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MyFitnessPal | 4 Reasons Why Cardio Alone Won’t Help You Lose Weight

As a runner, I have witnessed the benefits of a pure cardio routine; after all who has time for family aka young children, career, regular long slow distance (LSD) training runs, and making it to the gym.  I have also experienced it’s downfall through injuries related to not cross training adequately and muscle inbalance which is only magnified from my sedimentary office job that pays the bills.

MyFitnessPal published a great article with the help of California-based personal trainer Mike Donavanik, CSCS on the misconceptions of cardio routines and loosing weight.

After you read these few words, you may want to make room for some cross training opportunities.

4 Reasons Why Your Cardio Addiction Won’t Help You Lose Weight

  1. CARDIO IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN STRENGTH TRAINING FOR FAT LOSS
    Minute-per-minute, you might burn more calories on the elliptical than you will in the weight room, but those calories will come from carbs, fat and protein — the building blocks for muscle.As you finish your cardio workout, the calorie burn stops. Not so with strength training. After a strength session, your body has to work not only to repair and grow your muscles, but also to return your body’s levels of enzymes and other chemicals back to normal. That process increases your caloric burn, even at rest, for up to 72 hours after you leave the gym.
  2. RUNNING AND SPINNING DOUBLE AS LOWER-BODY STRENGTH WORKOUTS
    Even though running and spinning work your muscles, they target your slow-twitch muscle fibers, which are in charge of your muscular endurance. Strength training, however, hones in on your fast-twitch, power-generating muscle fibers, especially if you’re lifting heavy weights for only a handful of reps per set.
    That means resistance-heavy cardio won’t eliminate the need for targeted lower-body strength workouts. In addition, performing strength workouts will help prevent muscle imbalances and injury, he says. You need both strength and endurance for optimal performance and health.
  3. YOU NEED TO WORK OUT IN THE “FAT-BURNING ZONE”
    Even though you’ll burn a greater proportion of your calories from fat exercising at lower intensities, you’ll also burn fewer calories overall — and that includes calories from fat, he explains. Opt for high-intensity interval training (HIIT) if you want to burn more calories and fat during your cardio workouts.
  4. YOU CAN COUNT ON CARDIO MACHINES’ CALORIE DISPLAYS
    In one University of California, San Francisco experiment conducted for “Good Morning America,” elliptical machines overestimated peoples’ calorie expenditures by up to 42%! Treadmills overestimated by 13%, stair climbers by 12%, and stationary bikes by 7%.Luckily, research published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise suggests that fitness trackers come a lot closer.

Read the full article here.

Can we take this article for face value?

As you click through a few links  after Google search there are a variety of philosophies out there. Heck, I even found several links that swore you could loose 1.5 lbs a day by doing nothing other then taking a little blue pill. Built Lean published another great article, that speaks to some of the misconceptions around the debate.

For all of us, the proof is in the pudding. However, more importantly, we make the best use of the time we have available.  After all, I always joke, a quick run, brisk walk or thirty minutes to an hour at the gym is still more then what most people accomplish.

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Mark is a foodie in training, photographer, Starbucks addict, runner, cyclist, and single parent living outside of Toronto, Ontario. Living with Crohn’s Disease and Diabetes, life for this Transportation Planner and RPP can be an interesting mix.

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