Cardio is Bad?
Recently I have had multiple questions in regards to if aerobic exercise (cardio/treadmill running/boot camps) has a negative effect on metabolic rate and overall body composition (fat and muscle).
I have found the following-
Aerobic exercise increases protein synthesis up to 22% and improved aerobic capacity by 9% with no difference in age, meaning it benefits both the YOUNG and OLD. Aerobic exercise increased resting metabolic rate by 8%, improved peak VO2 by 11.6%, increased anaerobic threshold by 13% and significantly removed blood lactate (a by product of exercise).
In many articles found, it has been demonstrated that a combination of both aerobic and anaerobic exercise (weights/resistance training) with a lower (not necessarily extremely low) intake of calories, yielded significant results. Although both aerobic and resistance training has been proven to maintain resting metabolic rate during an extremely low calorie intake. Additionally a combination of both aerobic and resistance exercise had higher levels of hypertrophy (muscle enlargement) when compared to just resistance training alone.
There is also other components of aerobic exercise called “Excess Post Oxygen Consumption” or EPOC for short. This involves aerobic exercise performed after resistance training to help the body reach its optimal resting levels (homeostasis) and furthermore accelerate recovery. Also don’t forget other health factors correlated to aerobic exercise such as lowering cholesterol levels, improving insulin sensitivity, decreasing diastolic blood pressure levels, increasing bone mineral content and improvements in psychological aspects.
In my opinion if you neglect cardio or deem it as a NEGATIVE component of overall fat loss, recovery, metabolic rate, general health or muscle growth, you are neglecting a tool in which when appropriately applied can assist you in obtaining superior outcome measures (fat loss, muscle gain, fitness).
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By Alexander Kuhle
Bachelor of Sport and Exercise Science