Is Cardio Making You Fat?

What’s the best type of exercise to help you lose weight? Some people say cardio is the best because it burns tons of calories, but new schools of thought contradict that, saying cardio is really making you fat. Which one is right? Which one is right? There are valid reasons to suspect that cardio alone isn’t the best route to take if you’re trying to shed those extra pounds, but at the same time you can also use cardio in ways to boost your weight loss endeavor.

Your body becomes more efficient the more you do cardiovascular exercises.

The human body was built for becoming more efficient. The harder your labors are, the more muscle you build. The more you run or do aerobic type of activities, the more efficient it becomes at conserving calories and using oxygen and lung capacity more efficiently. While that’s great for survival, it’s not great for weight loss, at least the calorie conserving part. It means the more you do of a specific activity, the less fuel you’ll need to do it. You may have burned hundreds of calories from running five miles initially, but that amount is cut substantially the more you do it. You need more variety since your body adapts.

You can stress your body with too much cardio.

This is a bit confusing, since exercise is supposed to be healthy and burn off hormones of stress, like cortisol. The problem is, rigorous cardio also causes the body to stress, releasing even more cortisol. If you don’t have a problem with stress, daily runs or other cardio won’t be a problem. However, anyone already under stress with high cortisol levels actually enters a “fat trap.” The more intense the cardio, the more potential for weight gain. It increases insulin levels and can boost your cravings for sugar.

You’ll be burning calories, but the source of those calories doesn’t matter.

When you burn calories, it can come from either fat tissue or muscle tissue. Aerobic exercise—cardio—doesn’t differentiate which one. It burns lean muscle mass for calories and fat tissue. It also can make it harder to build muscle tissue. Strength training tends to burn more fat tissue and build muscle tissue. That’s important since the more muscle tissue you have, the more calories you burn. Muscle tissue requires more calories than fat tissue does.

  • There are several studies that show that people who run often eat more calories. In fact, most people eat about 100 calories more than they burn, so they gain weight by adding cardio.
  • How fast you run makes a difference. If you run at top speed or run at a slow jog, almost walk, it is beneficial. It’s using a constant middle of the road pace that adds weight.
  • While cardio isn’t the best for weight loss in the long run, it does take off weight initially for the sedentary. It can get you ready for other cardio workouts that involve strength building like kettlebells or high intensity interval strength training.
  • Including all types of training in your workout is not only good for weight loss, it’s imperative for good health. That’s why we focus on a balanced workout at the Worx by Maia to help you lose weight more efficiently.

For more information, contact us today at The WorX by Maia

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