One of the most recommended exercise programs for burning calories is cardio workouts, making it the top choice for weight loss. Cardio training strengthens your heart, it’s easy to start and it’s safe for beginners. It can be done by almost anyone, of any age and at little cost. However, there are also some mistaken beliefs about cardio and you need to be aware of them or they could undermine your fitness goals.
Top Cardio Training Myths
1. Don’t eat before your cardio exercise
Some people believe that working out before eating makes your workouts more effective. Though working out early in the morning is safe enough for some, it doesn’t have an impact on your body’s ability to burn calories. In fact, your body needs energy for your workout sessions and you won’t have much energy if you don’t eat beforehand. Just make it a snack and not a meal and you should be fine to exercise shortly after.
2. More cardio work will make you lose more weight
Since cardio exercises burn calories, it sounds like more exercises and longer sessions should get rid of even more weight. However, this is a common mistake. To increase the effectiveness of your cardio program, what you need to do is to supplement your cardio with strength training. This is what will aid in burning more calories, as building lean muscle actually helps with fat burnign throughout the day – not only during exercise!
3. Do cardio, and you won’t need any other exercise
Cardio is fundamental to a proper weight loss program but relying on cardio alone won’t greatly improve your overall health and fitness. It cannot, for instance, strengthen the other muscles in your body. This means you will still be susceptible to muscle strain and other injuries if you push yourself too hard. To gain maximum health benefits, combine your cardio program with strength training and some mobility exercises for flexibility.
4. There’s only one type of cardio workout
Mention cardio workouts and most people would think immediately of a treadmill. Running on the treadmill does seem to be the most popular cardio exercise but it’s not your only option. Swimming and cycling are also types of cardio, as well as team sports, rowing and even walking outdoors.
5. Cardio first before all other workouts
A lot of fitness enthusiasts choose to do their cardio first over any other exercise supposedly to produce maximum results. There is no particular order that you must follow. However, many experts also say that if you do wish to make the most of your workouts, it would actually be a good idea to start with strength training instead since that will require most of your energy. In our view, unless you’re training at elite athletic standards, it’s not whether you start with cardio or resistance training that counts, but rather that you just get started!
6. Any intensity level is fine
Quite a few people are also under the impression that running on the treadmill comfortably at a low intensity is sufficient for a workout. On the contrary, intensity, more than duration, has a greater effect on weight loss and health.