Conventional wisdom will tell us that the only way to lose weight and keep it off is with long hard cardio sessions. The longer and harder the cardio for weight loss the better. A minimum of 30 minutes of cardio per day in the higher end of your target zone is recommended but more is considered better.
At Fitness Contrarian we think differently. We believe you should control your weight with your diet and not with long intense cardio sessions. It is true that you will burn a lot of calories doing hard aerobics every day for long periods of time but this will be at the expense of your health. Daily medium to intense long aerobic workouts breaks the body down and leads to burnout, fatigue, injury, a suppressed immune system and extreme hunger. It takes much longer to recover from these harder workouts then people think. It is healthier for you to eat in a low-calorie high-nutritious manner and do cardio to make your heart, body and mind stronger instead of training overly hard to burn as many calories as possible.
We recommend two types of cardio workouts. Short and hard cardio to increase your Vo2max and long and easy cardio to build a nice aerobic base (just enjoying a relaxing workout while burning a few extra calories). With this approach you get the best of both worlds which is maximum aerobic fitness without breaking the body down by overtraining.
Limit your hard aerobic workouts to 20 minutes with a few high intensity intervals twice per week. You can do your long easy aerobic workouts as often as you like as long as you keep them easy because they don’t require any recovery.
There are so many different ways to lose weight or stay thin. The ultimate goal is to do it in a way that is healthy and safe, and can be sustained for the rest of your life. The approach I outlined above can be effective whether you’re a teenager, baby boomer or in your 80’s. It’s a sensible way to do cardio for weight loss.
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Best – Mike Cola