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Why Cardio is Overrated for Shaping Your Body

Most people think cardio is the best way to get in shape, but according to a personal trainer, cardio isn’t the be-all and end-all of weight loss.

You’ve probably heard the words “cardio” and “fat loss” in the same sentence. But do you really need to sweat it out on the treadmill for hours to get lean? The short answer is no. In fact, many experts say cardio can actually slow down your metabolic rate — the rate at which your body burns calories.

Why? Because when you exercise, your body’s insulin levels tend to rise, causing you to store fat instead of burning it. And, as anyone who’s ever put on weight knows, the heavier you are, the bigger that rise is. As a result, experts now recommend shorter bursts of cardio — such as 30 minutes, three times a week — instead of an hour-long session. (And if you have time to spare, that’s great. But your workout doesn’t need to be that long.)

Also, keep in mind that cardio isn’t the only way to lose fat. Weight loss is not just about exercise. It also involves what you eat and how much you eat. So, is cardio bad for you? No, but if you’re trying to lose weight, you should focus on resistance training and high-intensity interval training. For weight loss, you want to burn more calories than what you take in. The best exercise for weight loss is whatever you feel like doing.

So while cardio is great for cardiovascular health, it doesn’t help much in terms of weight loss. The best exercise programs incorporate cardio, weight training, strength training, and flexibility, and they’re all equally important. Nowadays, it seems like everyone is pushing you to get in the gym and start running. Or maybe you’re even considering joining a fitness class or taking up yoga. But unless you have a specific goal in mind, such as weight loss or muscle building, you’re probably wasting your time.

Mary J. Payne
Mary has over 10 years of experience as a journalist. She loves to travel and write about her experiences, but she also covers topics such as education, career advice and finances.