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AMA December Edition: Am I exercising hard enough; is running uniquely beneficial?

AMA December Edition: Am I exercising hard enough; is running uniquely beneficial?

You’ll learn: How to figure out what “vigorous exercise” is for you and how much of it you should get; Whether running is uniquely beneficial, and how to balance running and other fitness methods.


  • This post is for Members, who are curious people who ask good questions. Want the answer to this week’s questions? Become a Member below.
  • There will be NO POST on Monday due to the holiday. Because of that, Wednesday’s post will be free for all subscribers.

In today’s AMA, we’ll be tackling two questions:

Last week, we learned an ideal weekly dose for vigorous exercise like rucking and running. As someone new to rucking (just in the past 7 months), how would you define “vigorous”?

I ask because I don’t always have the time for that mileage. I try to make up for it by being more vigorous: more plates in the ruck, or a faster pace. But that doesn’t feel right all the time.

  1. Do you think running is uniquely beneficial when compared to other forms of vigorous exercise?

Great questions.

In the first answer, I explain:

  • How different studies define vigorous exercise.
  • What qualifies as vigorous exercise.
  • Some issues with how we think of and approach vigorous exercise and what that means for you.
  • How you can determine and measure the intensity of exercise that is vigorous for you (it depends on your age).
  • Ideal amounts of vigorous exercise and how to weave it into your routine.

In the second answer, I explain:

  • Some upsides of running.
  • Some downsides of running.
  • How running compares to other popular “cardio” exercises.
  • Exercises that may be uniquely good for humans.
  • How to use the information to determine what your exercise routine should look like for general health span and longevity.

Recall that we voted to have AMAs be off-the-cuff podcast answers rather than written pieces. Audio is below.

A quick sponsor love fest

Our sponsors make the best products in their categories. I used their products before I launched this project.

  • GORUCK: Maker of the best rucking gear (not stuff).
  • Maui Nui Venison: Provider of the world’s healthiest meat (the research, linked here, is insane).
  • Momentous Nutrition: The company that made me feel good about supplements again. It’s trusted by the US Military and most pro sports teams.

Discount codes: 10EASTER for GORUCK and EASTER for Maui Nui and Momentous.

Below are the audio, relevant studies and stories, and a transcript.