One of the most potentially confusing things about exercise is cardio. I always hear people say they “need to do more cardio” when they want to lose weight that. Well, this isn’t necessarily the case.
Today I’m going to let you know three things you might not know about cardio, how it relates to weight loss and how you can get it to work better for your goals.
Let’s get started!
You don’t burn that many calories when you’re doing regular cardio exercise. I’m sorry to tell you this, but you just don’t. For example, if you run at a 12 minute mile pace for a half hour, which for many of us is pretty darn fast, you’ll burn off about 250 calories. That means that if you’re feeling like you deserve a little something like this for your efforts:
You will actually be taking in somewhere between 150 and 300 calories in excess of what you just burned! On top of that the better you get at running, the fewer calories you will burn as your body becomes better and more efficient.
For weight loss, interval-style cardio training is the way to go. As we talked about last week strength training is the most important exercise you can do for weight loss. Having said that, if you are going to do some cardio, interval-style cardio the way to go. Interval-style cardio has the additional benefit of raising your metabolism after you are done. In other words, you will continue to burn additional calories even after you stop exercising. Now to get this to really work you must push yourself pretty darn hard, but that shouldn’t be a problem for you, right?
You can get creative with your cardio. At our gym we do all kinds of things to get that cardio effect. You don’t have to just walk on a treadmill or ride a stationary bike. We do different kinds of circuits. Try this one: 10 squats, 10 pushups, and a 30 second plank. Do each exercise as fast as you can (with good form, of course). Rest 30 seconds between each set and do 4 sets. If you’re not breathing heavy afterwards, re-read what I said above about working hard.
Well, I hope this gives you a few ideas you can use to help get more out of your cardio training. Please let me know if we can help.
Have a great day!
Mitch Rothbardt, CPT, PN Level 2 Lean Eating Coach, FMS Castro Valley Fitness 2861 Grove Way in Castro Valley 510-754-7113 Mitch@CastroValleyFitness.com