I see it daily, folks running hard or biking as fast as they can, leaving them with an adrenaline rush, exhausted, and a false sense of accomplishment.
The other day a friend of mine who’s struggling to lose weight told me he runs an hour or 7 miles a day at a fast pace and doesn’t understand why he can’t get rid of his belly.
A follower on Facebook asked me how I manage with only 2 meals a day, and at the same time told me she runs 30 miles a week. I immediately took note of that comment; as for me, it translated into “I exercise a lot, so I need to eat a lot.”
I don’t know what her situation is, but I’m guessing she’s not dropping the weight as she’d like to, much like my friend.
If you observe people working out in a gym, running or at CrossFit, and other high-intensity cardio workouts such as dance classes and spinning, you’ll notice most of them are carrying extra body fat. Be that on their bellies, legs, bottom, arms, face, or all those areas!
Does that make sense to you? If these cardio enthusiasts do this daily and at high intensity, the fat should have long since melted off, no?
That’s precisely why so many folks eventually give up their new training routine, as they don’t see the desired results. Thus, frustration and disappointment set in, and they stop.
The Cardio Myth.
The truth is, they’ve got it all backwards, and worse, the class or personal trainer told them to exercise this way, either because they don’t care or, more likely, don’t know. Come on folks, no Pain no Gain!!! Wrong.
This type of cardio workout is counterproductive and causes harm to your heart, may trigger muscle loss, and achieves zero fat burn.
A pattern of chronic cardio exercise can cause:
- Increased hunger and cravings
- Prevent fat burn
- Elevate cortisol levels
- Weaken your immune system
- Increase agitation, fatigue, and stress
- Break down lean muscle tissue
- Suppress testosterone levels
- Trigger chronic systemic inflammation
- Increase the risk of injury
- Increase sugar cravings
Daily cardio sessions of long duration at a fast pace will push you into your anaerobic zone, where your body no longer burns fat cells for fuel but instead glucose.
In addition, if you push yourself for too long, you’ll eventually run out of glucose for energy — your system will start to break down muscle tissue, which is converted to glucose to keep you going.
Look at the high-intensity marathon runners. They run for 2.5 hours at the fastest speed they can and are constantly in an anaerobic state.
Years of continuous high-intensity anaerobic training have made them break down so much muscle that they become ultra-skinny.
Is all of this healthy? Absolutely not. Their hearts are probably not in great shape — many long-distance runners have collapsed and died of heart attacks over the years.
The notion that you have to go fast and far for a good cardio workout is entirely flawed. It’s simply been drilled into people’s minds that that’s the only way to achieve ultimate fitness.
Mind Example: I told my friend to start walking at a fast-pace instead of running; that way, he would keep his heart rate in the fat-burning zone the entire time and begin to lose the belly. His reply? Walking is so dull, and it feels like I’m not getting any actual exercise done!
And that, folks, is where the big misunderstanding and brainwashing lie.
Aerobic Slow-Paced Cardio.
Daily low-level aerobic movement promotes a robust immune system, fat-burn and improves brain function.
Combining your daily aerobic movement plan (walking, biking, swimming, yoga) with 2 to 3 weekly strength training sessions, using your body as your gym, and the occasional sprint workout will work wonders.
Not only will you burn fat and build lean muscle efficiently, but you’ll also improve your organ function, which has an anti-aging effect, improve your mood, reduce stress, and achieve your desired body goals.
Overall, you’ll start to feel far more powerful and in control of your body instead of the opposite.
The Benefits of Aerobic Exercise.
- Burns fat efficiently
- Builds a strong heart, and cardiovascular system
- Improves overall organ health
- Boosts your immune system
- Can have anti-aging effects
- Improves your mood
- Reduces stress
- Burns fat all day long, even after your workout
- Improves lung capacity
- Strengthens bones and joints, connective tissues and muscles
- Minimizes risk of injury
- Optimizes the flow of anti-aging hormones
- Builds an efficient circulatory system
It’s vital to understand that a long and high-intensity run or spin won’t make you lose weight and is bad for your heart.
Your body perceives such intense sessions as stress; thus, your brain releases a flow of cortisol into your bloodstream, which over time can cause damage to your heart.
Our fight or flight stress hormone “cortisol” exists to warn us of imminent danger, so we can take action to avert it, and then slow down again. That instant shot of cortisol immediately shocks and alerts you like your adrenaline spikes.
The fight or flight hormone doesn’t exist to abuse it by stressing ourselves continuously, whether at work, in life, or during our workout routines.
We must carefully manage our stress levels with everything we do and reduce any form of stress as much as possible.
That way, we can live a happier, healthier, and potentially longer life.
Note: You can measure your maximum aerobic zone by subtracting your age from your maximum heart rate of 180.
Keep your cardio workouts under that number of BMP, and you’ll build a healthy heart, burn fat, feel and look great.
Thanks for reading,
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