Cardio exercise is often seen as the go-to for weight loss and overall health, but the reality is more complex than that. From its effect on metabolism to its impact on the immune system and joint health, there are many things that people need to be made aware of when it comes to cardio. In this article, we will discuss 8 lesser-known facts backed by scientific studies. We hope this information will help you make more informed choices about your exercise routine and improve your overall health and well-being. Watch until the end to discover what steps to take to protect your joints from injuries while doing cardio.
Cardio’s Effect on Metabolism
Cardio may significantly affect metabolism compared to other forms of exercise. Studies have shown that cardio is more effective for improving metabolic health than high-intensity interval training (HIIT). One study found that doing cardio led to more significant improvements in the metabolism rate of subjects.
The findings suggest that if your goal is to improve metabolic health, consider incorporating cardio into your exercise routine instead of relying solely on HIIT. However, it’s important to note that everyone is different. What works best for one person may work better for another, so it’s always best to consult a professional before making any drastic changes.
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Cardio and Appetite
It is common to feel hungrier after a cardio workout, particularly for high-carbohydrate foods. This is because when we engage in aerobic exercise, our body experiences a change in hormone levels, which can affect our appetite. Hormones such as ghrelin, known to stimulate hunger, may be increased by aerobic exercise, leading to an increase in appetite.
It is essential to be aware of this potential effect and make conscious food choices after a cardio session. Some individuals may find it helpful to plan their meals in advance or to have healthy snacks on hand to curb cravings and avoid overeating. Additionally, it is crucial to remember that while cardio may increase appetite, it is still essential to a healthy and well-rounded exercise routine.
Cardio and Bone Health
When people do a lot of cardio, they can lose bone density. Endurance exercises such as long-distance running or cycling, while beneficial for cardiovascular health, can have a negative impact on bone density over time. This is because these activities put minimal stress on bones and may lead to decreased bone density and an increased risk of fractures.
To mitigate this, it is crucial to include exercises that place stress on bones, such as weight lifting or plyometrics, in your exercise routine to improve bone health and prevent bone loss. It is also important to consult a professional and have a well-rounded exercise routine that includes both cardio and strength training to optimize overall health and well-being.
Cardio and Immune System
Maintaining a regular exercise routine is an important aspect of overall health and wellness. However, it’s important to be mindful of the type and intensity of exercise you’re doing, as excessive cardio can have a negative impact on your immune system.
When your body is overworked and fatigued, it may not be able to recover and repair itself as efficiently. This can lead to a decrease in the effectiveness of your immune system, making you more susceptible to infections and illnesses. It’s not just long-duration cardio that can be a problem. Even short, high-intensity cardio sessions can put a strain on your immune system if done too frequently.
To avoid over-straining your immune system, it’s important to listen to your body and take rest days.
Cardio and Mood
Exercise is essential for maintaining good health, but overdoing it on the cardio can leave you feeling drained and low. When the body is overworked and fatigued, it can lead to an imbalance in the levels of certain hormones and neurotransmitters that affect mood and energy. This can cause feelings of fatigue, depression, and irritability.
To avoid negatively impacting your mood, it’s important to find the right balance of cardio for your individual needs. Listen to your body, and if you feel excessively tired or have a low mood that doesn’t improve with rest, it may be time to cut back on cardio and add other forms of exercise to balance things out.
Cardio and Endurance
Cardio alone may not be the best for endurance improvement. You may be surprised that resistance training can also be a great option to improve endurance. While cardio is often associated with endurance, it’s not the only way to achieve it, and other forms of training can complement it.
Resistance training, for instance, can also improve cardiovascular fitness, muscular strength, and endurance, making it a perfect addition to a cardio-based routine. Resistance training can be done with weights, resistance bands, or even your body weight, and it can help you to build a strong, lean, and efficient body.
Cardio and Lung Health
Regular cardio can improve lung function and capacity. A study published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine in 2017 found that regular cardio can improve lung function.
In addition to the obvious cardiovascular benefits, regular cardio can positively impact lung health by helping to increase lung capacity, improve breathing efficiency, and increase oxygen uptake.
Including cardio in an exercise routine is important for lung health and consulting with a professional to find the right type and frequency of cardio that suits your condition best.
Cardio and Joint Health
High-impact cardio can be detrimental to joint health. High-impact cardio activities stress the joints, leading to wear and tear over time and increasing the risk of injuries. Low-impact cardio exercises such as swimming or cycling, which put less stress on the joints, are better options for maintaining good joint health.
It is essential to balance the benefits and drawbacks of cardio activities and include various low-impact cardio options in an exercise routine to reduce joint stress and prevent injuries.
Conclusively, cardio is more than just a way to burn calories. It’s a powerful tool that can help unlock your full potential for optimal results. We’ve shared the secrets of how to make the most of cardio exercise, from combining it with other forms of exercise to consulting with professionals. But remember, each person’s body is unique, and finding the right balance of cardio for your needs is essential for overall health and well-being.
We hope you found this article informative and gave you a new perspective on cardio. Remember to consult scientific evidence for updated information and consider your individual needs when building your exercise routine. If you have any questions or would like more information, please leave them in the comments below, and please share this article with anyone you think may benefit from it.
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