Busting the Myths on Cardio

Busting the Myths on Cardio

Story by Liesel Schmidt

Photography Courtesy of D1

Let’s face it; we’ve read so many articles about the importance of cardio and fitting it into our day as the best way to lose weight, tone up and get heart healthy. But there are some myths about cardio that we should all be shedding like last year’s unwanted weight.

Myth: The ONLY way to lose weight is through cardio.

Research shows that much of what contributes to weight loss is actually diet. So before you go pounding it out on the treadmill for three hours, take a long look at what’s been on your plate lately. That said, definitely don’t abandon the cardio—just add in some weight training and clean up your eating habits. You’ll see greater gains in the weight loss through diet.

Myth: Unless you’re doing more than an hour of cardio, there’s no point.

Is there a buzzer somewhere we can sound on this one? This is a major myth that needs to be corrected. Even 30 minutes of cardio is great for your health and you can do those 30 minutes in increments if it fits into your lifestyle better. Just move and focus on the intensity and you’ll reap the benefits.

“Free weight and bodyweight exercises are great ways to strength train and assist in conditioning the heart. A well-rounded strength training program should include various, squats, hinges, pushes, pulls and carries.' - Tom Fukuda, D1 Owner

Myth: Cardio is key for toning up.

Sure, cardio is great for losing existing fat. But to maximize that fat loss and prevent it from coming back, you need to strength train. The more muscles you have, the more calories your body burns to keep those muscles fueled.

Myth: Cardio is the only effective way to boost heart health.

Believe it or not, strength training is an amazing way to reduce your risk of heart disease. “Strength training is strongly correlated with gain and maintenance of lean muscle mass,” says D1 owner, Tom Fukuda. “Individuals with adequate amounts of lean muscle mass are able to utilize dietary carbohydrates effectively and maintain bone density as they age. Don’t be fooled by the notion that strength training doesn’t provide a cardiovascular workout. An effective strength training program will challenge all aspects of fitness and should provide a built-in conditioning workout without having to slog hours on a treadmill.”

Myth: Cardio burns more than strength training.

While most of us might think this because we’re so used to watching the calories tick off on cardio machines, it’s a fallacy that needs to be put to bed. In fact, circuit training can burn a comparable number of calories to cardio—and in some cases, even more. Strength training for calorie burning emphasizes larger muscle groups (legs, back and chest) and incorporates total-body exercises to facilitate weight loss.

Myth: Doing cardio on an empty stomach equals greater burn.

Wrong again. In fact, studies show that performing a cardio workout first thing in the morning before eating can actually have adverse effects and cause muscle loss because of depleted energy levels. It’s best to eat breakfast 90 minutes before a morning gym session or eat a small snack 30 minutes prior.

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