Why is it bad to never do cardio?

There are people who love to do cardio every day, while others hate it. So if you are someone who never wants to do aerobic exercises, you may wonder if strength training is enough to keep your heart healthy and strong.

Current adult physical activity recommendations advise getting at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity aerobic exercise each week. That works out to about 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise or 15 minutes of vigorous intensity exercise five days a week.

However this will depend on the type of training we do. For example, some of the best cardiovascular workouts are walking, running, swimming, cycling, and doing HIIT sessions. But if you’re concerned that cardio might hamper your muscle-building or bulking goals, there’s a way to sweat without squeezing your muscles. Experts recommend doing some low-intensity cardio at the beginning of your workout as part of your warm-up. In this way, we are not completely worn out and we still have energy left in the tank to lift heavy loads.

Why Strength Training Isn’t Enough

There are many benefits to doing regular squats, and strength training should definitely be included in your exercise routine. But avoiding aerobic exercise altogether can negatively affect the body, regardless of physical goals. Doing a combination of cardio and strength training provides greater benefits for weight loss and cardiorespiratory fitness, compared to aerobic or resistance training alone.

Additionally, focusing solely on strength training can put us at risk for overuse injuries , especially if we work the same muscle groups and joints every day. When we don’t allow muscles to heal properly, we actually prevent them from repairing themselves so they can grow bigger and stronger.

By combining workouts with low intensity cardio, you can give your muscles a break and build cardiovascular endurance . Cardiovascular endurance is important to improve athletic performance, which cannot be optimally achieved if we only lift weights.

If we only do strength training, it can make it harder for the heart to pump blood because it thickens the walls of the heart. In the same way, doing only aerobic exercise can make the heart walls too thin, so the heart cannot contract properly to pump blood throughout the body.

Is it safe to do cardio every day?

Getting up to 60 minutes of cardiovascular exercise a day is safe and appropriate, particularly if weight loss is the goal. Although cardiovascular exercise has many benefits, some studies found that there could be risks associated with vigorous exercise every day or most days of the week.

Safe limits for cardiovascular exercise vary from person to person. It also depends on your fitness level, general health, or any underlying health conditions. But, in general, the following symptoms may suggest that we are passing:

  • Persistent muscle pain
  • Painful joints
  • Exercises that were easy before become more difficult.
  • Decreased interest or enthusiasm for exercising
  • Insomnia or bad sleep

If we haven’t exercised for a while or are recovering from an injury or illness, it’s best to speak with a doctor about how to safely start a cardio routine, how long, and how often to exercise. In addition, it is advisable to tell a doctor if we have a condition that we can restrict the types of exercise that we can do safely. This includes heart disease, breathing problems, arthritis, or any type of joint problem.

deportistas que hacen cardio

Benefits of doing cardio

Now that we know what can happen if we skip cardio altogether, here are the perks we definitely deserve to get into the exercise routine.

Reduces the risk of heart disease

In addition to improving the heart’s ability to pump blood and oxygen throughout the body, doing cardio regularly is associated with a lower risk of heart disease. There are many benefits related to cardiovascular disease, heart disease in general. Potentially helps with high-density lipoproteins (HDL), so it can add some lipids to the blood. HDL can be increased with cardiovascular training.

Not all cholesterol is the same: HDL is known as the “good” cholesterol because it helps remove other harmful types of cholesterol from the blood. While low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is considered the “bad” cholesterol because it can clog blood vessels. Higher HDL levels are associated with a lower risk of heart disease and stroke.

It helps control weight

Aerobic exercise and a healthy diet can help create a calorie deficit, which is what happens when you burn more calories than you consume. Certain forms of cardio, like HIIT, can help you burn even more calories after a workout, thanks to the afterburn effect.

Cardio also reduces adiposity, the number of fat cells in the body. In fact, studies have found that following an aerobic exercise training routine just five days a week results in significant weight loss.

The researchers also found that vigorous aerobic exercise was effective in reducing total body fat in postmenopausal women. High intensity cardio has been shown to be more effective in reducing fat than moderate intensity cardio.

Stabilizes blood sugar levels

Aerobic exercise lowers insulin resistance, a risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Insulin resistance occurs when the body rejects insulin, which makes the hormone less effective at getting glucose into the cells of the body. body for energy.

But when muscles contract during exercise, cells can use glucose for energy, whether or not insulin is available, lowering blood sugar levels. Nor is it necessary for us to run for hours on the treadmill. Doing it less than 30 minutes of moderate intensity cardio exercise for three to five days a week is associated with better insulin sensitivity and glycemic control.

Keeping blood sugar levels stabilized is important because it can help prevent or delay health problems like heart disease, kidney disease, and vision loss. Having stable blood sugar levels also helps you maintain a healthy weight and control refined food cravings.

Prevent blood clots

Using the elliptical or treadmill a few days a week can also help prevent blood clots by decreasing the viscosity of the blood.

By reducing the thickness of the blood, we can decrease the risk of blood clots that can clog the arteries and veins, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke. This is because the thicker the blood, the harder the heart has to work to move it through the body. Aerobic exercise works to increase the volume of plasma, and when the volume of plasma increases, the viscosity of the blood decreases.

Lowers blood pressure

Cardiovascular exercises can strengthen your heart so it can pump more blood with less effort, lowering blood pressure.

Researchers have found that the effect of doing cardio creates a reduction in blood pressure in people with resistant hypertension. It found that aerobic exercise lowered the blood pressure of participants who were poorly responsive to drug treatment.

peligros de no hacer cardio nunca

What type of exercise is best?

There are many different types of cardiovascular exercises, but the best one is the one that we are going to do on a consistent basis . The best cardiovascular exercises are the movements of the whole body that you can execute in a rhythmic pattern. Do you have to do cardio every day? Not necessarily, but if we need some exercise inspiration, here are some of the most popular forms of aerobic exercise:

  • To run. Running has many health benefits that make it an ideal cardiovascular exercise. Not only does it improve heart health, it also promotes weight loss and helps improve brain health. If we are new to running, we can start by alternating between jogging and walking, and as we increase endurance and strength, we will progress to running distances and longer periods of time.
  • Riding a bicycle . But if we are looking for something more low-impact than running, cycling is a great alternative. We will get a heart rate, increase endurance, and develop lower body strength. We just need to make sure we prepare properly before a first trip and choose roads with less traffic. However, it can also be practiced on an exercise bike.
  • Rowing. We can row on an ergometer or in the open air in a boat. This low-impact, full-body workout targets many muscle groups, including the lower body (we’ll be using our legs to power the stroke) and the core. We can use a rowing machine for 15 to 30 minutes a day for a cardiovascular workout.
  • Dance. Dance is a nice way to get a great cardio workout; we move our entire body to the beat of music, which can help sweat and increase heart rate. There are many beginner dance exercise videos that we can do in a short amount of time.
  • Walk. Simply walking can help decrease stress and provide energy, and the best part is that we can tailor walking to our fitness level. For example, we can continuously walk at the same pace for 15 to 20 minutes or we can mix in intervals of an easy walk with faster walking or jogging.

Dangers of not doing cardio

It is important to incorporate both cardio and strength training into your exercise routine. Without a little cardiovascular exercise, we can increase the risk of heart disease . Plus, we miss out on other amazing cardiovascular benefits, like stabilizing blood sugar levels and lowering blood pressure.

If we like to lift weights, we can increase the number of repetitions and decrease the weight. This allows us to lift at a faster rate and challenge the heart so that we get some cardio aspect into the strength training routine. We can turn a yoga sequence into a cardiovascular exercise by transitioning from one pose to the next with fewer breaths in between. Or we can add a 5 minute HIIT workout to the end of the strength session to get the heart pumping faster.

So, should you do cardio every day? And if not, how often should we do cardio? And how much cardio to do? The answer to these questions largely depends on our goals, such as building strength, changing body composition, gaining endurance, or just being generally healthy.

If we want to lose half a kilo a week, for example, we will need to burn 500 to 1,000 calories a day. We can burn these calories by increasing physical activity, whether by doing traditional cardio or non-exercise-related activities like cleaning.

To seek overall good health, we will begin with the current adult physical activity guidelines. Which, as we said before, is at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity aerobic exercise each week.