I don’t know about you guys but the weather today totally motivated me to start running again. Yeah I’ve been working out pretty consistently but I totally avoided my cardio training and my lungs feel weak as hell.Spring always creates a switch in my mind that its time to lose some weight and after lifting my shirt up, I concur.
Cardio training for overall health
Whether you want to lose body fat so you can fit into that bikini or you want to show off your abs to the ladies, It all starts and ends with cardio. But what most people don’t know is that cardio is far more important than weight loss. Cardio not only strengthens your muscles but it helps:
By performing cardio it will help lower blood pressure, help with circulation, and the best part of all, it helps your body burn more calories at rest. What most people don’t know is that when you perform a cardio session, the machine will say you burnt X amount of calories. What you probably dont know is that when you go home, your body is still burning calories. The unfortunate part of all this is that you would want to perform intense cardio (depletes glycogen=stored energy=fat) not your standard 1 mph on the stationary bike.
Helps your body for more strenuous exercise
When you first start working out or if you take a long break your body will get crushed if you just start lifting weights again. The smart thing to do is slowly build yourself back up but by doing cardio (again more intense cardio) your body is preparing itself for more strenous types of exercise. This will help strengthen tendons and MOST importantly, your conditioning. There’s more on this below.
Helps strengthen your lungs
Your lungs act like a train station. Its sends oxygen throughout your body which helps circulation, warming your body up for exercise. By popular belief strengthening your lungs wont EXPAND your lungs or increase the size of them. It will only help them become more efficient sending oxygen throughout your body. The main benefit from all this is that your everyday life will benefit. Believe me. Not only your physical health, but your mental health as well.
Most important benefit of all- YOUR HEART
The grand daddy of them all. The most important muscle in our body which most people dont even know is a muscle. Your heart. Cardio training has a direct impact on your heart and your heart health.
We all know if your inactive you feel sluggish,tired and unmotivated. This could be because you might be depressed or just tired from no sleep but if your hearts weak your body will let you know. Without cardio and exercise for that matter, your heart works in overdrive. It pumps harder, your heart rates alot higher, you will notice your blood pressure is a lot higher too. If you perform cardio your heart will work less and your reduce the chance of heart attack which I know many of us don’t care about but start now so you don’t worry so much when your fifty.
Cardio for weight loss
Perhaps the easiest way to lose weight rather than restrict your calorie intake is to perform cardio. This can be done daily without the chance of over training or over-doing it. Again, if you want to lose weight you need to eat less than your body is burning. Most people who aren’t too active meaning they don’t exercise but walk around all day or move burn roughly anywhere from 2000 calories to 2500 calories. This really depends on weight, height, muscle mass, age and sex. If you perform thirty minutes of intense cardio or an hour of moderate cardio, it is a sure shot you will lose some weight, especially retained water which happens alot to woman or when you over do it on the carbohydrates. With any training program, whether you want to gain muscle or lose weight, you should really consider cardio training. Its funny when you see a really fit girl or guy trying to climb a flight of stairs and all you hear is huffing and puffing. I hope this is not a contradiction to the post, but if you really want to lose weight and alot quicker than cardio is a balanced training program! Weights wont make you look bulky.. Muscle requires energy and the more muscle you have the more calories you burn naturally. And trust me, you wont look bulky unless you put on 10+ pounds of muscle which is going to take you a long time.
The BIG LIE- Cardio machines suck at telling you calories burnt
This has been noted in the fitness industry for years. Machines are a big and i mean big rough estimate of how much your actually burning. Even with your weight and height entered, it doesn’t account for the amount of muscle that your body has which is a big part of determining how many calories you burn. A guy for instance with 160 pounds of LEAN muscle (minus body fat) vs someone whose 160 pounds but only 120 pounds of muscle will be an enormous difference. Than when you go home and think you can eat whatever you want, its a recipe for disaster. Many studies say cardio machines are off anywhere from 10-35%! So say you “burnt” 600 calories. You really only burnt anywhere from 390-540 calories. That’s very frustrating. Your best bet is to always decrease what the treadmill says by around 100-200 calories. There is no exact way of figuring calories burnt unless the machine is state of the art.
So go enjoy your cardio.. There many ways of cardio training. Go for a walk, run, do the stairs, walk your baby, do chores around the house, speed walk, move around the office. If you really want to get into shape, do HIIT (High intesity interval training)