Cardio is a topic I cover intently on this blog. I find that this is a topic which people have a lot of questions about so I wanted to compile this post with some of the common questions I hear and to give you the best answers I can for each of them.
I hope that these answers will allow you to do cardio in an optimal way.
Here are the questions and my answers:
1. Which Cardio Workout Is Best?
This is one of the most common questions I get.
There are two ways to answer this question: the first answer is that the most naturally intense workouts are best since they get you to burn more calories, helping you to achieve a faster weight loss.
The second, and better answer, is that you should choose the workout, or workouts, the you like to do most.
The main thing about cardio is actually doing it. Having a workout you enjoy doing will help you do it seriously and for as long as you need to. I am also in favor of doing a variety of cardio workouts because it helps you develop different fitness skills.
So, don’t worry about finding the optimal workout. Just get started.
2. Is Walking Intense enough To Lose Weight?
The notion that walking is an ineffective workout was probably made up by people who are avid runners and look down on anyone who is less fit. I know because I used to be one of those guys.
Walking is great and while it won’t burn as many calories as running, it is definitely effective. In fact, walking is a great workout because it is a low impact sport and a perfect daily activity if you don’t want to do a hard workout each day.
3. Will Doing Cardio Cause Muscle Loss?
This is a question which deserves its own post because there is a lot to say about it. There is some basis to the fear that doing too much cardio will result in muscle breakdown. However, it is only too much cardio that causes this and not any cardio as a general rule.
The best way to prevent this from happening to you is to engage in high intensity interval cardio and to incorporate regular weight lifting workouts into your fitness routine. This way you will maintain or even increase your muscle mass.
4. I Heard that Swimming Is Not Good For Weight Loss, is This True?
I wrote a specific article on swimming for weight loss. In it I show that swimming may result in a slower weight loss than other cardio workouts. However, this doesn’t mean that it’s not good for weight loss. You can lose weight with swimming. It may be slower than running or walking, that’s all.
It’s important to note that swimming also builds muscle and is a low impact sport, so it has its advantages as well.
5. What Should I Eat After Doing Cardio?
I usually eat a portion of complex carbs and protein following a workout, whether its cardio, weight training, or a combination of the two. Make sure to not eat too much and to do have a meal within an hour after your workout is completed. You should also drink a lot of water to replenish your lost fluids.
6. Should I Eat Before Or After Morning Cardio?
I covered the various research done of this question here: Cardio before breakfast. I’ll give you the short version: doing cardio on an empty stomach does result in a higher fat burning. So, it stands to reason that you shouldn’t eat before morning cardio. If you do choose to eat, keep it light because it’s not comfortable to workout with a full stomach.
It should be noted that the whether you eat before you workout or not the results you get won’t be very different. So, don’t worry too much about it. Too what’s convenient.
7. How Long Should My Cardio Workout Be?
I remember hearing that you should do cardio for 20 minutes at least before you begin to burn fat. This is pure nonsense, in my opinion. The length of your workout is of marginal importance. The intensity of your workout is what matters. I’d rather do an intense 20 minute workout than a 60 minute low intensity one.
So, I’ll say that your workout should be as long as it takes you to do an effective session. Naturally, you can’t just do sprints over and over again because you may get tired in 5 minutes, but there is no need to spend an hour on a treadmill to get results.
8. What is Too Much Cardio?
This is a difficult question and it has mostly to do with your goals and physical health. If you’re preparing for a marathon, you will obviously need to run quite a bit. If you’re trying to build more muscle mass, too much cardio may be detrimental.
You need to see how you feel with your workouts. If you feel pain or discomfort, you may need to cut down or take a complete break. I don’t think that cardio workouts for weight loss need to be long. You just need to do an intense workout and you will see results.
9. How to Do Cardio When It’s Raining?
There are several possibilities:
- Buy the necessary clothes and workout in the rain. A lot of people do so.
- Go to the gym and workout indoors. You can also do so if you have a cardio machine at home.
- Check out this post about cardio exercises at home for some ideas.
10. Should I do Cardio Every Day?
It isn’t effective to try to do a really intense cardio workout every day as you’re not giving your body enough time to recuperate. However, you can do intense and moderate workouts on an alternating basis. For example, running one day and walking the next.
I hope you found my answers useful. If you have a question which I haven’t answered, leave a comment at the bottom of the page and I’ll give you my best answer. So, here’s to having fun with cardio.