Categorized | Cardio

3 Common Myths about Cardio Exercise

Cardio exercise, or aerobic exercise, is one of the most beneficial things you can do for your body. It is known to strengthen the heart muscles, improve respiration, provide muscle tone, reduce the risk of heart disease, and increase bodily energy and endurance. And there are many different ways to get cardio exercise, such as through aerobics, running, basketball, tennis, boxing, rope skipping, and dancing. So it’s not surprising that a lot of people are into cardio exercise. What is surprising is how even fitness buffs still believe in certain myths about cardiovascular exercise. In this article, I will examine some common myths about cardio exercise.

Myth #1: “You can burn off more fat if you don’t eat breakfast before doing your morning cardio exercise.” In fact, it is a bad idea to forego eating before doing cardio exercise, especially in the morning. That is because your body temperature is at its lowest during the morning hours, and so it will take you longer than usual to warm up and get your muscles working. And your body will not burn off more fat if you do your cardio exercise before eating breakfast. Your body actually works at burning off fat when you are sleeping. There are no significant benefits to going without your breakfast before doing your cardio exercise in the morning.

Myth #2: “You should do cardio exercise before doing weight training.” This is a very common myth, and even some of my past gym instructors tended to structure my fitness program so that cardio exercise would come before strength training. However, it is actually better to do the cardio exercise after a session of lifting weights! This is because doing your cardio exercise can draw on the glycogen stored in your muscles. And so your cardio session will leave your muscles with less glycogen to use during strength training, which can make muscle building a lot less effective. However, it is all right to do a short amount–about 5 to 10 minutes–of moderately intense cardio exercise before doing your weight training.

Myth #3: “You have to sweat to get the most out of cardio exercise.” Sweating is nothing more than the mechanism by which your body cools itself. By itself, sweating is not an indicator of how effective your workout is, and even light exercise such as walking that does not make you sweat can help you get rid of a substantial number of calories.

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