We have all been there, constantly busting our butts on the treadmill everyday and feeling discouraged because maybe you’re not seeing the weight loss you were expecting.
Here are a few of the most common misconceptions about cardio.
The most common myth is that for fast weight loss you should focus on cardio over strength training. Strength training builds lean muscle mass, which both increases your metabolism and decreases fat. This means that the more muscle your body is building the more calories your body is burning everyday. Some strength training exercises actually count as cardio as well.
Do you know how many calories you should be burning doing cardio? Most believe you should be burning around 500 calories every session. Jogging away on the treadmill to hit some magic number is a waste of time and energy since machines can only roughly estimate your metabolic rate. If you work harder in shorter bursts, you’ll burn more calories even after your workout is over. Use a heart-rate monitor (aim to stay between 75 and 85 percent of your max heart rate) or the rate of perceived exertion scale of 1 to 10 (strive for an 8 or 9 on high-intensity intervals) to determine if you’re working hard enough.
The last myth and probably the worst is that, if you burn enough calories you can eat whatever you want and still lose weight. Even though we all wish this was true it sadly is not. Exercise alone just isn’t effective enough to burn fat, A recent study suggests that the average obese person loses approximately 5 pounds of fat over the course of eight months through cardio or resistance training alone. That’s an awful lot of work for such little results. So if you’re trying to lose weight always count your calories.