When weight loss/fat loss is the goal, sometimes too much cardio can be counterproductive.
Most people workout at high intensities for too long trying to achieve their goal weight or body composition. I know from personal experience that we feel the need to workout at high intensities to lose fat. High intensity cardio can be great for achieving optimal health and weight loss. It is important to keep in mind that stress on your body is great, but keeping your body under high levels of stress for long durations is not such a good thing. Too much cardio can be too much stress.
High Intensity Interval Training is meant to be performed for short durations with plenty of recovery. High Intensity training at 90% of your max heart rate is not healthy to do for an hour straight. Basically, try not to spend an hour running on a treadmill as hard and as fast as you can! High Intensity Interval Training is a wonderful workout and should be considered as part of your fitness routine if you want to be strong, lean, and healthy. You will raise your heart rate close to your max but not for an unhealthy length of time.
In my opinion, a great strength and cardio workout will keep your heart rate up above 55% of your max heart rate and fluctuate during intense exercises and less intense exercises or rest periods. The most important thing here is to listen to your body and know when you need to take it down a notch. Too much cardio can lead to burnout or injury from too much stress. A prolonged fight or flight stress response can prevent fat loss and eventually cause fat storage, inflammation, illness, accelerate aging, and injury.
Here’s How To Know When You Have Performed Too Much Cardio?
1. You feel the need to consume a lot of carbs after a cardio workout. You can’t help it! After too much cardio, your brain is signaling to eat more carbs to prepare for the next time you decide to workout so hard! Be careful of this! Eating too many carbs will cause excessive insulin production which will make you feel sluggish again, causing more carb cravings to help balance your blood glucose. Im sure you know this but I have to say it: This carb rollercoaster makes you gain weight.
2. If you’re counting calories, it will feel like torture because you will feel so hungry after too much cardio. It’s a fact, cardio increases your appetite. But this doesn’t mean that its okay to eat a sandwich and fries or a loaf of bread at dinner.. unless you want to have your blood sugar spike and store the calories as fat.
3. You feel exhausted and you are lazy after too much cardio. You should feel energized after a cardio workout instead of fatigued and exhausted. Use the energy you get from your workouts to stay active throughout the day.
If you haven’t read the Carb Curve Challenge, check it out! It will help you understand how many carbs to eat per day to achieve your body composition goals!
How about doing a 5 Minute Workout?
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Disclaimer: Please check with your doctor and have it cleared before beginning any new exercise or diet program. I am not a doctor or registered dietician, my blog is opinion based and I do not claim to diagnose, treat, or cure any cause, condition or disease. All information provided is for informational purposes only; it is not medical advice and has not been approved by the FTC or FDA. Please always communicate with your doctor to make any decisions or changes regarding your health, as your doctor is the only one who knows what is right for you.