With so much information out there, when you want to improve your health and lose weight once and for all it gets overwhelming and confusing so the best you can do is understand how everything works. This is true for exercise, diet, sleep, stress.
We know that exercise is important and it has so many benefits for maintaining optimal health. On the last post we talked about the differences between cardio and resistance training (click here to read that post) today we´re going to talk about one of the most common forms of cardio, steady state cardio.
I´m sure you´ve seen people in the park walking, jogging, taking some rides on their bike for 30 to 45 minutes or even longer or at the gym using cardio machines like elliptical, treadmill, stationary bike and also doing 30 to 45 minutes or more at the same pace. If they get bored, they´ll go a littler faster for a short period of time or if they get tired or reduce the speed.
Steady state cardio is an exercise you do for long periods of time at the same pace and intensity. It can be jogging, cycling, swimming. The intensity needs to be low to moderate so that you are able to maintain it for the duration of your session being at least 30 minutes.
Steady state cardio has some benefits:
1.- Speed recovery.- Steady state cardio helps you recover faster than HIIT (will talk about it on future posts). Low to moderate intensity of steady state increases blood flow and this boost recovery after hard training resistance exercise.
2.- Burns calories.- We mentioned in past posts that cardio helps you burn calories, this is why many people use it as their principle weight loss tool.
3.- Improves endurance.- I f you like marathons, cycling, jogging, swimming long distances then steady state helps you improve your cardiovascular endurance.
Now lets talk about some of the reason why I don´t like steady state cardio. As I mentioned before, cardio and resistance exercise send different signals to our body, with steady state cardio you´re telling your body to become more efficient so it will just less and less calories and you´ll lose muscle because muscle needs a lot more energy. The other reason why I don´t recommend it is because talking about doing steady cardio makes it harder to stick to it, most of us don´t have time to do 45 to 60 minutes of resistance training plus another 45 or 60 minutes of cardio at one shot, it´s long and boring.
Lets be honest we all want to find the fastest and easiest way to achieve our goals, how can we lose weight as fast as possible with the least effort? For some of us losing a lot of weight fast is not healthy but there are strategies we can use to make sure that you get the best results and doing long hours of steady cardio is not one of them.
When you´re starting your fitness journey after being sedentary for years then doing any physical activity will feel like hell, your knees and back hurts and you feel tired so there´s no reason to think about doing hours of steady cardio when it´s not the best option. To start your weight loss journey if you´re following an unhealthy diet, overeating and you don´t do any physical activity you start by changing your diet first and stick to it for a couple weeks then you add some physical activity, that physical activity is going for a 10 minute walk in the morning before breakfast and another 10 minute walk after dinner. This is not the same as doing 30 or 45 minutes of jogging all at once.
If you´re trying to lose weight let us know what you´ve done or what programs you´ve followed and what were your results by leaving a comment down below and on Twitter.
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