How Too Much Cardio Forces Your Body To Gain Fat and Lose Muscle
It's no secret that cardio has tremendous benefits for your health. When done correctly, it will lower bad cholesterol, improve oxygenation of your blood, raise endorphin levels, and even strengthen the immune system.
However, a big fitness myth has led many people to believe that they should run every day for hours at a time.
That is simply not true. As in everything in life, moderation is key.
First, we’re going to discuss the warning signs of too much cardio, and then we’ll give you a sample routine to add to your lifting regimen.
Some of the biggest warning signs are:
1. Insomnia - too much cardio raises cortisol levels, the main stress hormone in your body. When stress is high, our circadian rhythm is off balance which makes it harder to fall asleep.
2. Chronic Fatigue - this is closely related to the first one. Without a good night’s sleep, your body cannot recover which will make you tired all the time.
3. Soreness that lasts days at a time - who doesn’t love a great workout where you’re sore the next day? However, if you’re sore for 3-4 days, you’re likely overtrained and need to take an off week to recover.
4. Losing muscle while gaining fat- cortisol will slow your metabolism down. This causes the body to store more fat - specifically in the stomach. In addition, cortisol is catabolic, which means your body will starting eating away muscle for fuel.
If you’re experiencing at least 3/4 of the signs, it’s time to take a week or 2 off from cardio.
When you’re ready to get back to it, we recommend 2-3 times per week for no more than 30 minutes.
Let’s say you lift on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Tuesday could be 30 minutes of cycling and Thursday could be 30 minutes incline walking on the treadmill.
If fat loss is a major priority, you can add in another 30 minutes walking on Saturday, as well.
Keep it moderate to promote fat loss and preserve your muscle. Oh!mino’s nine essential amino acids are also great for preserving muscle (as well as building net muscle).
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