Cardio exercise is essential to your overall heart health as well as weight management. However, too much cardio can actually do more harm than good. The amount of cardio you perform each week depends upon your fitness goals, body type and overall health. So, just how much is too much cardio?
Exercise should empower you. When you finish a workout, you should feel invigorated, refreshed and ready to take on the world. If you leave the gym feeling totally drained and can barely get out of bed the next day, you are probably training to hard and too often. Doing too much cardio is a serious issue for many women.
The problem with chronic cardio is that it often comes with a low calorie diet. Food is fuel for your body. If you are trying to lose weight, then you most likely don’t consume enough calories while attempting to perform several hours of cardiovascular exercise per week. This method deprives your body of essential build blocks to repair damaged tissue during training.
Listen to Your Body
Your body needs to recover from training. In fact, recovery is where all of your progress takes place. During training, muscle tissue is broken down. Recovery allows your body to use food to rebuild and repair tissue and rest to decrease inflammation. Eating an adequate diet that is rich in amino acids and complex carbohydrates will provide your body with the essential tools for tissue repair.
Without nutrient dense foods, your body will experience muscle loss and begin storing fat as an energy source. Your body also needs rest to heal damaged tissue and reduce inflammation. So, to get the most out of your workouts, eat a diet that is rich in whole foods and rest for at least 24 hours between training sessions.
The Bottom Line
Your best bet for cardio is to perform either two high intensity sessions per week (like sprinting or hill climbing), or four low intensity sessions (such as jogging or biking on a flat surface). Make sure you are also strength training at least two times per week to build quality muscle tissue.