Cardio trains the heart muscle improves the functioning of the respiratory system saturates the body with oxygen and helps burn fat. Weight loss activities include all types of aerobic exercise (exercise bike, walking, swimming). What would be the effect of doing only cardio?
Table of Contents
- What are the pros and cons of cardio for weight loss as opposed to other types of physical activity?
- What is the cardio exercise from a physiological point of view?
- How to prepare for cardio exercises
- 5 myths about cardio training
- Effective Cardio Rules
- Nutrition for cardio
- Food Before workout
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What are the pros and cons of cardio for weight loss as opposed to other types of physical activity?
The benefits and effectiveness of cardio loads per day for the general strengthening of the human body and the development of physical fitness are tangible for both beginners and professional athletes. Often in the simulator, there is a case when a line forms near the treadmills.
But, according to experts, too much cardio load can bring not only benefits but also harm to the body. What to Consider in Fat Burning Workouts? How to get the most out of the simulators?
Cardio loads are beneficial if you regularly monitor your heart rate, otherwise, you will simply harm the body.
What is the cardio exercise from a physiological point of view?
From the name, it is clear that cardio training is primarily aimed at strengthening the heart and vascular systems of the body, as well as the heart muscles. The heart is the main muscle in the body. Like other muscles, she needs the training to maintain her strength. If the sessions last 5 minutes or longer, with moderate intensity, then the breakdown of glucose (main energy) will be carried out with the participation of oxygen. This is why cardio is an aerobic workout.
When glucose is depleted, energy is drawn from adipose tissue, which is the body’s long-term supply. The benefits of cardio will be greatest with regular aerobic exercise. Only in this case, the ability of the heart to enrich the blood with oxygen with delivery to the muscles increases; metabolism accelerates; thermoregulatory properties are improved; pressure decreases, and with it the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. The body perceives periodic exercises as stress and reacts to them with increased blood pressure and increased fatigue.
Aerobic exercise for breaking down fat is a long-term combination of repetitive movements, during which the heart rate increases significantly. A prerequisite for successful cardio is outdoor exercise. Ventilate the room before training, or better yet, the exercise by an open window or outdoors.
How to prepare for cardio exercises
Check your heart rate limits before training. For the greatest accuracy in the readings, you can even undergo a computer examination. This is how you know the maximum blood pressure during exercise. Another option for calculating the optimal heart rate is using the formula: 220 – age. So, 65% of the obtained value is the lower limit of the pulse, and 85% is the upper limit.
Absolutely all modern exercise bikes and treadmills are endowed with special sensors to monitor the heart rate. To take the measurement, simply place your hands on the handrails while you run on the treadmill. For the greatest accuracy in readings, use additional measuring sensors built into bracelets, watches, and other devices.
5 myths about cardio training
Myth number 1
Weight loss cardio is more beneficial than barbell exercises. Beginning athletes come to this myth because of the opinion that in the process of aerobic exercise, fats are broken down faster. According to the research results, the best effect is achieved with a combination of strength and cardio loads for weight loss. For 20 minutes, aerobic exercise helps burn glycogen stores in the liver. Then the body gradually switches to the breakdown of fats.
Strength training is expected to perform better in the long term as it burns fat for several hours after exercise and speeds up the metabolism during rest. For the functioning of internal organs, the body extracts energy through the breakdown of fats. An increase in muscle volume increases the daily caloric intake of the diet. During cardio training, calories are burned quickly, but the metabolism is not accelerated during the rest. Aerobic and anaerobic exercise in combination can achieve great results in weight loss.
Myth number 2
The maximum number of aerobic exercise results in better performance. In a high cardio mode, the body switches to burning muscle tissue to provide energy to all organs and systems. For a workout lasting 2 hours, the body uses 90% of the amino acids that are responsible for building muscle mass. Sweat why it is better not to engage in aerobic exercise for more than 1 hour.
Myth number 3
You need to start your workout with cardio. This belief is incorrect, as cardio can help burn glycogen and decrease the muscle strength required to perform strength training. Starting with “iron”, you increase the efficiency of training, as well as your own endurance.
Myth number 4
To increase the daily caloric intake of the diet, you need to add cardio loads to expend excess energy. Increasing the duration of the workout increases the load. Therefore, it is not necessary to increase the duration of the classes, but their intensity. It is much better to follow the diet. If you accidentally overeat, then subtract those extra calories from your next meal.
Myth number 5
Increasing the number of repetitions and decreasing the weight of the barbell dumbbells will help you lose weight. The best results are achieved through a combination of aerobic and anaerobic exercise. Low weight does not promote muscle growth. For maximum benefit, the program should include high-weight, low-rep strength exercises (6 to 12).
Effective Cardio Rules
- Cardio workout lasting 1 hour should be done 3-5 times a week.
- Depending on the choice of aerobic exercise (cycling, running, swimming, jumping rope), focus on your well-being and preferences.
- Do interval training 2 times a week.
- The sports program should include 2-3 strength training.
- In the process of training, keep your heart rate at 65-70% of the upper limit.
- So that the weight does not return, do cardio at least 3-4 times a week.
- Combine cardio training and weight loss. Moreover, in the first case, the intensity of the training should be at the maximum (up to 85% of the upper heart rate limit), and the duration of the session should not exceed 20 minutes. In the second case, choose a moderate rhythm with a load of no more than 65% of the maximum heart rate.
Nutrition for cardio
Food Before workout
Previously, cardio was ideal in the morning before breakfast, since fat is more actively broken down after an overnight fast. According to modern researchers, fat breakdown increases if amino acids are taken before training. Moreover, it can be both amino acids in tablets and those contained in fast-digesting protein products with high nutritional value (whey protein or egg proteins). Before morning cardio workout, 10-20 g of isolate or 2 egg whites are enough.
This option is suitable for those with relatively low body fat content. For those with average or above-average body fat percentage, exercise duration is important. The best option is to consume protein 2-3 hours before cardio gymnastics for weight loss if it lasts 30-45 minutes. Moreover, it is better to give preference to protein and slow carbohydrates with a low glycemic index. This will help maintain insulin levels, provide the necessary pre-workout energy, and allow you to burn more calories from fat. In principle, you can safely do aerobics after 2-3 hours of a standard lunch.
Meals during Workout
During aerobic exercise, you can and should drink water. Otherwise, the water-salt balance will be disturbed, which does not bode well. Many people assume that sweat is fat. This reasoning forces people not to drink and to wrap themselves from head to toe in plastic wrap. Sweat and fat are 2 different substances. The body reacts to an increase in temperature and excretes water to reduce it, and this has nothing to do with the breakdown of fat. Also, the use of cling film for weight loss is fraught with serious heart problems.
During aerobic exercise, the body burns calories intensively. This process does not last long after a workout, therefore nutritionists do not advise eating immediately after cardio. Some say that it takes 2 hours to wait, while others believe that it is enough not to eat 45 minutes. Logically speaking, cardio is a direct road to muscle catabolism, as well as fasting after it. The destruction of muscles is not at all good for weight loss, since they are the main factor in metabolism. Therefore, it is impractical not to eat for 2 hours.
The best option is to eat fast protein 30-45 minutes after cardio (whey protein or egg white). And after another 45 minutes – eat slow carbohydrates. Or you can take protein immediately after cardio, and carbohydrates after 1.5 hours.
Cardio workouts to burn fat at home or in the gym need to be done wisely! By following our advice, you will not harm the body. Strength training or cardio for losing weight requires careful attention. Think about whether you are doing your training correctly.