Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Cardio Myths Vs. Facts

Those of you who love to hear your elliptical gearing up at the end of a long day can agree that nothing beats cardio. And of course you know how fantastic it is for your heart and that it's a great calorie burner, but there are some cardio myths out there masquerading as fact. We want to make sure that you have all the correct information to work with so here are five of the biggest cardio myths:
MYTH: For weight loss, cardio is the one & only answer.
FACT:  Of course if you’re pushing yourself on that treadmill or elliptical day in and day out, you will drop weight and you will drop it fast. Cardio alone, however, burns away both fat and muscle, which of course you don’t want.  Make sure the weight you lose is the right kind of weight. You need those muscles!
MYTH: Cardio workouts have to be at least an hour long to matter.
FACT: All body movements burn calories, not just the ones that keep your heart pumping for over an hour. To burn them more efficiently, in fact you should introduce high-intensity interval training to routine which can elevate your metabolism so that you could still be burning up to 38 hours after your workout. Even 10 minutes at a high intensity is beneficial. And a recent study suggests that short, infrequent bouts of slow running can do your heart good.
MYTH: Cardio on an empty stomach torches maximum body fat.
FACT: The idea that if your body doesn't have available food calories, it'll dip into the body's stored supply, thus losing inches & lbs, is simply untrue. Fat burn is consistent whether you’ve eaten before a workout or not. In fact, your body needs energy which comes to you in the form of food. Having a pre-workout snack will actually help you perform better, thus burning more fat in the end.
MYTH: It's important to stay in the "fat-burning zone" if your aim is to burn fat.
FACT: This one is half true. But it's total calories burned (those pesky calories out) that matter for weight loss. A higher intensity workout gets more of those lbs off.  
MYTH: You can skip a legs' strength workout if you've ran or biked.
FACT: Although it may seem like you're working your legs and glutes, you aren't getting any muscle building benefits by running or biking. Building up these large muscles in your body help boost your metabolism so you need to do strength moves along with your cardio. And as an added bonus, strength workouts will make you a better runner and cyclist.