Sunday, March 14, 2010

Daily Exercise, Yes - But Let's Not Go Nuts

Daily exercise is good for you. It probably doesn't need to be said. Exercise burns calories, makes us strong, gives us an outlet for frustration and regulates mood. If, after all that, you still need another reason to hit the eject button on the La -Z-Boy, I've got a good one for you.

I was reading today, on the Women's Health website, that exercise eliminates the dangerous fat that builds up around our vital organs. While it's possible to maintain a healthy weight, through diet alone, without exercise you may still have a congestion of fat build up internally. You may, in fact, be less healthy and at greater risk of certain health problems than a heavier person who is active.

Suffice to say, it's important to exercise regularly. Earlier this week, I mentioned my intention to add a 5 km run to my weekly workout rotation. That's all though, just 5 marathons.

Another interesting tidbit, I read today, is that marathon runners have an increased risk of heart attack, because the exertion of a marathon is so intense it actually causes temporary cardiac damage. With rest, the damage usually repairs itself, but it still exposes you to (I think) unnecessary risk. It seems to me, that if you're damaging your heart, you're trying too hard.

Then I learned about a sport called ultramarathon. Ultramarathon is for people who find a regular marathon too pedestrian. It's an extreme race that, by definition, exceeds the standard marathon distance of 42.195 km, and often involves additional challenges including extreme climate and terrain. This sounds like a fantastic idea. I can't imagine anything going wrong with this at all.

The most ultra of the ultramarathons is the Badwater Ultramarathon. It spans a distance of 217 km, beginning in the Badwater Basin and crossing Death Valley all the way to Mount Whitney, CA. It happens every July, a time of year when temperatures in Death Valley can reach 55° C (130°F). A small sub-set of runners will attempt a double crossing, presumably in an attempt to get back to their car. Most runners don't complete the official race, let alone the second crossing.

Nothing about this race sounds reasonable or well advised. I've been to Death Valley in the summer and I can tell you, there's a reason they call it that. It's a crazy place and it will try to kill you, no joke. I don't know who the people are who attempt this race and I probably don't want to. I applaud their desire to push themselves and 'suck the marrow out of life' and all that good stuff, but I won't be joining them.

I just want to do my little 5 km and carry on with my day.

Don't forget that tomorrow is weight-in day. Stop by and give us an update!


  1. There are people that think regular marathons are easy? Wow. I haven't made it to running at marathons. Yep, by the time I'm done walking the marathon the runners are at home sipping tea.

  2. I would NEVER be able to do a marathon. I hate physical activity. LOL. Honestly, I admire those that can and do.
    Stopping by from SITS to say Hi to my SITSah!

  3. I'm only aiming for 5k run right now too and am beginning to feel like it's worthless in comparison to everything else people push for. Thanks for the reminder that we should be proud of ourselves for getting out and moving, no matter how intense or far we go.

  4. Stopping in from SITS --- I agree - healthy, not crazy! (That's what my blog is about... being healthy post major weight loss)... Hope you stop by!