Don’t Skip Heart Day: Gains You’re Missing Out On By Avoiding Cardio.

 

Have you ever heard people discouraging others from doing cardio? “Don’t do cardio, you’ll lose your ‘gains” Or “you can lose weight faster by gaining muscle, you don’t need aerobics.” Not only are these comments inaccurate, they’re unhealthy bits of advice. All too often athletes fail to remember that the heart is a muscle too, a vital muscle that is responsible for supplying the body with the essentials to survive.

When it comes to this form of exercise most of us adopt a closed mindset; cardio=treadmill, treadmill=daunting. Even more so, aerobic exercise became less then a health conscious  practice and more of a “get skinny” approach. Athletes trying to put on muscle mass fed off the myth that aerobic training was a bad thing- a form of exercises that should be avoided. The word “cardio” no longer carries the weight that it should-pun not intended.

 

Cardiovascular training is so much more than a window to weight loss, it’s a magnificent tool that benefits every individual regardless of their fitness goals. When we look at it from a holistic perspective rather than as just another form of exercise we most certainly see gains. Gains like:

  • A stronger heart
  • Reduced risk of heart disease
  • Increased bone density (prevention of osteoporosis)
  • Reduced risk of some types of cancer
  • Anti-aging
  • Better sleep
  • More energy
  • Improved mood and sense of wellbeing
  • Weight loss
  • Improved skin elasticity
  • Improved lung function

 

What’s even better? You don’t have to run on a treadmill for hours on end to obtain these benefits. Complex movements are a great way to incorporate cardio into your daily workouts. A complex routine is any series of movement performed back to back.

One example:

If executing a complex routine for aerobic purposes it is best to choose a series of movements that activates the whole body. An example of this would be to hold an EZ bar or light dumbbells and perform smooth transitions from a lunge back to a standing position, next to a bicep curl and extension, then deadlift, followed by a front squat and lastly a standing shoulder press. One series completed would be one round and several rounds would be repeated to make up a routine.

 

In order for this to be a successful cardiovascular training regimen, the heart needs to be kept working at a consistent pace. That is why it is important to choose a light enough weight that you will be able to maintain steady rhythm with for an extended period of time. Setting down the weight and needing multiple breaks in between motions can compromise the exercise as a version of cardio and is also a sign the weights chosen are too heavy for an individual.

      Complex movements work in a way that strengthens the heart while stimulating muscle fibers. With complex routines you can reap the benefits of cardio without compromising those hard earned ‘gains’. Infact, by practicing complex routines as a warm-up before your regular resistance training, you may find you are able to accomplish a whole new level of power.

 

We understand the hard work and energy that goes into muscle development. However, a healthy heart and circulatory system should not be second to physical appearance. Cardiovascular exercise is extremely important to include in your training regimen regardless of your fitness goals and you can do so without compromising your physique goals. In short, you can have your cake and eat it too-as long as said cake is only your cheat meal.

 

Mike

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