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Is Cardio Good for Weight Loss?

Friday, August 24, 2012 · 0 comments

For people who have been trying to lose weight the most consistent advice that they get from their health gurus is engaging in a lot of cardio exercise routines. In fact, just about every diet coach will tell you to consume lesser calories and increase your cardiovascular exercises in order to lose weight. That is the same as the old mantra that tells you to hop on your treadmill and run. This advice comes from the notion that your body is an en energy balance, and that for you to lose weight you must should burn more calories that you consume. So, let’s discuss what cardio training really does for you.

What is cardio exercise?

When you hear cardio exercise, this refers to cardiovascular endurance training. This stresses the word ‘endurance.’ Cardio pertains to long and extensive routines of physical endurance which lasts for a minimum of 30 minutes and an average of 45 minutes. Cardio exercises increases your heart rate. Cardio exercises include a long bicycle ride, running 5K or more, jogging on a treadmill for 30 minutes, or an hour long of aerobics class. You might notice that sprint is not included in the exercises I have mentioned, this is because an exercise session should last at least 20 minutes in order for it to be considered as cardio exercise.

Is cardio training advantageous to losing weight?

Cardiovascular exercised burn your muscles while preserving body fat. Yes, you have read that right. After prolonged exercise intervals, your body will start burning muscles for fuel and eventually stores more energy into that fat tissue. If you look at it from a physiological standpoint, it makes perfect sense. Your body does not have to sport lots of muscles when it is merely moving from one place to another. In short, basic locomotion does not need much muscle. In fact, your muscles are considered as hindrance. They only make you heavier and they call for more calories in order to function.

You metabolism is boosted when you have more muscles, meaning you can burn more calories with the same level of activity. This surely sounds great to you when you are trying to lose weight, but this is terrible news to your body. For your body to get used to prolonged cardiovascular sessions, it has to be as light as possible and maintain an energy repository at the same time, and the best way to store energy is through the fat tissue. Fat has more calories per gram compared to protein and carbohydrates. So, to get the most of energy storage and lose weight, your body begins to store more fat and burn muscle. This is why marathon runners are never muscular.

Many people focus on losing weight alone, and this is a terrible objective. While cardiovascular exercises help you lose weight, it can make you end up like those marathon runners who may be underweight, but are considered clinically obese basing on their body fat. The truth is that high body fat, no matter what weight you are in, is unhealthy. So, it is advisable to focus on a lot of short-term and intense burst of exercise rather than on fattening and prolonged exclusive cardio training exercises.

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