How Much Cardio Is Too Much for Weight Loss?

Ellen Diamond, (2021, September 29). How Much Cardio Is Too Much for Weight Loss?. Psychreg on Wellness. https://www.psychreg.org/how-much-cardio-too-much/

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Cardio workout is surely one of the best approaches to losing weight and burning stubborn fat. It helps increase your heart rate, which then works to shed weight, but remember that moderation is the key even in weight loss. Involving too much in aerobic exercises might not always benefit you.

If your ultimate goal is to gain some muscle mass, you should limit your cardio days. Cardio will burn your fat to the maximum extent and will work to avoid any muscle gain. Fitness enthusiasts and experts strongly disagree with performing cardio all seven days of the week. It is essential to give some time to your muscles to relax.

Relaxing muscles in between the workout sessions by taking a break takes you one step ahead towards your goals. You will also see great results by allowing your body to rest and switching between the workout forms.

Cardio can drain your energy as it pushes your body to do something extra. Constant draining is the reason many people often do not look forward to their cardio sessions. If you are one of them, it is time to rethink your workout sessions and identify the cause where you might be wrong.

Exercises should make you stronger and healthy, and if the case with you is the opposite, you might be a victim to one of the following things:

  • Inability to perform day-to-day tasks
  • Constant feeling of tiredness
  • A prolonged episode of weakness
  • Pain in different body parts

Remember to look for these symptoms and stop when your body exceeds the limits. Cardio is a sign of strength and not weakness and should be performed in a balance.

Benefits of cardio workout

The Physical Education Department researched six undergraduate students. Experts trained them for fourteen sessions to see results. This study showed that performing cardio workouts during four days of the week with a time adjustment had positive results. The study also highlighted the significance of warm-up before exercises and stretching after a workout.

This study showed that participants also had improved aerobic endurance, which positively impacted the overall body. Hence performing cardio is a good deal and comes with many benefits such as:

  • Changes in sleep. You can get a sound and healthy sleep by performing cardio workouts. Cardio and other types of exercises help in subsiding the symptoms of depression that further promote insomnia. A healthy sleep fights depression and also helps in the recovery of muscles.
  • Promotes a healthy heart. Cardio is said to improve aerobic endurance, which is a great thing to improve heart health. Cardiologists also recommend different exercises, mainly cardio, to work for the heart health of their patients.
  • Boosts metabolism. A good metabolism is a sign that your body is working optimally and all functions are intact. Cardio workout boosts your metabolism, which eliminates toxins, fats, and harmful components from the body. Cardio workouts also helped in increasing protein synthesis in aging men and women.
  • Improvement in blood sugar levels. Insulin levels are well managed if you take care of your body. Exercise is a great way to manage your blood sugar levels. Make sure that you engage yourself in exercises to gain the best benefits. Moderate aerobic exercises also reduce inflammatory markers in type 2 diabetes as shown by research.
  • Works to achieve targeted weight. Exercise and weight loss have a very well-established connection. If you want to lose some weight and need the shape you have always wanted, you should consider opting for exercises at a moderate level.
  • Makes you stronger. If you struggle to perform different exercises such as strength training or weight lifting, engage in cardio workouts. Cardio adds strength to your body and increases your endurance.
  • Improves mood. Exercises have a huge impact on your mood and can help in improving your mood. Cardio induces the secretion of happy hormones in the body, which then elevates the person’s mood.
  • Improved VO2 max. Cardio workouts work best for improving cardio and respiratory fitness by working on maximal oxygen consumption. The results of the study performed on twenty healthy females also support this fact as many improvements were seen by the end of the study.  Another research published in the journal New Approaches in Sport Sciences also supports that cardio workouts have a strong link in improving the longevity of life. 

How often should you do cardio?

Your exercises should make you happy, full of energy, and not hard on your body. For this reason, you should pay a considerate amount of time to select workout sessions that feel good to you and do not drain you. Consider the needs and requirements of your body before performing a workout session.

If a particular exercise is hard on you, it will demotivate you not to perform any other exercise. You will feel emotionally drained and will try to avoid your workout altogether. Include those exercises that feel good to your body and are relevant to the needs of your body.

Cardio workouts include cycling, swimming, rowing, running, walking, treadmills, and performing high-intensity exercises such as planks or jumping jacks. The best Cardio exercises to perform at home are skipping rope, burpees, or simply climbing stairs for fast and effective results.

Experts suggest exercising at least five days for up to thirty minutes for better and effective results. They recommend including rest days in your routine of up to two days for the recovery that your muscles need. If you overdo your workouts, you will face more problems than benefits.

Signs that you are doing too much cardio

It is necessary to monitor your exercise routine and continuously check the flaws, if any. Everyone wants to see fast results with the maximum effort they can put in. But the fact is that you are doing more harm to your body if you stress it out beyond its limits.

Your fitness goals will not speed up by daily exercising, but you will feel drained with each passing day. Look for these signs to identify if your body is tired and you are doing too much cardio:

  • Pain in joints. Excessively performing cardio workouts will cause much pain in your joints due to the constant burden. Avoid or limit your cardio days if you experience any such situation.
  • Little or no energy. Cardio makes you strong, but if you feel drain and tired all the time, then it is time to rethink your exercise type and change it to avoid any loss.
  • Less muscle mass. Cardio burns fat, and doing it too much can lose muscle mass that you do not want. The metabolism rate of the body will also be affected by too much cardio.
  • Not losing enough fat. You might experience stubborn fat in your body, which does not go away with daily cardio as well. It is because your body becomes habitual of repeated exercises, so you need to change it frequently.
  • Constant soreness in the body. Cardio workout exerts a greater force, resulting in soreness. If you do not rest your body and continue to exercise daily, there will be more damage to the body.
  • Demotivated for a workout. Cardio feels hard, and you need to prepare yourself for it. If you have a cardio session daily in your workout plan, you will eventually feel demotivated to perform exercises.
  • Disturbance in sleep. Sleep gets improved by exercises and at the same time gets affected by too much cardio. A disturbed sleep means you won’t be able to give sufficient rest to your body.
  • Not seeing results. If you are performing cardio workouts daily and yet do not see any result, it is time to change your routine. Take a break and switch to other forms of exercise to see better results.

Effective workout routine

Take a break from your cardio session and engage in other formats of exercise. Changing routine will work to show effective and best results that you have always wanted. You can also perform combination exercises by combining two formats on alternative days to increase the intensity and effectiveness of workouts.

  • Do strength training. Strength training is one of the best exercises when it comes to adding muscle mass. It also helps your body in the long run and makes it stronger and healthier. Make sure to add a maximum of four days of strength training to your workout plan. Lifting weights add mass to muscle; resistance bands are another great way to build muscles and fall into strength training. Combining it with cardio workouts will show effective and fast results on the body.
  • Perform yoga. Yoga helps you in building mind and body connections and also helps you in improving your balance along with working on weight loss. Yoga also improves joint health, muscle health and avoids any risk of injury. It is best to use a yoga mat to stick to your goals in the long run.
  • Include healthy diet.  A healthy diet is key when it comes to weight loss or achieving your fitness targets. Include food from all food groups and balance your meals with healthy calories to see the best results. Never ignore the food you are eating, and practice mindful eating always. 
  • Use supplements. Combining diet, exercise and supplements has shown quality and long-lasting results. Include a fat burner supplement in your diet for quality results. The supplements help in improving mood, energy levels and work to metabolize fat in the body effectively.
  • Take rest. Never overdo your workouts, and remember to add rest days to your routine. Rest allows your body to recover from the damage and prompts you to perform better in the upcoming exercise sessions.

Takeaway

Cardio workouts are your best friend if you want to burn fat and get in the best shape. If you do too much of them, you are likely to experience severe damage to your body. You will feel more weakness, and it will affect your capacity to perform your daily tasks.

It is essential to keep track of your exercise regimen to see the best results. Engaging and including other exercises in your routine will maximize your body’s strength and help develop a healthier version of yourself.


Ellen Diamond did her degree in psychology at the University of Edinburgh. She has an ongoing interest in mental health and well-being.


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