Cardio is one of the best ways to reduce the risk of obesity, diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, colon cancer, osteoporosis, depression and premature death. Cardio activity helps to maintain a normal blood pressure, relieve anxiety and keep the heart strong. All in all it is a recommended way to stay in shape and enjoy life. Don’t be misled by fitness-wannabes. Get the facts! Find out the myths about cardio workouts that you should stop believing!
1. The Order Of Things
There are rumors going around that you have to do your cardio workout first, then weight/resistance training. Los Angeles certified fitness trainer Jennifer Burke busts this cardio myth, "either order is technically fine, but if you do strength training first, your workout will be much more effective overall." The important thing to remember is that weight training expels more energy than cardio. If you do weight training first, then your energy levels will be at peak performance for the more strenuous workout. Placing cardio second will enable you to focus on the workout vs. lack of energy.
2. Cardio Will Speed Weight Loss
The abuse and misuse of cardio workouts is running rampant. You may be diligent and intentional about your cardio workout, but the truth is, without a trainer’s guidance and proper diet, you may be spinning your wheels. You can’t overeat at the House of Donuts and then hit the gym for a round of cardio and expect to lose weight, it just doesn’t work. Cardio workouts are
important to any weight loss plan, just be sure to include equal amounts of aerobics, cardio and weight training. Finding a certified fitness professional and possibly a nutritionist is the best advice to propelling weight loss.
3. Intensity Doesn’t Matter
Wrong! The intensity of any cardio workout is extremely important! If you are looking to burn major calories, you will need to exert more energy – jump higher, climb more stairs and go faster. Cardio is categorized by high intensity (maximum heart rate mhr 75-85%), moderate intensity (mhr 60-70%) and low intensity (mhr 50-55%). Find your target heart rate and workout according to your fitness level. Do not over exert; build up to your maximum heart rate.
4. Burn Target: 500 Calories
It has been implied that you need to burn a minimum of 500 calories for an effective cardio workout. False. Everyone has a different basic metabolic rate at which they burn calories. This is due to various body composition/size, gender and age. Larger people and people who have greater muscle burn more calories. Men burn calories faster than woman because they usually have less body fat and more muscle. As we age, muscle diminishes while fat typically increases. All of these are factors in the amount of calories you should burn during a cardio workout. The idea is to get moving no matter your basic metabolic rate.
5. Don’t Eat Before Cardio
We need energy to move. Food fuels our body for peak performance. Fitness experts agree that fueling up 90 minutes prior to your cardio workout is the key to success. Find a good pre-gym snack that is easy to digest. Eating one and a half to two hours before your workout will provide the sustaining energy you need to power you through. Hydration is just as important as food. Along with your snack drink two, eight ounce glasses of water.
6. High Intensity Cardio Is Only For Athletes
Cardio intensity is a matter of your fitness level just as much as it is your stamina. The less-fit person derives the same cardio benefits from the same exercise as the more-fit athlete. Why? Because intensity is based upon what your body believes is intense. For example, the more-fit athlete jumps rope like a maniac for 5 minutes and maximum heart rate of 85%; the less-fit person does the same. Both are benefiting from the higher intensity workout.
7. Cardio Can’t Be Abused
Seems like a crazy statement, for sure, but the fact is that there are many people who are cardio addicts. They feel frumpy and fat if they miss a day of cardio. Relax. Give your body the rest it deserves. This doesn’t mean you can be a slacker, it only means that joints and muscles require time to recoup from overexertion. Cardio abusers may end up with joint and muscle discomfort or pain from overuse. Avoid the pitfall of being a cardio fanatic. Moderation is the key.
Improving your cardio/aerobic endurance allows you to breathe easier while allowing you to do activies more efficiently, like dancing and climbing stairs. Remember to check with your health care professional about your fitness level and which exercises will benefit your lifestyle. A fitness coach can guide you through proper techniques and form. Have fun working out!
Reposted from: http://www.fitnessrepublic.com/fitness/7-cardio-myths-you-should-stop-believing.html
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