Everyone knows that they must do cardio to get lean and lose weight fast. However, there have been horrible misconceptions about the cardio workouts that people should do. Many think that if they engage in 2 or 3 hours of cardio every day, all the fat in their body will melt off. While it is true that performing too much cardio may put you into catabolic state, you should know just what enough cardio for you is.
Some fitness experts argue that there isn’t a concise answer as to how much cardio one should have. However, if you are an athlete anything between 60 to 70 minutes a day is likely to be counterproductive, especially if you are not consuming a lot of calories to get you through the day.
So, how much Cardio is enough?
Ideally, you should always ensure that you balance your fitness program with both resistance training and cardio for better results. You do not want to engage in neither too little nor too much cardio. When you overtrain, it will take a toll on your body, leading to lose of muscle, which you are working so hard to gain or maintain. Your rule should always be counterproductive cardio.
Generally, all cardio sessions should go for about 30 to 90 minutes, but this depends on your stamina as well as fitness level. Sometimes it’s acceptable to engage in around 3 to 5 days of cardio every week, keeping a keen ear to the reaction of your body to the exercises.
Regardless of the type of cardio you wish to do, may it be cycling, jumping rope, jogging or swimming, as long as it elevates your heart rate, keep it within the target zone, says American Heart Association. Just like anything else, it is also important that you have a balanced approach the moment you begin planning fitness program.
The key here is to be cautious that you do not overtrain and harm your muscled instead of building them. In order to keep things fresh, incorporate other activities into your workout plan. You can always choose to mix up your program by adding distance or speed, decreasing or increasing the incline, and if outdoors, simply change your route. These variations will go a long way in improving your fitness level, preventing any injury that may have otherwise presented, and of course keeping your motivation high.
What are signs of too much cardio?
When you overtrain you can begin to notice various sings of fatigue, physical soreness and irritability. Sometimes your workouts may also feel harder compared to before. If you notice these symptoms take a rest for a couple of days. Do not allow your body to be put in jeopardy just for the reason that you want to keep fit quickly.
Here are common signs of overtraining.
- Lack of energy and feeling very fatigued.
- Mild muscle soreness and general body aches
- Performance decreases
- Inability to complete all your workouts
- Having headaches
- Having sleep or insomnia problems
- Lack of motivation
If you possess a few of these signs, you should consider scaling your training back a bit to give your body time to recuperate.
Last modified: July 10, 2015