Are you wasting time with daily cardio? The answer could be yes…and no. It all depends on whether you’re just doing cardio or have other types of fitness workouts in the mix. If cardio is your only workout, you might want to reconsider. The body has four different types of fitness; endurance (cardio), strength, flexibility and balance. Cardio only aids in one area. While you’ll be breathing great while others are huffing and puffing up a stairs, you could injure yourself lifting a small box or moving just the wrong way if you don’t have flexibility and strength. Falls can take their toll without adequate balance. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Knowing your fitness goals fills in the rest of the picture.
Is weight loss a primary goal?
If it is, you’re focusing on the wrong area. Sure some distance runners are slim and sinewy, but it’s not the fastest way to a thin body or a muscular one. When you do more than forty five minutes of moderate cardio, your body starts to use muscle tissue for fuel, not fat tissues. The best way to shed pounds and keep your metabolism going is with strength building exercises, like weight lifting or kettlebells. Kettlebells provide a total body workout and hits all areas of fitness, including cardio and burns more calories per half hour than almost all other types of exercise. (Cross country skiing uphill burns more…but seriously?? How often do you do that?)
Resistance training burns more calories than cardio does.
Even if you aren’t running or doing cardio more than a half hour a day, you still should consider resistance training (strength training) to shed pounds. When you end your cardio session, you don’t burn many more calories. When you end a resistance or strength training session, your body has to repair the muscle tissue and that takes extra calories to do. In fact, you’ll still be burning calories for hours after you workout.
Sticking with a workout program is tough until you get results.
There are so many reasons not to exercise that seem to pop up when you don’t feel like going to the gym, especially when you’re first starting out and haven’t seen any results. Resistance exercises will give you those results faster and help boost your resolve to stick with the program. When you workout with weights, it burns more calories and builds muscle tissue faster. The more muscle tissue you have, the harder your body works to maintain it. That means you’ll boost your metabolism.
- I love kettlebells because they’re fun and also because they work the whole body in all areas. For people that have a crowded schedule, you can get better results in half the time using resistance workouts with kettlebells.
- Trying to boost your cardio workout to match results with resistance training, you could end up overtraining. That can lead to injury.
- If you’re doing more than a half hour of cardio a day and find you’re feeling dragged out or getting sick easily, you might be doing too much and actually stressing your body.
- Just because cardio isn’t the most efficient for weight loss and shouldn’t be the only type of workout you do, it does have a place in your workout program. Just don’t make it the only part of your fitness program.