What happens if I only do cardio?

There are many reasons why I do not and will not recommend performing cardio alone. It does have it’s place in the overall strategy for weight loss, but on it’s own, it holds no power regarding body composition, metabolism and overall health long term. Here is why.

5 reasons why you should not perform only cardio

  1. It kills your muscle development.
    Muscle development is key to changing your body shape, body conditioning and increasing your metabolism. Cardio can compromise or even inhibit any growth of muscle. If you look at it this way, endurance athletes have the least amount of muscle mass, and this is based purely on the sport they have chosen to perform. Bodybuilders are often afraid of the cardio phase of their training, because whilst dieting to get leaner, muscle can be compromised even more so, when performing cardio. There is a fine line of what is acceptable and what is too much – it all depends on your body reshaping goals, and what you enjoy doing most to keep fit and healthy.
  2. It can make you age a lot faster.
    There is a joke amongst runners. They say, if you want to see what you look like in 20 years time, run a marathon and look in the mirror! It’s a very scary, but extremely true fact! Aerobic training increases cortisol levels in your body, increasing the rate of free radicals, increasing inflammation that is associated with ageing. This is because extreme amounts of exercise increases the stress you place on your body, which has detrimental effects.
  3. Cardio is not an effective strategy for weight loss.
    So many people are planning weight loss in the wrong way. There is no better, more effective way than losing body fat than by changing your diet. We all know this, but deep down we believe that out training our diet is actually going to happen one day. It does not, and cardio only makes our bodies more efficient, therefore reducing our bodies ability to burn fat. When people get to this stage, they run longer, faster and the cycle continues. Focus on proper nutrition, and weights of course!
  4. It provides and environment of wear and tear on the joints.
    Exercise does improve mobility, and improves your bone density. It’s not a great idea for an obese person to start jogging, as the excess body weight can increase stress on the joints, risking muscular and skeletal problems.
  5. It causes muscular imbalances.
    Treadmills can be detrimental to those with back pain. The difference from with a treadmill is that hamstrings are rarely worked. This can result in structural imbalances presenting themselves as postural problems. This can lead lower back pain. If you are choosing to run on the treadmill, do offset this issue by running outdoors regularly.

    If this is your only form of exercise, it is best to do something rather than nothing at all. It’s the fact that cardio does very little for your health or fat loss goals that needs to be brought to light. We have all been mislead for years, and it’s time to finally put cardio in it’s rightful place. I will always advocate weight training over any cardio exercise. If you would like some more information on this, please do contact me on these various platforms if you need further assistance. I have plenty of other material on my blog or join me on facebook and instagram account. Please feel free to upvote this answer.

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