Oh cardio, how many things are written and said about you? How many myths are written down as facts and confuse and mislead so many good people who wish to lose weight? It’s time to clear away the myths and misconception that so many people have about cardio workouts.
Running is the best cardio workout
This might get me into trouble with all the running fanatics out there (I’m on your side, people), but running isn’t the best cardio workout out there. Even though I love running and do it regularly, I’m under no such illusion.
Whether you want to lose weight, burn calories, or improve your overall fitness, running is good, but it is not the best. In fact, there is no such thing as THE BEST cardio workout. You can achieve excellent results with many different workouts. It mainly depends on how regularly you do them and how intense your workouts are.
All cardio is equal
While there is no one and only top workout, there is a difference between the various options you have for cardio. They are not all made equal. For instance, running is more intense than walking. It is simply the nature of the workout.
Some cardio workouts are more intense by nature and so would usually result in a faster fat loss. However, the way you perform your workouts and how regularly you do them is still the main factor.
The fat burning zone
The Fat Burning Zone is a myth which simply won’t disappear no matter how many people write about it. It has to do with the notion that if you do cardio at a medium pace that gets your heart rate at about 60–70 of it’s maximum rate that you will burn the most fat. This is logical as your body does burn more fat, relatively, while in that heart beat range.
However, the overall amount of calories that you burn will be much higher if you do a more intense workout; So, there is really no point in aiming for the fat burning zone. It will not give you optimal results.
Cardio is ineffective for weight loss
Cardio has been beaten down by many fitness writers over the past few years as an ineffective way to exercise. They claim that it is much less effective than strength training — and their own books and programs, of course.
It may be true that certain fitness methods are better than the way most people perform cardio, but the notion that cardio is completely ineffective for weight loss is absurd. Cardio is highly recommended for your health and it certainly increases your calorie burning, so it can help you lose weight.
The more the better
It makes sense that the more cardio you do the more fat you will burn. However, it is not as simple as that. The duration of your workout has a partial correlation with its effectiveness. The intensity of your workout is more important.
For instance, it is better to run for 30 minutes than to stroll for 40; it is a harder workout. So, aim for intensity, not time.
Cardio burns muscle
Cardio doesn’t burn muscle tissue. Adding or losing muscle mass depends on whether you do strength training, how you do it, and how your diet routine is. As long as you train hard and eat right, you can do cardio and still gain muscle.
You shouldn’t do cardio and strength training on the same day
This claim does have some merit as you may not have enough energy to do both kinds of training. However, there is no real reason why you shouldn’t do both cardio and strength training on the same day or during the same session. If this fits your routine and schedule go ahead and do it.
Cardio harms your knees
This may be true, but it is also the case with other forms of training. In addition, different forms of cardio pose a varied level of risk to your knees. For instance, you can choose swimming instead of running, if your knees are troubling you.
Exercise has risks. No one can do any sort of sports without facing these risks as well. You need to listen to your body, build intensity gradually, and be smart about your workouts. This is how you reduce the risk of injury to a minimum.
Cardio is better than strength training for weight loss
While cardio is effective for weight loss, it is certainly not better than strength training. With the right resistance training routine you can burn more calories, boost metabolism and lose body fat faster than with cardio. The best way to train is to combine the two.
I hope that you now have a better idea of what cardio really is and what it can actually do. Enjoy your cardio and don’t believe everything you read about it.