Cardio workouts are among well-known weight loss tips. They’re a popular workout for women, but how much of it is enough to be fit for life? To do cardio or not, that is the question.
The idea of cardio being the only physical activity for women is so widely spread the idea is scary. It is not like I am against it though. Far from that! However, the fact that it is frequently treated as the sole solution to all female fitness problems worries me.
Cardiovascular activities, or cardio as they are commonly called, have their importance in the path of a fit life. But how much of it do you really need?
[Tweet “Cardio is a popular #workout among women, but how much is too much? #fitforlife”]
When someone comes to the conclusion that they need/should lose weight for instance, what is the first thing that they think of? Cardio, isn’t it? I thought so too in the beginning and I am pretty sure you did it as well, and maybe still do.
But how does the ‘magic’ of weight loss really happen? And why do people so easily associate it with spending countless hours on the treadmill?
Pounds (or kilos) start to melt from the moment that your intake is lower than your outtake. In other words, you are using more energy than you are consuming. For example, if you have just started a Couch to 5k program and decided to maintain your diet as-is, you will probably still lose weight because you will be burning extra calories. So far, so good. But let’s face it: is it all? Is your ideal fit for life plan to become a battery bunny? I hope that your answer was “no”.
No matter how much you vary your training, you will probably be doing the same repetitive moves over and over again. If you are trying just to do them faster, fine! But it will not be of that much use if you are willing to build your overall condition.
After you leave that damn machine, take a refreshing shower and go home for your well-deserved meal, you will still burn calories. More calories than you would be burning doing the same activities (showering, driving, eating…) without the training. This window can last something from 2 to 14 hours according to different researches. After that, it is no more. Compared to weight training however, you can maximize this window up to 2 days (yes, I wrote it right: 2 DAYS!).
[Tweet “There is no point to lifting weights lighter than your purse. #workout #PersonalTrainer”]
Anyways, when putting together a basic weekly training schedule have the following in mind:
- Strength training for at least 3 times – combine body parts wisely
- 3 to 5 30-minute cardio sessions (including plyos) – the exact amount depends on your goals and opt for HIIT whenever possible
- at least one rest day – muscles grow when you rest
Back to the first paragraph: To do cardio or not? The answer is: Yay! However, do have in mind that it cannot be the sole solution to your fitness approach. Include other activities in your planning such as weight training, yoga and stretching. Getting and staying fit for life is more than how much you weight. It is mainly about how you feel inside and out. It is about your health.
[Tweet “A good #workout plan includes #cardio, weight training and rest. #fitforlife”]
Needless to say that these are general facts. There are a lot of other aspects that should be taken into consideration when putting your workout together such as predispositions, health condition, metabolism and why not time, personal preference and availability. Whatever regimen you choose for yourself, stop immediately if you feel unwell and consult your health care provider to be sure it is not “something else”. And if you are completely new to training, consult your doctor before starting!
To learn more fitness tips for beginners, make sure you read my article on the Move It Monday blog.
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Workout smart and stay fit for life!
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