If you haven't checked out the article, "Why Women Should Not Run", you should!
But before you delve in, be aware:
- the science is still inconclusive (as with many exercise-related things)
- the citations are dog-poop-relevant (and THAT'S a scientific term!)
- the anecdotal evidence is, in my opinion, unrealistic (Who has time to run 20+ hrs a week?! GAH!!)
My favourite part is reading the hundreds of angry comments from runners, most of whom don't run for fat loss, but for enjoyment, fitness, or for the sheer challenge of it.
And because I can, here are a few personal thoughts on the claims the article makes...
1) The article says weight lifting and HIIT is healthier than long distance running.
One of the things I love best about running is that anyone can do it. It doesn't require money, equipment (unless you want these) or expertise. All you need is a pair of shoes and the outdoors. The only competitor is yourself. The only person judging is yourself. Articles like this insist that I must join a gym ($$) and perform in front of a bunch of strong-looking, intimidating people with heavy objects (I prefer to suck at exercise without people watching me). Or, I must do Tabatas or sprints until the burn makes me cry. I don't like either option.
2) The article claims that running will suppress my thyroid.
But thyroid hormones depend on so many things, like general stress levels, lifestyle, and genetics. Sure excessive exercise MIGHT suppress my thyroid, but everyone's threshold for thyroid suppression is different: where you might be able to run 100 000 miles without thyroid suppression, others can only run one. Until I reach MY threshold for excessive exercise leading to thyroid suppression, why can't I run again?
3) Running will make me fat.
If I even believed that claim, why is fat bad? People come in all shapes and sizes. As long as you are healthy, able and fit, why does it matter how much fat you carry? Plus I need my fat to keep me warm, have boobs and make babies, all of which is more important than being super skinny.
OK, I'm done. End Rant.