Top 10 Myths About Cardio: Busted!

BBrandon September 11, 2023 3:52 PM

Cardiovascular exercise, also known as cardio, has been a hot topic in the fitness world for years. Despite its popularity, many misconceptions about cardio still float around. Let's bust the top 10 myths about cardio!

Myth 1: Cardio is the Best Way to Lose Weight

It's a common belief that the more cardio you do, the more weight you lose. This isn't entirely true. While cardio does help burn calories, it's not the only player in the weight loss game. A balanced approach combining cardio, strength training, and a healthy diet is the best way to lose weight.

Myth 2: Cardio is Bad for Building Muscle

Some people avoid cardio like the plague, believing that it will cause muscle loss. The truth is, when done in moderation and combined with strength training, cardio can actually enhance muscle growth by improving circulation and nutrient delivery to the muscles.

Myth 3: Fasted Cardio Burns More Fat

The idea that doing cardio on an empty stomach burns more fat is a popular one. While it's true that your body turns to stored fat for energy when your glycogen levels are low, this doesn't necessarily mean you'll lose more weight. Your overall daily calorie intake and expenditure are what truly matter.

Myth 4: High Intensity Cardio is Always Better

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) has gained a great deal of attention for its efficiency. However, it's not always better than moderate-intensity cardio. Both have their own benefits and drawbacks, and the choice should depend on your fitness level, goals, and preferences.

Myth 5: Cardio Should Be Done Every Day

Just like any other type of exercise, your body needs rest after cardio. Overdoing cardio without allowing your body to recover can lead to overtraining and increase the risk of injury.

Myth 6: Cardio is Only for Weight Loss

Cardio is not just about losing weight. It has a multitude of health benefits including improved heart health, increased lung capacity, improved mood and mental health, and a decreased risk of many chronic diseases.

Myth 7: Cardio Should Be Done Before Strength Training

While some believe cardio should be done before strength training to warm up the body, others argue it can lead to premature fatigue and hinder strength training performance. The truth lies in your individual goals. If your main aim is to build strength, do strength training first. If it's to improve endurance, do cardio first.

Myth 8: You Should Always Do Cardio for At Least an Hour

The idea that cardio isn't effective unless it's done for a long period of time is a myth. Even short bouts of cardio can be beneficial, especially if done at high intensity. Quality trumps quantity.

Myth 9: Cardio Makes You Hungrier

While it's true that exercise can stimulate appetite, it doesn't necessarily mean it will lead to weight gain. It's important to replenish the body with healthy foods after a workout and listen to your body's hunger cues.

Myth 10: Cardio is Boring

This myth is subjective and depends on personal preference. There are many forms of cardio including cycling, swimming, dancing, hiking, and more. Find a form you enjoy so it doesn't feel like a chore.

Here's a quick summary:

Myth Truth
Cardio is the best way to lose weight Balanced approach is more effective
Cardio hinders muscle growth Enhances muscle growth if done right
Fasted cardio burns more fat Overall calorie balance matters
High intensity cardio is always better Depends on individual factors
Daily cardio is a must Rest days are important
Cardio is only for weight loss Has multiple health benefits
Always do cardio before strength training Depends on individual goals
Cardio must be done for at least an hour Quality over quantity
Cardio increases hunger Can be managed with healthy eating
Cardio is boring Plenty of different forms to try

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