The Advantages and Disadvantages of Cardiovascular Exercise

Cardiovascular exercise, also sometimes referred to as cardio, is a kind of exercise that many people hate. Some people love it, but these people are usually a little crazy. There are many different kinds of exercise, but cardio is characterised as the kind of exercise that get’s your heart pumping faster, your blood circulating, and your breathing rapid. You may sweat excessively depending on how hard you work. In this post, we’re going to look at the advantages and disadvantages of cardio and whether you need to do it in order to get a fit, lean body:

The Advantages of Cardio

Cardio; activities like jogging, running, fast paced walking, swimming, and the like can be advantageous. Some people greatly enjoy these kinds of activities – they can make you feel invigorated and alive! Not only that, they help to speed up your metabolism, burn calories as you’re doing them, keep your heart and other body parts healthy, and more. Many people find that by pairing a weight lifting or resistance training regime with cardio, they can get an awesome, lean body. Who doesn’t want that? The good news is you don’t need to slog away on the treadmill or pound the pavements for too long either. Many people make the mistake of doing too much cardio, and this can be detrimental to health. A high intensity cardio workout for 25 minutes a couple of times a week is usually enough!

The Disadvantages of Cardio

Some of the disadvantages of cardio are obvious: you have to get hot, sweaty, and uncomfortable in order for it to work – but if you flip this then it becomes an advantage when you think of your health! One big disadvantage of cardio though, is that too much of it can eat away at your muscle mass. Muscle mass is the thing that gives you a lean, ‘toned’ appearance, so we can’t afford to lose any of that! That’s why shorter cardio sessions are better for the body you’re after. You can also get things like shin splints from running if you aren’t careful. To avoid injuries like shin splints, you can use a machine that’s gentler on the joints, like a Sole e35 elliptical.

Do You Need to Do Cardio?

Not everybody NEEDS cardio, but you need to assess yourself honestly in order to decide whether you need it in your routine or not. If you want it in your routine, that’s totally fine – a 2-4 sessions a week won’t hurt and will do you good whether you need it or not! However, some people can simply resistance/weight train and get as lean as they need to without cardio. Some people (like me), hold on to weight much more readily and need cardio in order to get a lean, ‘toned’ physique. If you have a more athletic kind of body to begin with, then you probably don’t need that much cardio. If you’ve always been kind of ‘curvy’, then you definitely need cardio to get the best results!

 

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Photo taken from Flickr