If you belong to the longer-is-better treadmill school of thought, you might want to reconsider.

And if long distance running takes your time, you really need to think it through. Especially if you buy into the idea of high carb fueling.

High carb fueling burns the fire hotter, that’s for sure. It also leaves behind more ashes, aka free radicals, as it whips your endocrine system along.

As popular as it is, high carb fueling lacks a scientific basis. Fans, yes. Science, no.

But I digress. I’m here to discuss endlessly flogging your body along.

My comments rest on the old truth, action begets reaction. We don’t have much control over reactions to what we do. Especially when the reaction comes from our bodies.

The Bible proclaims us to be fearfully and wonderfully made. How true can you get? That’s absolute fact. The body amazes and awes us with intricacies beyond our imaginations.

The Bible neglects to mention the body’s stubborn, my-way-or-the-highway nature. Also absolute truth, but perhaps not as inspiring or high-minded. But a fact to consider, nonetheless.

We act by putting in an hour on the treadmill; the body reacts by going into self-preservation mode. If necessary, it will strip everything we have to protect our organs.

If the heart needs calcium, our bodies sacrifice the calcium in our bones. Long distance runners frequently end their careers with osteoporosis–especially the high-carbers.

If we persist in flogging our bodies along, a further reaction makes our organs, especially our hearts, more efficient to minimize their demands. Our hearts don’t get stronger, they get more efficient, with less capacity.

If genetics made you susceptible to heart disease, small and efficient isn’t a good idea. Just the opposite, as a matter of fact. You want a big, strong heart to better weather the possibilities.

And, yes. I know that cardiologists lead the pack in calling for long sessions on the treadmill. I come from a family chock-a-block full of heart problems, so I know the drill. But I also know the latest findings: you do not want a wiry, little, efficient heart.

Interval training, short bursts of strenuous activity, does more for us than long, tedious sessions on the treadmill or its grind-it-out cousins such as elliptical trainers.

I have a fifteen-year-old stair stepper, hard to find now, but terrific. It exercises everything. It gets my arms and legs pumping away, while the action stretches me out.

Besides the strength and flexibility it gives me, I like the fact it’s in my home. I can do five or ten minutes a few times through the day without having to drive to the gym or deal with the Phoenix heat. Interval training the easy way.

It’s a fact we need to get our bodies into action, but we don’t have to grind it out. In fact, we shouldn't

Author's Bio: 

Bette Dowdell is not a doctor, nor does she purport to be one. She's a patient who's been studying the endocrine system and successfully handling her own endocrine problems for more than 30 years. Bette offers a free e-zine on endocrine health topics such as this article, more-in-depth teleseminars and an as-deep-as-it-gets 12-month subscription program, "Moving to Health." She explains how the endocrine system works-or doesn't, discusses what things in the environment damage the endocrine system, talks about the things that help, and answers questions. Subscribe to her free endocrine health e-zine at http://TooPoopedToParticipate.com