Some Listening for Your Workout

exercisebike.jpg 

I’m always looking for audio to keep my brain (heavily) distracted during my workout, and today I found a good one.  Glenn Gaesser recently gave a mythbusting talk at UVa on (among other things) the impact of exercise on weight (hint: what impact?).

UVa was good enough to record it for their University podcast. (Here’s a direct link to the MP3.)

I found it entertaining. But I’m a complete nerd, so I would. I’ll say this – if you’re exercising for your health, it will inspire you.  If the only reason you’re exercising is to lose weight…either find a real reason, or don’t listen to the talk. And stop reading right about now.

Because, as a for instance, you might not want to hear that: 

  • On average the weight difference between the very most active people and the very most sedentary people is about 4 to 5 lbs.
  • It would take a quarter of a million ab crunches to burn 1 lb of fat.

My favorite moment came at the end when apparently a questioner worried about not being able to lose weight (I say apparently, because the audience wasn’t mic’d). Gaesser responded:

“Just get over it. It’s not important. It’s far more important what you contribute to society and your family and so forth and whether you weigh a certain weight is just so ridiculously insiginificant.”

Probably the single most sensible statement ever about fat.

*** 

Also, if you missed it, Paul Campos and Kelly Brownell have been debating all week in the Los Angeles Times. Go read. The down side is my exercise bike is now a total loss.

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7 Responses to “Some Listening for Your Workout”

  1. Sara Says:

    I listen to podcasts while I work out too! We should trade lists – I’d love to know which ones you like.

  2. Sharon Says:

    Great podcast, thanks!

  3. motherwintermoon Says:

    LoVe the Gaesser quote! It’s too bad we don’t hear that message in ads and magazines, instead of the media obsession with thinness.

  4. Cody Says:

    I wouldn’t say weight doesn’t matter at all, but it certainly doesn’t have the importance that some people ascribe to it. You don’t need to have a BMI of 18 to be a good person and contribute to society in a meaningful way.

    And where the idea of exercising as a method to lose weight came from is beyond me. Exercising creates muscle mass. Yes, it also burns calories, but if you don’t combine it with a healthier diet, it’s not going to do anything. Eating a Big Mac while running on a treadmill is essentially a zero-sum game. You’ll just be able to heft more Big Macs…

  5. Good Lord! Says:

    “It would take a quarter of a million ab crunches to burn 1 lb of fat.”

    What is your point? Ab crunches are a strength exercise; they create stronger ab muscles. They are not cardio, so this “fact” is useless at best, misinformation at worst.

    “And where the idea of exercising as a method to lose weight came from is beyond me. Exercising creates muscle mass.”

    No – strength training creates muscle mass. Cardio burns calories (and if you do too much cardio, you will lose some muscle as well as fat).

    At least get your facts straight!

  6. Jane Says:

    ““Just get over it. It’s not important. It’s far more important what you contribute to society and your family and so forth and whether you weigh a certain weight is just so ridiculously insiginificant.”

    Probably the single most sensible statement ever about fat.”

    i see the appeal, but coming from the other side of the discussion are those who don’t enjoy the added burden of exaggerated health cost due to the apparent apathy towards ones weight. So I would say for the sake of “contributing to society” take that statement with a grain of salt.

  7. Goodman Says:

    Yeah, all the marathoners out there tend to be jacked and rather fat. Marathon running legend Frank Shorter was known to enjoy a fast food burger. I wonder how many he could heft?


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