Certainly, cardio workouts burn fat. It can also burn muscle if the cardiovascular exercise is excessive. This can lead to a misconception that you shouldn’t have cardiovascular exercise only, because it will burn muscle. To clarify the link between cardio working out and burning muscle, it’s only true that too much of the wrong kind of cardiovascular exercise, along with an unhealthy diet will burn your muscle as a fuel source.
A little muscle is burned even with proper exercise and nutrition. Even with a proper weight training program in which you gain strength and muscle mass, your muscles will be torn-down during the workouts. The tissues of your muscles will rebuild in a short time, however. With repeated use of these muscles in such a regimen, and proper nutrition, if you’re a male you’ll build muscle mass. Too much cardio can then slow down this recovery cycle, and only then will considerable muscle be burned to meet your body’s need for fuel.
We humans have a resilient body, and adapt superbly to demands placed on it. You will bounce back from resistance, or other physical training, and become even stronger. As a reward for working out regularly you will look better as long as you’re eating the right foods, too. It is often presented in online advertisements for branched-chain amino acids, or BCAAs, that you will need this supplement to replenish burned-up muscle fiber from cardiovascular workouts. If you are on a regular diet, this is not true at all! Your tissues will rebuild. You will be fine doing cardio workouts, and cardio is not the devil incarnate; it is your ally.
Doing moderate cardio will actually stimulate you to eat plenty of nutritious foods. This creates a wonderful cycle in which you recover rapidly, and strengthen muscle. Along with a regular diet, as promoted by the USDA’s FoodPlate program, you will have a healthier, longer life.
If you are into a competitive sport, or just want to be in super shape, and do a couple hours of cardio daily, you will definitely become stronger and leaner in no time. With this regimen you can also eat like a horse. The catch is that after a couple months into such an extreme cardio program, especially if you combine it with weight-training, you may begin to feel tired at times. If you feel sluggish, you may be overtraining.
This doesn’t mean to give up on your cardio workouts, nor your weight training, however. It’s just that you’ve found your threshold for overtraining, so cut back some. If you’re doing resistance-training, such as lifting weights, it will be enhanced with a cardiovascular program. Your benefits will be immeasurable if you combine cardio with proper stretching at the end of each workout, and keep that healthy diet. Forget that “no-cardio” approach, and get lean n’ strong!
In conclusion, give cardio workouts a chance, and don’t accept that cardio is evil because a so-called expert makes such a claim. Certainly, your body will benefit from 20 minutes of any exercise daily that gets your heart pumping. Set aside a little time each day for a few weeks to do some cardio so you can make your own decision. You can only feel and look better.