Cardio will make you lose all your gains, period. Not really, but some people want to believe that or still believe in that myth. What if i told you that cardio actually has its benefits and that you can utilize cardio to your advantage?
Cardio is one of those things that even nowadays people still doubt the benefits. What we mean with cardio is any type of activity that will elevate your heart rate for a significant amount of time.
You get the idea. Well, it is often said that cardiovascular exercise can help your health. Even do research is not a definitive answer, let’s see if there is research to support this:
This study by the Department of Psychology and Brain Health Research Centre of New Zealand digs deep into the benefits of regular aerobic exercise. In this study, they acknowledged that previous studies have shown benefits like:
- Improved Brain function when compared to non- exercisers
- Neuroprotective effects
- Better mental functioning
These benefits were noted in older adults.
Other studies also show benefits in mental health in comparison to psychotherapy and other methods.
Besides the mental health benefits of cardio, aerobic exercise has also been shown to:
- Improve cardiovascular fitness.
- Associated with a longer health span.
- Improve blood pressure.
- May combat chronic diseases
So cardio is a very useful tool and people is still worried about losing their gains. But it actually seems like it can enhance your results. But you can definitely overdo cardio to the point that it consumes a lot of energy and it can impede recovery.
My recommendation is to do some cardio sessions, 1-4 sessions per week along with resistance training. With 2-3 being optimal in my opinion and with a moderate duration depending on the intensity. If you are doing low intensity cardio, 30 minutes are plenty. If the cardio is high intensity, 15 minutes is more than enough. You should also take into consideration your personal experience while adding cardio to your routine. If everything is in check and you see a decline in gym performance you are likely overdoing the cardio, so in that case you can reduce the duration, intensity or number of sessions.
So cardio does have some benefits and it is always fun to not run out of breath during everyday activities. So you can find a way to sneak in some cardio in form of activities that you enjoy doing. Some people can do the treadmill walk for 30 minutes with no problem, but in my opinion that is boring. So you can try one of the following forms of cardio if you are thinking about incorporating this type of training into your routine:
- Walking, jogging or running (outside or in a treadmill)
- Sports like soccer,tennis,basketball,softball and others.
- Elliptical Machine
- Stationary or normal bicycle
- Jumping rope
- Boxing or kickboxing (classes or simple bag punching)
These are not all the cardio activities that you can do, but you get the idea! Incorporating a moderate amount of aerobic exercise into your training routine offers some real benefits with no harm if you don’t overdo it and specially if you have your nutrition,training and recovery in check. Do you have any comments? Let me know!