If you’re doing cardio to improve your heart health, don’t stop. No matter what the exercise, it isn’t a waste of time, because you’re getting benefits from it. Cardio boosts your endurance and provides improved heart health, but as a weight loss aid, it may not be the best, even though it burns tons of calories. Why isn’t it at the top of the list, since it’s a top calorie burner?
Doing cardio, such as running or aerobics, doesn’t discriminate the type of fuel it uses.
Yes, cardio does burn calories! However, those calories come from burning both lean muscle tissue and burning fat! While you might not worry about that, it makes a huge impact if you’re trying to lose weight. The more muscle tissue you have, the more calories you burn 24/7, because muscle tissue requires more calories for maintenance than fat tissue does. Since cardio burns muscle tissue, it can lower your metabolism.
For weight loss, strength building exercise can be a better option.
Doing exercises that build muscle tissue not only burns calories, but takes those calories from fat tissue, since the exercises focus on building more muscle tissue. You can make them a cardio workout, too. Just make strength training exercises part of interval training or HIIT training. In traditional interval training, you go from one type of exercise to another with only a short break in between them. With HIIT training, you do one type of exercise at high intensity for a few minutes or seconds and then alternate for as long or longer in a recovery phase. They both increase the calories burned, plus provide both strength and cardio improvement.
Cardio is important to everyone’s exercise program.
Even though strength training may be better for weight loss, that doesn’t discount the importance of a cardio workout. Cardio helps lower blood pressure, improves your heart functioning, improves brain function, lowers the risk of dementia and reduces stress. It lowers the risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and heart attack. You’ll have improved lung capacity when you have cardio workouts.
- Cardio can improve your mood and help you fight depression. Simply taking a brisk walk can improve your overall mood.
- You’ll sleep better at night when you workout and cardio is one way to achieve that goal.
- Weight bearing cardio, such as running and even walking, can help build bone density. Studies show that weight-bearing exercises can be as successful at preventing bone loss, and even rebuilding bones, as some osteoporosis medicine.
- Any type of physical activity that increases your heart rate can be considered a cardio workout, so smile when you’re doing yardwork or scrubbing the floor. Those vigorous chores are actually a great workout that makes your home look better as it improves your looks, too.