Time to get to work!I don’t even notice the cranes in the sky anymore. Our city is always under construction (did you know the Washington Monument is covered in scaffolding at present?)
Despite all the equipment around, I still think it’s beautiful out. And hot!Now it is time for a story… which may only interest running nerds. Feel free to skip over this and head straight to the food photos at the bottom of this post.
As Anthony and I were unpacking boxes the other day, I came across this Wall Street Journal article (available online), crinkled up and wrapped around a delicate mug. I don’t know if it was the image of runners or the word “Cheeseburger” that caught my eye, but I’m glad I paused to read it.
According to the author, endurance running could be the “exercise equivalent of eating a cheeseburger,” i.e., long-distance running could have negative health benefits. He then goes on to highlight the “mounting evidence that extraordinary doses of exercise may diminish the benefits of modest amounts.” This claim is based on recent evidence that extreme endurance running may increase your chance of heart disease — particularly problems caused by coronary plaque buildup.
In my opinion, the article offers little convincing evidence to prove the argument other than noting a few small studies and single cases of extreme athletes who have suffered from heart disease. The research linked to heart disease — the #1 cause of death in the US, according to the CDC — is conflicting and vast, so it’s pretty tough to believe one or a few studies when there are an equal number of studies which contradict it… which the author admits himself in the article. It’s an interesting piece, though, and could hold some truth. But heart disease is such a big complicated topic that I’m hesitant to accept any fact about it without overwhelming evidence.
Amidst the large amount of “fluff” in the article, one study did catch my eye. A recent survey compared 2,377 runners, all of which had survived a heart attack. Over the next ten years, 71.5% of them died from cardiovascular disease (I wonder how this compares to the average?). The study concluded that those who ran or walked regularly after their heart attack had a better chance of avoiding a second one — except for those who ran or walked more than 7.1 km (4.34 miles) of running or 10.7k (6.64 miles) of walking a day. Still, I’d like more information about the health stats and ages of the participants of the study to make any conclusions.
An interesting study, for sure. But if 4.34 miles is considered “extreme” training, then I better start counting my days! Ha!
The other news I would like to highlight is that DC was recently ranked the second-fittest city in the states (again!). I don’t know how we lost to Minneapolis (again!) but am still so proud.
So in sum I am either on the brink of heart disease OR I am healthier than everyone in all cities except Minneapolis.
Focusing on the healthier side, Anthony and I tried this recipe last night (subbing pine nuts for almonds).It’s part of Real Simple magazine’s “detox plan” and was recommended to us by a friend. We thought it was pretty good: quick and healthy, just what you need on a weeknight!… but we weren’t huge fans of the waxy cabbage. Next time we will make it with arugula, one of my favorite friends!
Favorite — but only second favorite, after you fine people!
- Did you read the WSJ article? Thoughts?
- Have you ever done a detox?
- Do you think your city is “fit”?