Sunday, 10 July 2011

Is Cardio Good for Fat Loss?

20 years or so ago, if you were searching for a way to lose weight, you would most likely have been directed to get on the treadmill or the elliptical machine for 30 minutes at a minimum. This would have been considered sound advice and a sure way to get those unwanted pounds off. Those were the days in which cardio workouts reigned supreme as the one true way to lose weight.
In recent years, this point of view has been challenged. Some trainers even go as fat as create programs which include no trace of the sort of cardio workouts that we know. They claim that it is simply a waste of time to do cardio, at least the way it has been done in the past.
Which of these two points of view is correct? Is cardio good for fat loss or is it merely a waste of your valuable time?
The truth, as usual, is somewhere in the middle.
The basic rule of weight loss is that when you burn more calories than you consume, you lose weight. It's that simple. The more active you are, the more calories you burn so your overall calorie deficit can become bigger.
Cardio is an activity. When you perform a cardio workout you burn more calories than you would have done in an inactive state. So, cardio is good for fat loss because it does generate an increase in the amount of calories that you burn.
However, it is not the ultimate solution to weight loss that it was thought to be. There are other ways to train which may provide better and faster results.
The first of such methods is known as HIIT, or interval training. This is a form of cardio, but it is very different from the way most people do it. When you do intervals you do not spend an hour on a treadmill or a recumbent bike, exercising at a medium but steady pace.
When you do intervals you change your pace in short intervals, moving from high intensity to low. This has been shown to produce faster fat loss results than traditional cardio.
The second method is strength training. This is something that a lot of people, women in particular shy away from. This is unfortunate because weight lifting is excellent for fat loss as it boosts your metabolism.


Post a Comment

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More