The Skinny on Cardio
Long bouts of moderate intensity cardio are typically how many people jump back into the swing of things after a long lay off or when deciding to begin exercising for the first time. Cardio machines are a simple way to get into the swing of things, but this approach alone rarely leads to the long-term desired outcome. The amount of calories burned is generally overestimated and easily replenished by food as a result of an increase in appetite. The repetitive motions of some poorly designed machines could also potentially cause joint problems over time, which will put you right back to square one or worse (injured). The bulk of your workout should challenge your muscles through controlled resistance training. You can easily simulate a “cardio experience” by reducing rest times between sets or super setting two or more movements together. The more muscle you have the less glycogen will be stored by the liver and converted to fat, which means you can eat more food without gaining weight. Starvation and struggle are not normal side effects of getting healthier. The goal should always be able to eat as much as possible while still achieving a calorie deficit. As we age our muscles atrophy, which is a major reason we gain weight despite not changing our lifestyle.