Aerobic exercises can offer numerous health benefits, especially for your heart and brain. However, various cardio myths are floating around that may deter you from achieving your fitness goals. To give you a better idea, here are some misconceptions about aerobic exercises you should avoid if you want a strong and toned physique.
1. DOING THE SAME CARDIO WORKOUT
Most of us stick to a certain exercise because we’re already familiar with it. So, during your workout day, you head to the gym or park and follow the same routine. This will not only create monotony in your fitness program, but doing the same exercise over and over again will also lead to a fitness plateau where you’re burning fewer calories and not seeing results. An explanation for this is because your body is capable of adapting to your training program. Diversifying your exercises is an effective way to break boredom and a fitness plateau. You can try numerous workouts that burn tons of calories like jumping rope, water aerobics, and swimming. You can also try various dance classes for a fun and unique experience.
2. SKIPPING STRENGTH TRAINING
One of the most common cardio myths is skipping strength training. This is especially true for women, thinking that lifting weights will bulk up their petite body. However, this is not the case. Carrying heavy objects will make your muscles stronger not bigger. In fact, if you always do cardio workouts, you may lose your muscle, leading to the so-called “skinny fat.” In this case, you may seem thin, but your body fat percentage is high, which may pose some health problems.
Overall, you need to combine cardio and strength training to burn fat and get a toned physique. But, keep in mind that a pound of fat is bulkier than a pound of muscle. So, you may not notice great results in the scale. Instead, use a measuring tape and witness that your waist is getting slimmer.
3. EXERCISING ON AN EMPTY STOMACH BURNS MORE FAT
For some people, a common belief is that working out on an empty stomach will burn more fat. In theory, when you exercise on a fasted state, your body will tap your fat storage for energy. However, the problem with this practice is that it may also encourage muscle loss, which you must avoid if you want a toned physique. Furthermore, you may not have enough energy to complete your workout. So, eating a light meal 90 minutes before your workout can fuel your body and jump-start your metabolism, leading to more calories burned for the day. Of course, don’t forget to drink one or two glasses of water and replace your electrolytes.
4. YOU CAN EAT WHATEVER YOU WANT
Another usual habit in this list of cardio myths is eating anything you want. We often do this to reward ourselves after a long run or an exhausting workout. While this may seem satisfying, it may deter you from achieving your weight loss or fat loss goals. Always remember, you need to burn more calories to reveal your hard-earned muscles. Thus, you still need to consider your diet. Unfortunately, we often pick high calorie processed foods as rewards. As much as possible, choose foods that will replenish your energy and nourish your body at the same time, like bananas, sweet potatoes, and nut butters. You can also consult a dietitian to help you plan low-calorie meals without compromising your health.
5. YOU CAN’T ABUSE CARDIO
The last in this list of cardio myths is the belief that you can’t overdo cardio. A lot of beginners will often do cardio workouts daily, thinking that this practice will yield fast results. However, your body needs rest to repair itself and become stronger. This is especially true if you’re performing high-intensity workouts. Without proper rest, you may experience muscle strain, joint pain, or a serious injury. Overall, allowing yourself to rest for a day or two per week is a must. Additionally, you should only do high-intensity interval training two to three times per week.
Overall, cardio workouts are great exercises. However, you can add more benefits, variety, and fun into your routine by including other types of activities like hot yoga, weight lifting, and functional training. You can also turn your housework into workouts. So, stop sticking to your favorite exercise. Instead, try something new, go out of your comfort zone, and make your fitness journey more enjoyable.
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