Step Away From The Treadmill



Each Life By Design step bucks the trend of conventional wisdom. Perhaps, none more so than our disapproval of “chronic cardio”.

“That’s blasphemy!” you say.

Most people’s first inclination when they want to start losing weight is to hit the gym.

Great. I’ve got my membership to a 24-hour gym, what now?

This is where your good intentions end and your lack of fitness knowledge begin.

Conventional wisdom says to lose body fat and get lean, spend a lot of time walking the infinite steps to nowhere on the climber. Just look at the design of your modern, big-box gym…

Cardio, The Powerhouse Chiropractic, Vancouver Chiropractor, Olympic Village

Still not buying in? Go to the gym, take a look at everyone running, walking, cycling and rowing.  Head back a year later and voila, no change.

How can that be? How can someone spend hours sweating it out in the cardio section and not lose body fat?

What do your genes expect?

Our body’s genetics have adapted to our lifestyle over the past 40,000 years.  Our hunter-gatherer ancestors didn’t spend an hour a day elevating their heart rates.

How did they spend their time?

  • Many hours walking at a slow pace using fat as their primary energy source
  • Moderate levels of day-to-day physical activity (a bit of work then a bit of rest… not 40-60 mins on a treadmill)
  • Some explosive feats of strength and speed during a hunt or battle
  • Lots of time for leisure and socializing

As such, our current physiology is set up to handle those demands.

When you begin elevating your heart rate for extended time periods you start to depend on stored glycogen as an energy source.

To make up for the loss of this energy, you end up eating excessive amounts of carbohydrates to refuel. This can completely backfire your goal of decreasing body fat.

Fat loss is 80% based on what you eat and 20% on how you move.Mark Sisson

So, what do we get from the chronic cardio gym routine?

  • Lack of fat loss/body composition results
  • Inflammatory effects (brain, reproductive system, intestinal tract, heart)
  • Boredom

Run if you love to… but don’t fool yourself that it’ll be your best fat loss vehicle. Remember… “You’re a human not a hamster”.

The anti-cardio stance is a difficult one for people to accept. Current research suggests that extended cardio is not your best bet for fat loss and it may also be damaging to your heart!

Now that should have you thinking twice before joining that running group.

Through teaching Life By Design, we are helping you to understand the body’s design. If you can live congruently with your body’s design, you will reap the benefits of living naturally and simply expressing your full potential.

How do I get the results I want?

  • Be Mobile. Your body must be able to move through its full range of motion if you want to be fit, lose fat and get stronger.
  • Move Slow. Walking is not only safe but walking for just 30 minutes daily, regardless of any other factors, protects you against the major lifestyle diseases that Canadians suffer from.
  • Lift Heavy. Strength is the basis of being fit, lean and healthy.
  • Move Fast. Interval training 1-3 times per week, when combined with the other Move By Design steps, is the best way to induce fat loss.

Join us at our next Move By Design workshop. It’s an interactive evening to help get you moving the way you were designed.


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Dr Brian Lanoue is a Life By Design Chiropractor, blogger and speaker on achieving extraordinary health. It is Brian’s passion and mission to empower you, your family and your community to live extraordinary lives. Brian co-owns The Powerhouse Chiropractic in beautiful Vancouver, BC, Canada with his partner Thea.