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Why Too Much Cardio is Bad for You

SANO Editorial

Are you running, spinning, or swimming 3-5 times a week yet feeling tired, anxious, and having trouble falling asleep and sleeping through the night? Perhaps you may be overdoing cardio and should consider other forms of wellness so your body can feel more fueled. 

Research has indicated that cardio is not always that helpful for weight loss. Our bodies become used to the calorie deficiency and store the energy as fat to overcompensate. If your goals are to lose a few extra post-summer pounds, you may want to check out our tips in this article.

Replace Some Cardio with Weight Training.   Lifting weights and building muscle increases your basal metabolic rate, which accounts for 65–80% of calories burned daily. Boosting your basal metabolism also increases your capacity to burn fat for 24-plus hours—something cardio doesn’t do.  In other words, when you weight train, you continue burning fat after your workout is finished.

Eat a Balanced (Plant-Based) Diet.  Make sure you’re getting your daily intake of (plant-based) protein, healthy fats, and fiber (think greens), and try to avoid carbs, sugar, or alcohol after a workout. A juice or night at the bar can quickly undo your hard work by spiking your insulin and storing sugar as fat.  Consider a “Sober October” (or at a minimum try to cut your alcohol intake in half)!

Intermittent Fasting.  Intermittent fasting is an umbrella term that covers various diets that cycle between a set amount of time of fasting and non-fasting periods. There are a number of ways to actually perform intermittent fasting or time-restricted fasting, but the easiest and most common involve taking advantage of your natural overnight fast.  By skipping breakfast and delaying your first meal a number of hours past the 12-hour mark from your meal the prior night, you are entering your body into a “fasted” state causing your body to refuel on its stored body fat.

Introduce Restorative Exercise.  Restorative exercise like yoga and pilates both strengthen and lengthen the muscles and connective tissue and can actually aid in weight loss. It also reduces stress and cortisol (one of the major reasons for weight gain and hormone imbalance) and the meditation helps brain cognitive.

As it turns out, more is not better when it comes to cardio. In fact, too much of it—like too much of anything—can slowly kill you.

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