The Myths About Cardio Exercises
Do you really want to know the truths about cardio exercises?
Yes? But before we learn about the truths.
Let us repeat what is commonly heard about cardio? (Do not take this as cardio bashing.)
It is any form of movement (non-stop) that require you to sustain for over a period of 20mins or more.
It usually requires your body to move moderate speed.
Why? Because cardio strengthen your heart, lungs and it burn fat.
In other words,you can do cardio for 30 mins or more.The stronger and healthier your heart, lungs will be and you burn fat.
To benefit from cardio, you would have to do cardio exercise for three to five times a week.
Is this true?
I've just found out that we've been brain-washed by the culture for so many years about cardio.
Well, let us explore each of the three claims or myths scientifically.
Some of the claims are so logical that we believe it.
(And the last two myths are my most cherished beliefs about cardio.)
Now, without farther ado, let us explore the top 3 myths one at a time.And how it measure against the body's logic.
- Burn Fat
This is an innocent idea. You work up the intensity to the fat burning zone.And you start to burn the fat. There is a problem in this logic.
And here is the truth that shows why this logic has hamper your fat loss or weight loss goals.
Let us go through the process first.
Here is what happened when your body goes through aerobic exercise. The first 0-20 minutes, your body produce ATP.(It stands for adenosine triphosphate.)
But the supply of ATP is very limited.
Therefore the body uses glucose that store in these muscles once ATP is used up.
Once the glucose supply is used up. It usually takes about 20mins to exhaust the supply of glucose.After that,your body switch to protein for fuel. And the last fuel source that the body will ever use is fat.
How does that relate to cardio?
Because long cardio exercises is asking your body to burn more of the precious fat. Once you are done with your moderate intensity cardio exercise.
The fats from the body are burned. Your body will immediately store more of the precious fats for the next round of moderate intensity workout.
This is known as the adaptation response.
Why is fat precious to your body?
Because fat contain more calories than proteins and carbs. In fact, fat contain 9 calories. How much does protein and carbohydrate contain?
Both contain 4 calories each.
That's the why fat is the last thing the body will ever give up.
It is only use in case of an emergency. And trying to burn more of it by doing an hour of cardio. You telling your body, there is an emergency.
Why does the body want to store fat?
The first reason: It is to protect the organs and help dissolve fat-soluble vitamins.
Such as vitamins A,D,E and K.
The second reason: If some event will to strike such as long period of hunger.
The body can survive the period of long hunger.
That is why prolong feasting period is not good for the body. Why? Because it demand too much of the body.
- Build A Strong Heart.
I wish, I learn about this many years ago.
Because constant exertion from activity such as moderate intensity cardio exercises without break in between can cause internal friction (inflammation) to the heart and the surrounding blood vessels.
Especially if you do cardio for long period of time,it put a lot of stress on the heart. This in turn make more susceptible to heart problems.
There are too cases of marathon runners collapsed after or in between the race in history. And most of these people do not recover from it. And some simply pass away. I know 2 cases.
Do you want an example? Read the news, track the history.
And you will notice a pattern.
Why? Because the heart will not get stronger with prolong moderate intensity cardio exercise.
So how do we build strong heart? We will learn that in a moment.
- Build Strong Lungs.
Here is another cardio exercises myth.
I think you have heard, read or listen about it. And if you still think that cardio build strong lungs.
Here is the truth about cardio exercises.
The minute, you do long cardio session causes the body to adapt in unusual way such as smaller heart, smaller muscles, higher body fat at the waist and smaller lungs.
Why do your lungs get smaller?
Because small lungs use less air than big,strong and powerful lungs.So that it can lasts longer in a cardio workout.And this is how the body adapt to be more efficient.
Furthermore,your lungs begin to weaken or shrink after 20 years old even if we do not strengthen our lungs.
And cardio cause our lungs to shrink even more and does nothing to build strong lungs.
So how do we train our lungs?
Here's how,we need to create a large amount of oxygen debt. How do we do that? By exercising at high intensity, recover and repeat the cycle. How high is enough? It depends on you.
Here is a way to create the large oxygen debt?
Interval training does that. It‘s been proven since 1930.
But much of this is not known to the public.
Elite athletes known it and used it. And elite coaches used it to train the athletes for competitions.
Carl Lewis and Roger Banister are great example of interval training.
Here is the most famous interval training method. It is called “The Tabata Protocol.”
You can check it out online or offline.
And there are many studies conducted on interval training.
Okay, now you debug the cardio exercises myths.
Here are the challenges while doing cardio.
You may be familiar with it some.
The body must never feel tired,bored,hungry and thirsty.
And of course,the body must never feel overwhelm by the waste products generated from the body.
I know it because I was one of these people. I just realize it after much reading and research.I've tried to improve my cardiovascular fitness using the common tradition cardio exercise. And not matter,how hard I try, my cardiovascular fitness level still remain the same.
What’s the solution?
I have three solutions for you.
- The First Solution
If you still prefer to do long cardio session, consider low intensity and low impact exercises. Such as walking,power-walking,stair climbing,hiking and tai-chi.
These exercises causes less strain to the heart and lungs.
And of course,it will take much longer to build your cardiovascular fitness.
- The Second Solution.
Do interval training.
This form of training can build the capacity of the heart and lungs.
Why? Because short active rest is added into the workout.
This tells your body to build up the capacity of the lungs and heart.
What is active rest?
Instead of sitting down and rest, you move your body in a slow constant pace and remember to breathe deeply.
Unfortunately,most interval training are too intense for the unfit or beginner.Why? Because the Tabata Protocol interval training require you to do 8 sets at 20 seconds exertion and rest for 10 seconds.
- The Third solution.
Do weight training and low intensity cardio exercises.But do them separately.Do them each on different days.
You can choose to use your body-weight as weight training.So it is easier on your body and joints.
(Why? Because weight training can help your body build lean and metabolic active muscles. So it raise the metabolism to burn fat even you're sleeping.
And it can also improve on your cardiovascular health.If you know how to do it in a way,that improve your cardiovascular fitness.
They are many ways to improve your cardiovascular fitness.)
And add a dose of low intensity cardio exercise a few days a week. It really depends on what you prefer, if you like to take long walk to release stress or cycle around the park.
There you have it.The truths about cardio exercises and the solutions.
- Do you want to learn the five low impact aerobic exercises that are safe for your joints and heart?
- Do you like to know the examples of aerobic exercises?
- Do you want to know what is the best cardio?
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