I believe that some kind of cardio vascular training should be part of a complete fitness program. Some of the benefits of cardio training include:
- Burning calories
- Weight loss
- Reduces risks for heart disease
- Prevents high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes
While the importance of cardio is generally accepted, there are still a few myths around it. If you haven’t already, it might be time to break through these.
Here are some of the main myths around cardio training:
Steady-state cardio is the best for weight loss
A lot of people always do the same 2km jog or 15 minute cycle on a stationary bike in the gym. If your goal is weight loss, then this is not the way to go.
Rather choose for high intensity interval training (HIIT) or short bursts of intense cardio followed by a period of lower intensity or full rest. This type of training will make you burn more calories, throughout AND after the workout. If you really want to go for the maximum burn then combine cardio training with some strength training or do exercises which involve cardio and strength such as burpees, kettle bell exercises, etc.
Cardio training is only for people that need to loose weight
Some people think that because they have a good metabolism and are slim, they don’t have to do any cardio. Just thinking of all the health benefits cardio has to offer, I believe that cardio is good for everyone and suggest that we all should incorporate some in our training.
If you do a lot of cardio, you can eat whatever you want
Some people think that a good cardio workout justifies an unhealthy meal and they can eat whatever they want. Don’t forget that for example a big mac contains around 500 calories and you have to break into a serious sweat to burn those calories off.
You shouldn’t eat before doing a cardio workout
There has been a lot of discussion about whether or not to eat before a cardio session. Questions mainly arise if it concerns an early morning session.
Remember that our bodies are extremely catabolic after an eight hour sleep and our metabolism works at its slowest pace. The sooner you eat before an early morning session, the faster your metabolism starts to speed up which will jump start the bodies’ fat-burning process’.
Food also has a thermogenic effect which will raise the body’s core temperature. Your first cardio-vascular session of the day will be more effective after having some food.
Last but not least, having some food before training will give you more energy to push yourself harder which will give you better results.
One thing to consider is what to eat and how much before the session. This all depends on how much time you have before your workout starts.