If you have so much as glanced at a health magazine in the past 10 years, you have heard rants and raves about the importance of cardio for fat loss. While the benefits of cardiovascular fitness extend well beyond the prospect of accelerated and lasting fat loss, recent studies continue to teach us more and more about how to lose pounds in the most effective of ways. In this article, we will discuss some of the valuable lessons that have been discovered in the realm of fat loss and cardio training.
1. The Importance of Food
To understand the value of cardio, one must first understand the value of the energy they burn off while doing it. Food, as we all know, is energy and it is absolutely crucial that it take on a new (and often bigger) role in the pursuit of a healthy lifestyle, especially when cardio is incorporated.
Not only does food give us the stamina to endure strenuous and elongated cardio routines, but when it is ingested in proper increments at appropriate intervals, it actually boosts and accelerates our metabolisms! Consider this; a heavy metabolic load (a high mass, low frequency diet) slows our metabolic rate because our metabolism can only break down and burn so many calories in a given timeframe. Contrast this with a lighter metabolic load (a low mass, high frequency diet) where the metabolic rate is able to burn off and/or use virtually all of the energy it ingests! The point of this lesson is that food must be used properly: eat 5 meals/day 3-4 hours apart at 350-450 calories each so that your body can actually utilize the food you eat.
2. The Benefits of Long Cardio Routines
The prevailing complaint over cardiovascular training is that the workouts take too long and can be boring. While elongated cardio routines aren’t for the easily distracted, they present some notable benefits for people, especially those who are new to fitness and weight loss.
Long cardio workouts are always low intensity, making them easier to do. They also keep you in your fat burning zone for a longer period of time. So, if you feel that you are in a position where you need to lose a base layer of fat before achieving the kind of fitness you envision, long low-intensity cardio routines may be best for you (walking, light jogging, dancing, etc).
3.The Benefits of Short Cardio Routines
Once your body fat percentage is in a comfortable range (mid 20s), it may be time for you to progress into shorter cardio routines, or High Intensity Interval Training. Intervals are all the rage in today’s fitness world and with good reason. Short bursts of energy expenditure shock your body and kick it into an accelerated weight and fat lossmode. The great advantage of these workouts is that they are quick, fun and much more exciting that passive low intensity workouts, making them a great way to hone your body’s athleticism and fast track your fat loss.
The knowledge about cardio for fat loss is continuously progressing and this article only touches on three critical components. As one of the fastest growing trends in fitness, the wealth of knowledge on this subject will stay on the rise for years to come.