse pyramid set” by increasing reps per set and decreasing weight until you reach the original starting point. 

AMRAP

AMRAP is an acronym for “As Many Reps/Rounds as Possible.” This is meant to be a one-set-only bout in which maximal effort is given until exhaustion. Once your AMRAP is over (whether you are using time or effort as your end point), you will need to rest before attempting the same lift again. Many people like to do an AMRAP at the end of a workout to squeeze the last drops of energy out of their workout. 

Screen_Shot_2015-08-20_at_12.19.35_PMAs a funny side note, I like to think that if I were to give all my “might” on any particular exercise, I would therefore no longer have any “might” left and would need to take a nap to recover. The point is, even if you give all your effort, your body and mind probably won’t let you get that far before they shut down and you need to recover. As a challenge, Cara Hartman from NIFS shows a perfect example of this in her NIFS video blog series called Cara’s Weekend Challenge

Supersets

A superset sounds pretty fantastic! It is quite a handy technique that involves two complementary exercises working back to back in order to decrease rest time, promote calorie burning, and help keep your workout flowing smoothly. NIFS Intern Morgan Richardson adds, “For an awesome leg workout, I like to perform deadlifts followed by a round of plyometric box jumps.” Another example would be following your triceps extensions with biceps curls (or vice versa). You could say that would be “two tickets to the gun show,” but we will have to save that for the next installment of Personal Trainer Lingo 101.

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There are so many terms, phrases, and gym lingo that we hear every day. Some are pretty obvious; others make us wonder what the trainers were thinking when they came up with the names and concepts. One thing we do know for sure is that it is a lot of fun to talk about them and sometimes poke a little fun. Fitness is a serious matter, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun doing it!

If you have any Personal Training Lingo 101 questions, please post them in the comments section below. We would love to discuss them (maybe you can even stump the trainer!). 

Until next time, Rejoice and Evolve,

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This blog was written by Thomas Livengood, Health Fitness Instructor at NIFS. To find out more about the NIFS bloggers click here.

Topics: NIFS fitness fitness center Thomas' Corner workouts exercises

Should You Do Cardio or Strength Training First in Your Workout?

ThinkstockPhotos-477951991-newWe’ve all heard the saying, “There are no stupid questions,” but there are a lot of questions that take a lot of effort and thought to answer correctly. One such question comes to mind when we are discussing fitness: “What should I do first, cardio or strength training?”

I would say that sounds pretty cut and dry, and the answer would just be in a textbook reference somewhere, but solving this conundrum will not be so simple. When you put it in perspective, it’s almost like asking what comes first, the chicken or the egg? Both are necessary and complement each other, but the overall outcome of your fitness results could very well be determined by whether you do your cardio before or after your strength training.

Define Your Goals

While wearing your fitness investigator hat, first ask the question: “What are my fitness goals?” This will be a defining moment, because your goals will directly influence your cardio decision. Instead of thinking about what you are burning (carbohydrate or fat) to fuel your workout, think a little more about specific goals, such as increasing your cardiovascular endurance, decreasing body weight, increasing muscular strength, and so forth. 

Goal: Cardiovascular Endurance

If your goal is to increase cardiovascular endurance, the most sensible next step is to perform cardio exercise and vice versa with increasing muscular strength (Roizen, 2014). Although there has been some research on the topic, a 2013 study at the Life Science Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found that both walking and running were beneficial to good health, and went so far as to say that walking may be even more beneficial to good health (which is also a topic we will cover in a future blog. 

This makes it seem as though normal individuals with sensible goals can make their lives a lot easier and focus on more manageable ambitions, such as the aforementioned weight loss, etc.

Goal: Losing Weight and Gaining Muscle

Probably the most commonplace goal I hear as a personal trainer is, “I want to lose weight, and gain muscle.” How does that fit into our cardio vs. strength training riddle? Without spending a huge amount of time reading tomes of fitness research, alternating the cardio and strength order and doing various cycles is one way to make sure both of your goals are met and you continue to have a well-balanced regimen. Variety is the spice of life, is it not? 

I encourage you to continue this discussion in the comments area. As we go along our fitness quests, we do not have to go alone. A Health Fitness Specialist can provide some much-needed guidance, and can lend a helping hand when you need to be lifted back on the wagon. Feel free to stop by the NIFS track desk, or call to schedule an appointment today!

Rejoice and evolve,

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This blog was written by Thomas Livengood, Health Fitness Instructor at NIFS. To find out more about the NIFS bloggers click here.

Topics: cardio workouts strength personal training

50 Shades of Bruise: Non-Contact Contusions After a Workout

With an element of self-consciousness and a mystery to some, non-contact bruises due to exercise can cause some discomfort and become a deterrent to those who really need exercise but don’t want this side-effect. Typically occurring following an intense bout of exercise (such as a marathon), non-contact bruises appear even though the individual may not have physically injured the area.

Other types of bruises occur more often than not from some type of physical trauma. If you have experienced this exercise side effect or just are curious about the topic, we will take a closer look at the bruising phenomena simply known as a contusion.

What Causes Bruising After Exercise?ThinkstockPhotos-200380515-001

Several factors are associated with these developments, including age, experience, current medication, and genetics. Most bruises occur following a significant accident, fall, or surgery, but not always. Some bruises are caused by some underlying weakness in the blood pathways. The exercise (whether it is extensive “pounding the pavement” or “pumping the weights”) intensifies over the course of time, leading to a bruise effect. 

The bruise, usually bluish, purple, or green, is caused by small ruptures in blood capillaries that seem to develop near the recent trauma site and can be more or less serious depending on the severity of the injury. 

On a side note, people who are bruised due to being struck are only amplifying the issue by exercising. The bruise will go away slower, stay the same, or even get worse. Other issues other than bruising that come up include swelling and pain (WebMD, 2015).

How to Heal Contusions

The best remedy for a bruise is to rest the body part that is bruised. Applying a slight pressure wrap can be helpful. Normal pain management devices such as ointment and Tylenol seem to be the most common treatment for aches and discomfort. 

You can also look to a dietitian to see whether your diet is a contributing factor (MD-Health, 2015). People low in certain vitamins and minerals are more apt to the bruise effect. Your age and medications can cause blood to thin, leading to an unmerited bruise (WebMD, 2015).

If the problem persists, I would recommend calling your physician. If your physician feels that your condition is not serious, you can resume exercise when you feel comfortable doing so. Most likely, you can resume normal activity following recovery. Your bruise can just be a simple reminder that our bodies are pretty amazing machines and we need to take care of them to ensure we can continue to “pound the pavement” or “pump the weights” for a long, long time. 

Rejoice and Evolve,

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This blog was written by Thomas Livengood, Health Fitness Instructor at NIFS. To find out more about the NIFS bloggers click here.
Topics: exercise nutrition fitness center Thomas' Corner injury prevention injuries

Making Sense of Cardio: Running vs. Walking

ThinkstockPhotos-78754936Cardio, short for cardiovascular exercise, has been around for a while—really, since the beginning of time, if you think about what cardio is and what it does for our bodies. In essence, we are doing cardio all the time, just at various intensities (if we weren’t, we would not be reading this!). The primitive man did cardio to stay alive, the Pan-Hellenic Games of Ancient Greece introduced cardio as a sport, and in modern times we do cardio to replace the manual labor that produced enough calorie consumption and expenditure to keep our bodies lean and strong.

There are many types of cardio that we do to stay in shape, and many arguments about which equipment is best for burning calories. Of the cardio that is mentioned, running and walking usually come up most in discussion about which is the better cardio. Here, I discuss this topic and get to the bottom of this fitness impasse.

Running Pros and Cons

There are always two sides to a story. Running, obviously the more rigorous of the two, carries many benefits, including strengthening the heart and lungs, improving blood flow and circulation, burning calories, etc. 

There can also be a case made that running isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. A lot of wear and tear on the body occurs over the course of a runner’s life, whether it is your feet, knees, or hips (Weil, 2015)

Walking Pros and Cons

On the other end of the spectrum, we can look at walking for cardio in the same light. The benefits of walking include calorie burning, but vary to include stress reduction. The impact of walking is definitely less on the cardiovascular strength side, but it provides much-needed exercise to individuals who cannot physically run (Caton, 2012)

From the calorie-burning standpoint, walking can burn as many calories as running, assuming you do the same amount of work. This means that it will take you longer to burn 100 calories walking versus 100 calories running. 

Running and Walking Are Both Good!

One thing that I have learned both professionally and personally is that not everyone is a great marathon runner, and not everyone has time to be a successful cardio walker. The main thing to take away from this message is that cardio, whether it is through walking, running, biking, or swimming, is essential to good health, feeling your best, and sustaining a long and productive lifestyle (Thompson, et al, 2013)

I encourage anyone who is not currently doing cardio to start (albeit slowly) incorporating a cardio program into your life. The discussion here really isn’t about whether running is better than walking, but that we do something to get going and make the effort to better ourselves. There are no sabertooth tigers to chase us around anymore, but we can see results by incorporating the most simplistic of exercises, walking and running, into our routines.

We can help! NIFS training staff is eager to meet you and help you develop your fitness program. Stop by the NIFS track desk to schedule a consultation today!

Rejoice and Evolve,

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This blog was written by Thomas Livengood, Health Fitness Instructor at NIFS. To find out more about the NIFS bloggers click here.
Topics: NIFS cardio Thomas' Corner running walking cardiovascular