5 Common Cardio Myths You Can Put to Rest
When it comes to exercising, there are plenty of misconceptions people have that keep them from staying fit. Here are 5 myths that people tend to believe about cardio routines.
Myth #1: Cardio is only for people who are concerned with weight loss.
The Truth: Whether you’re looking to shed some extra pounds or want to bulk up, cardio is beneficial to everyone. Among many other things, it helps get your blood pumping, strengthens your heart, improves your endurance, and increases your lung capacity. So, it’s not something to shy away from even if you’re looking to add muscle. It’s important to include some amount of cardio in your routine.
Myth #2: The machine displays an accurate count of calories burned.
The Truth: A display that shows calories burned is helpful, as long as it’s used as a guide. The amount of calories burned will vary from person to person so the number that is shown is just an estimate. An additional way to determine how many calories you’ve burned is to invest in a good heart rate monitor that will better evaluate your workout intensity.
Myth #3: More cardio means you can eat whatever you want.
The Truth: Wouldn’t it be great if this were true? Unfortunately, it’s not. Many people use their cardio workouts to burn off the extra junk food they just ate. However, it usually takes a lot longer to burn off the calories of a big splurge than we tend to think. If you consider the amount of calories consumed in a typical fast food meal, it may actually take hours. Anyone who works out with this in mind is not actually burning off those calories in the time they allotted. If they are able to accomplish that, then they are probably working out too long. Spending hours on a cardio machine day after day can lead to overtraining and can be damaging.
Myth #4: Steady-state cardio is best for burning fat.
The Truth: Doing cardio at the same pace for a longer period of time may be easier, so you may wind up burning more calories during your workout time. But high intensity interval training (HIIT), where you alternate short bursts of intense cardio and periods of rest, will actually help you burn more calories throughout the entire day. Your body will be burning more even when you’re not exercising. The goal is to focus less on the amount of time and more on the intensity.
Myth #5: If you only have a short time to devote, you might as well skip it.
The Truth: Even if all you have is ten minutes, it’s still worth the time you’ll take. Any amount of time that you can devote to being active is better than doing nothing.