Cardio, short for cardiovascular exercise, is any movement that gets your heart rate up and increases blood circulation. It helps you burn fat and calories for weight loss. It makes your heart strong so that it doesn’t have to work as hard to pump blood. It increases your lung capacity. It helps reduce your risk of heart attack, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, and some forms of cancer.
Although cardio is full of health benefits and yet there is so much misinformation floating around that makes it hard to know what to believe! Let us clear things up and debunk the myths related to cardio –
- More Cardio = More Fat Loss: Following a properly designed plan with both your cardio and strength workouts, plus structured meal plans is the best way to reach your goals. Too much cardio can lead to burn out and muscle breakdown.
- Cardio comes first: Weight training needs more energy than cardio so if you do it first, your body will be at peak energy levels for the most difficult part of your workout. Also, post workout cardio is optimal for fat loss as the glycogen levels in your body are already depleted due to the weight lifting session.
- Cardio will speed up weight loss: No matter how hard you work, or how committed you are to your cardio workout, if your diet isn’t right, you’ll have next to no chance of losing weight.
- Cardio can’t be abused: It is possible to become addicted to cardio. There are people who never take rest days and they may end up with joint pain or strain from overuse. As with most things, moderation is the key. Rest days are every bit as important as your workouts.
- Running Is the Best Type of Cardio: Running is amazing, but it isn’t for everyone. Choosing your ‘type’ of cardio is a personal thing and needs to be specific to YOU. Just get your heart rate up and have fun with it!