I don’t really disagree with anything you said, David… I was pretty much just regurgitating what I read in Diet Recovery 2.
But, for someone with health issues and a low metabolism to start with, more jogging is not going to help your body heal and recover.
It will keep your body in “hunting” mode – i.e. save energy until you can make your kill and haul it back home for dinner. Make sure to hoard any calories in case you come home empty and have to go out again tomorrow. Being physiologically efficient = low metabolism. (I found this article, which has some interesting commentary on that: http://spectrum.diabetesjournals.org/content/20/3/166.full)
There’s also the “bear run” mode… meaning, if you and your friend are out “hunting” and you come across a bear, how fast do you need to run? Only fast enough to out-run your friend (HA!). To be able to do that, you need to be swifter (and lighter) than your friend. Convincing your body it needs to be able to sprint FAST will scare it into losing excess weight – I think this is where HIIT comes in.
Neither of those scenarios is a “heal and recover” period for the body, and this is all mental games, in any case…
I agree there are definite physical benefits to cardio – all the ones you mention. So, if it makes you feel good, do it!
How you apply all this stuff – eating/refeeding, resting and exercise all depends on where you’re starting from (i.e. do you need to “Recover” first?) and what your goals are… so… I’ll go back to my big takeaway – make this a personal experiment and do what works for you – because it’s probably going to be something totally different than what works for the person next to you.