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cardio workout
marathon runners
resting heart rate
muscle fibers
excess calories
cardiovascular exercise
body shape
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weight training
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How To Lose Weight: Cardio
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How To Lose Weight: Cardio

Hey people, here I'll be talking a little bitabout the importance of cardio and why not to over do it.

First here are some positives of a regular cardio workout:

1. Cardiovascular exercise gives you a healthier, stronger heart which can pump blood throughout your body with greater ease. Eg: marathon runners have a resting heart rate of 40 whereasa normal person has it as 72. Its almost 2 times more efficient at pumping blood!

2. Functional ability of the body increase. This ability defines your capabilityto do simple tasks everyday like climb stairs, carry groceries, may berun after apurse snatcher(just kidding, but you get the point right).

3. Improves ability to do weight training as it trains the heart to be used to pumping harder.

These are all the good things about doing a regular cardio workout. But doing it in excess does just one thing for you - increase your cadiovascular endurance. Otherthan that there are a lot of things which happen. Some of these are :

1. The body shape envisioned when you start out wanting to lose excess fat may never be achieved. This happens as the body only recruits type 1 muscle fibers for cardio and the type 2fibers, responsible for giving form to the body aren't recruited at all.To give you an idea, I started out a cardio freak. All I did was lose weight like crazy (both fat and muscle). No form or shape about my body, and boy was it frustrating.

2. Increase in BMR does not take place. This has been shown by studies in the late 90's. This means that excess cardio workout only burns the calories for that day and has no carry over effect like weight training. Thus if you miss a cardio session fora day, you are effectively converting the excess calories into fat. And the main principle - lose fat not muscle - goes out of the picture.

3. Weight bearing joints like the knees start hurting. Someone rightly said - we do not run on our joints but our muscles. So if there is no weight training to accompany the cardio, these joints take a lot of punishment and may give in a lot earlier.

All these above reasons leadto the cardinal truth of life - Do everything but in moderation. Do an alternate day scheduling of bothcardioand weight training. Each one is useless without the other if looked at from the point of view of overall fitness. Yes you can build muscle by weight training but what is the use if you can't carry that muscle. This is where cardiovascular endurance becomes important. I'll surely bewritingmore on these two topics in my later posts. But for the next post will be on the importance of stretching.


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