Are you pedaling for miles on that stationary bike riding to nowhere or running down the street each morning at the crack of dawn, but still find you can’t lose those excess pounds. It might be the type of workout your doing. Is that cardio making you fat? Is it sabotaging your efforts to lose weight, while teasing you into believing that it’s what’s going to work? Before you throw your running shoes in the garbage or change the stationary bike to a clothes rack, cardio workouts have a place in your fitness program. However, doing ONLY cardio won’t beef up your metabolism and may make it harder to shed weight.
You might be burning off the muscle tissue that boosts your metabolism.
Cardio does burn a lot of calories, so how could it sabotage your efforts? Long bouts of cardio triggers a reaction in your body that lean times have arrived. It makes your body want to store fat, rather than burn it, so if food is scarce, there’s a source of energy. The first part of a cardio workout your body burns the glycogen stored in the liver and muscles for fuel. When it hits the thirty minute mark, that runs out. The body still is using more calories and if the cardio is intense, it starts burning muscle tissue instead. Moderate workouts tend to keep the body burning both fat and lean muscle tissue.
Running daily or doing any form of cardio daily makes your body too efficient.
Your body is an amazing machine. It’s created to burn as few calories as possible, which helped with survival. The longer you do any type of exercise, the more efficient your body becomes at doing it. Efficiency is great everywhere else, except if you’re trying to lose weight. It means the body burns fewer calories. That causes plateauing that can slow weight loss. You have to vary your workout and do more than just cardio for the best results.
Cardio workouts burn lean muscle tissue for fuel as well as fat tissue.
The more muscle tissue you have, the more calories you burn. That’s because muscle tissue requires more calories for maintenance than fat tissue does. If cardio uses lean muscle tissue for energy, you’ll have less, slowing your metabolism. Adding strength training to your workout can burn calories, while also build muscle tissue that gives your metabolism a boost.
- Doing high intensity cardio creates stress. One of the hormones of stress is cortisol. It converts muscle tissue to energy, but also is associated with accumulation of visceral fat—abdominal fat—the hardest type of fat to lose.
- While doing cardio exclusively may make you gain weight, you need it to remain healthy. Just make sure you balance it with other types of exercise that build strength, flexibility and balance.
- Strength training will do more than just help you build muscles and lose weight. It also helps prevent serious conditions, like osteoporosis.
- No matter what type of exercise you choose, a healthy lower calorie diet is a must. Eating a healthier diet and combining it with resistance training sheds pounds faster than eating healthy and doing moderate cardio.