Cardio is essential when it comes to a fitness journey, especially one that is focusing on weight loss. But what one doesn’t realise is that extreme cardio can be detrimental to a fit body. In such a scenario, how much cardio is enough?
1. Your body isn’t letting go of fat: Cardio is one of the best forms of exercise for losing excessive fat and people seem to overcompensate the idea, thinking that more cardio equals to more weight loss. When you overdo cardio, this means you are basically sending your body a powerful signal to start storing fat instead of burning it. This happens because when you do cardio, your body reacts to the stress by suppressing a very important hormone that is produced by the thyroid to burn fat but when this hormone, called T3, is suppressed further, your body starts gaining and storing fat instead. That’s why excessive cardio training can result in decreased muscle mass due to reduced metabolic rate.
2. No muscle formation: When a person is on a fitness journey, toned muscle is what gives your body some definition. It is this ratio of fat to lean tissue muscles that makes up your body composition which ultimately defines what your body looks like. Without adequate muscles, one tends to look thin but not toned, so choosing your cardio time wisely is important if you want to look toned and well-muscled up.
3. You’re always sore: Are your muscles always stressed? Pain is your body’s way of telling you that you’ve crossed its pain threshold and should stop. Pushing past the soreness to get better results can only end up harming your body. If you’re faced with chronically painful joints and an ache in your muscles, it’s your body’s way of telling you to cut down on the hard exercise for a while.
What is the limit to cardio workout? A one-word answer could be ‘train mindfully’ (keeping time limit in mind, doing enough pre-cardio and post-cardio on each day of a functional or weight training session), but if you’re experiencing most or all of these conditions listed above, consider changing your workout routine to something on the lines of functional or weight training. By choosing to do exercises that strengthen your balance will not only improve your posture but also your core, eliminating the chance of injuries. Remember, without a strong core, you put yourself out there to get injured faster. Mixing cardio with strength training can also help you achieve a perfect weight goal and lean body that is sustainable for the long term. Faster results are expected when you balance the two types of exercises together.
Cardio Target is crucial: Set certain targets that will help you return with a stronger body instead. By setting these targets you can gradually build on them and then push yourself to do a little better every single day. Adding a variety of exercises to your routine can help support your joints, making it less likely for you to suffer from chronic soreness or fatigue. So now you know when to put a healthy stop to your cardio workout and make a swift change to another exercise routine. And guess what? It will also cut down on monotony!