Fitness and your health, who needs to be gluten free?

This article was originally posted by Ryan at the original HillRunner.com Blogs.

Fitness and your health

You know that your running is good for your health, right? But how good? Is it better to be naturally fit or to train hard? I think a lot of us have believed or maybe hoped that how hard you worked at it would be more important.

Unfortunately:

What this tells us is that exercise is good for you because it increases your cardiovascular fitness. High fitness, meanwhile, is good for you no matter how you acquire it—which is a lucky break for those who happen to have high levels of baseline fitness thanks to their genetics.

This makes sense in many ways. Just like ability to race fast on limited training varies greatly between individuals, so do health outcomes on limited training.

It’s important to note that exercise is indeed good for us. Just because you don’t have a high level of baseline fitness, don’t give up. Just realize that, just like your race times, we don’t all start at the same place.

Who needs to be gluten free?

If you have celiac disease or are gluten sensitive and you’ve tried a gluten free diet, you’ve likely noticed that, for some people, going gluten free can make a big difference in your life.

However, at the same time, gluten free is the new dietary fad. Like most dietary fads, something with a grain of truth takes off to be blown out of proportion. Many people who have no need to avoid gluten do so just because they hear gluten is bad.

So how do you determine whether or not you really need to be gluten free? Here are some good thoughts.

In short, if you’re concerned that you may have celiac disease, there is a blood test for that but you must be eating gluten in order for the test to work. Go gluten free before the test and it will come back negative even if you do have celiac disease.

More important, whether you have celiac disease, you have some other gluten sensitivity, or you simply benefit from the placebo effect, if going gluten free makes you feel better then do it.

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