Doing too much cardio?
“You need to exercise more.” The usual and boring advice that most people will say. But how much is enough? What kind of training should u do? Strength or cardiovascular?
Today lets talk about cardiovascular exercise.
Walking, jogging, cycling, swimming or even the daily groceries shopping can be a good form of cardio work. According to medical research, a daily activity of at least 30min is recommended to ensure good health and general fitness.
15 to 30 min of activity is the minimum a person must do daily in order to keep our metabolism rate up and build stronger heart.
We always hear, cardio is to burn fats and lose weight. Yes, it does. But does doing too much cardio training have any detrimental effects on our body system?
The answer is yes.
Too much of everything have some sort of adverse effects. 30-45 min of cardio work daily is the most optimum. Something is not correct if you spend hours on a treadmill daily. As running or cycling can become addictive at some point due to the runners high or endorphine released after that.
But how much is too much? Easy.
If you are experiencing the below effects, you are doing way too much cardiovascular work.
- Always feeling drained and tired, low energy levels. Fatigue.
- constant weight loss, leading to underweight (low BMI)
- loss of muscle (muscle atrophy), giving you a soft and “loose skin” kind of body type.
- constantly having chronic joint pain. especially knee, hip and lower back pain. Overuse of muscle.
- low immune system, often falling sick even though you train so hard
- lack of appetite after training.
- Low metabolism, reason because of the lack of muscle mass.
Mix up your cardio workouts with weights training
Unfortunately, a lot of people out there “aka” cardio fanatics, still doesn’t understand that in order to have a productive training, one needs to do mix of aerobic and anaerobic training (resistance or weights training). They are always focusing on looking at that calories count indicated on the treadmill after their 2 hours run .
For sure, that high calorie number always give you a sense of achievement or the feeling that you are strong and fit. Once a while doing such long endurance run or ride is perfectly fine. We call it the LSD (long slow distance) which can takes up to 3-4 hours. But why would people do that so frequently? 5 times a week?
They never realise the side effects. Only when it arise, one will understand. Long term joint overuse will cause damage, wearing out your meniscus/cartilage/labrum, and straining your ligaments leading to tears. So, please stop and shorten your cardio training duration if you start to experience extreme muscle tightness or joint pain. Most likely you are suffering from an inflammation or muscle injury.
Strength training is the solution cardio overload. Start lifting a bit of weights and get some muscle gain. That is the only way.
Overtraining is the last thing you want in your fitness journey. Its always good to take a break, slow down your pace and start enjoying the process of fitness.
Till next time, Ciao.