Have you ever heard ridiculous claims like “Sprinting for twenty minutes straight makes you drop twenty pounds” or something along the lines of “I cured my cancer by running a local 5k!”? If you’ve been subjected to people seriously spouting these claims like they’re the truth, then you’ve been a victim of cardio myths. The horror! With so many people believing so many different things about running and other cardiovascular activities, we’re here to set the record straight.

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Is cardiovascular exercise the sole key to being healthy and fit? Of course not, but it is an important part of the entire fitness equation. But like strength training, core strength and lifting weights in general, aerobic exercise is not without its fair share of myths and misunderstandings. We want to make sure that you understand the significance of the workouts you go through and how they actually benefit your body when you’re doing them because knowledge is power!

The team of friendly certified personal training experts at Intelligent Fitness Personal Training is dedicating today’s blog post to debunking several of these myths as they relate to cardiovascular exercise like running and more. To make us your personal trainer, visit here. Let’s take a look at some of these cardio myths.

Cardio And Cardio Alone Is The Key To Fat Loss

While cardio no doubt has its benefits, without a strength training component incorporated into your workout regimen, it’s going to be pretty difficult to build the lean muscle mass and achieve the “toned” physique that so many gym-goers desire. Lifting weights not only helps shape your body and make you feel strong (not bulky, there’s a difference), but your body will also continue burning calories well after you’re done working out.

Incorporating strength training into your weekly cardio regimen will give your body different loads to adapt to, different ranges of motion to work through, and different muscle groups to target.

More Time Spent Doing Cardio Is Better

More minutes spent doing cardio means more calories burned overall, right? This thinking makes sense, but it’s not necessarily true – longer isn’t better, better is better. Utilizing cardio methods like high-intensity interval training (HIIT) will be more effective than steady state cardio and will also allow you to burn more calories both during and after your workout. In fact, doing HIIT will give you that afterburn calorie effect similar to lifting weights.

To clarify what we mean between steady state cardio and HIIT, steady state might look like 30-60+ minutes on a treadmill going the same pace for the entire duration of your workout. HIIT exercise, on the other hand, might look more like 20 minutes on your machine of choice (treadmill, exercise bike, elliptical, etc.) alternating between 30 seconds of really hard work and 30 seconds of rest or jump roping for ten rounds of 40 seconds on and then 20 seconds off. When it comes to getting an efficient, quality cardio workout that makes each movement you put in count, you really can’t beat HIIT.

Nutrition Doesn’t Matter If You Do Enough Cardio

It’s a nice concept, but it’s also not true – exercise alone is not the only piece of the puzzle when it comes to fat loss. If anything, quality nutrition is just as, if not more important, than cardiovascular exercise and strength training. Many times, when people start up a new workout routine, a common side effect is an increase in appetite and a subsequent increase in caloric intake. If you’re on a journey to lose weight, regular cardiovascular exercise is a great way to do it, but try to keep yourself modest in the kitchen. Not only do most of us tend to overestimate the number of calories we burn during our workouts, but we also tend to underestimate how many calories we consume on a daily basis.

Cardio Is A Complete Waste Of Time

Would you believe us if we told you that there are a lot of ‘fitness professionals’ out there who discredit the validity of cardio entirely? Cardiovascular exercise will always provide some extent of benefits whether you’ve just started a couch-to-5k program or you routinely run ultra marathons. Even in the traditional sense, cardio has a lot of benefits – it can increase our stamina, it’s therapeutic, it gets you up and moving, and it often involves activities that you probably already enjoy like sports or dancing.

Routinely getting in cardiovascular exercise sets the foundation for good lung and heart health for life and also offers many benefits for your mental health. Indeed, the endorphin stimulation in your brain is an all-natural, effective way to combat depression, for example.

Get Your Cardio In The Right Way With A Personal Fitness Instructor

We can’t promise that doing cardio workouts with our certified personal training instructors at our North Canton gym will be easy, but they will be incredibly rewarding and maybe even more enjoyable than you thought they would be! Cardio is a valuable component of total fitness, and Ohio’s best trainers are ready to help you out. Get in touch with Intelligent Fitness Personal Training today to learn more!  

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