There is something that is really satisfying about cardio workouts. You end the workout sweaty and tired, but the feeling of accomplishment is worth every drop of sweat. Plunkett Fitness has had clients come in after years of doing only cardio exercise without seeing the results that they desire. Unfortunately, doing only cardio workouts probably won’t give you the results that you desire, so we are here to break down the pros of cardio and cons of doing only cardio work.
Pros of Cardio Exercise
Cardio has a lot of benefits to the body. Here are some of the biggest benefits you will see from doing cardio:
Improved Sleep: Cardio, also called aerobic exercise, can help you sleep better at night. It also reduces the risk of sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, and other sleep disorders.
Brain Function: Aerobic exercise helps improve both neuroplasticity and neurogenesis, which means that you will see improved brain cell function and regeneration.
Lower Risk of Heart Disease: This type of exercise strengthens the cardiovascular system. Over time, this can reduce blood pressure and increase good cholesterol levels. All combined, these can reduce your risk of coronary artery disease, heart attack, diabetes, and more.
While there are many benefits to doing cardio exercise, doing it without other forms of exercise may not give you the results that you want. Instead, you need to combine cardio with other types of exercise like weightlifting.
Cons of Cardio-Only Exercise
There is no doubt that cardio is beneficial to the body, but it is important to vary your routine. If you only do cardio workouts, you may start to notice changes in your body that you don’t like. Here are a few cons of doing only cardio exercise:
Muscle Loss: Cardio often puts the body in a caloric deficit state, where muscle becomes a source of fuel for the body. Over time, you will probably start to notice that are losing muscle mass. Use cardio in conjunction with weightlifting to reduce the risk of muscle loss.
Overtraining: Mental and physical exhaustion are common symptoms of overtraining. Reduce the risk of fatigue from cardio by taking time to rest your body. Rest will also reduce your risk of injuries.
Fat Retention: If you don’t switch up your exercise routine, your body starts to adapt to your workout routine. You will need to keep amping up your workouts to see any improvement. You will also eventually see a decrease in your metabolic rate, which can cause your body to store fat instead of burning it.
A Good Workout Regimen
To get your body in peak shape, you will need to do a combination of workouts. Cardio is a great way to burn calories and fat, but you also need to build muscle. At Plunkett Fitness, we recommend adding weight training to any workout routine for a little more balance. With our personal trainers and their expertise, we can help you incorporate weightlifting into your workout regimen for a more well-rounded plan. HIIT can also be extremely helpful for those who are stuck in a cardio-only rut.
A good workout plan needs to be fueled by healthy foods. Our trainers are also nutrition experts, and we can help you come up with a nutrition plan that will keep you energized for all of your workouts.