There is a high chance you consider yourself a cardio pro, especially when you spend more than an hour on the treadmill but you’d be surprised that you’re doing it wrongly. A lot of the Dos and Don’ts are nothing but cardio myths.
With lots of theories floating around regarding cardio exercises, chances are you’ve taken some to be factual. From the time of day to do your cardio to what to eat before and after a run, or if you should aim for a long workout or a short, more intense one, we are here to debunk all the myths.
The human body is complicated and when you exercise, you’re not only burning calories but also building your muscles. Such activity conditions your lungs and improves your heart’s role in circulating oxygen, and also increases blood flow to your brain, which leads to a whole host of mental benefits.
Here are some of the most common cardio myths debunked once and for all.
Cardio Burns Fat The Most
The truth is, it is essential to weight loss and if you’re burning more calories than you eat, you will lose weight. However, if you want to burn more fat overall and keep that fat burn going after your workout is over, weight training should be a regular part of your routine.
A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that women who completed an hour of strength training burned an average of 100 more calories in the 24 hours following the workout than those who skipped the weights. Maintaining your muscle is key to getting long-term physical results.
Fasting Before Cardio Gives Faster Results
Aerobic exercises done first thing in the morning before eating anything helps you to lose fat better. This perhaps is the reason why cardio fanatics everywhere switched up their routine so that they could reap the benefits.
The fact however is that lots of studies have proved this theory wrong. Eating prior to a workout gives you the energy needed to perform well, especially if you’re performing high-intensity interval training (HIIT) which has been proven to be more effective than steady-state cardio on fat loss.
Spend An Hour At Least
A lot of people believe that if they can’t spend at least an hour at their cardio workout, then there is no point in them doing it. This myth is one you should let go of and stop it from allowing you to squeeze in a 20 minute run that you can afford.
Every physical activity is beneficial. While it is undeniable that running for an hour or more at a steady pace will burn a lot of calories, doing a short high intensity workout will elevate your metabolism, allowing your body to burn extra calories for the 38 hours after your workout.
Studies have found that even 10 minutes at a high-intensity pace is beneficial to your body. In short, anything is better than nothing.
Do Cardio, Before Carrying Weights
This myth is fairly easy to debunk. There’s no point in working out if you’re not going to give it all you’ve got, and if you put all your effort into your cardio workout, chances are you won’t have much left to give your resistance training routine.
Both cardio and strength training are essential for you to have full-body health. Perform your cardio and weight lifting routines on different days so you can give both forms of exercise all the time they need.