Don’t kid yourself … you NEED cardio to Age Smart!
Posted Jul 06 2009 8:01pm
It’s true that I’ve reduce the amount of cardio workouts in my week and I’ve replaced a lot of them with more weight training, boxing, skipping rope (which is both aerobic and anaerobic) and yoga, but I still get on a bike at least twice a week for an instance cardio workout.
You won’t find too many trainers who will dismiss cardio because it’s an important part of a well balanced fitness regime.
Now, I think that when I talk about cardio, I should be precise and say that I’m talking about focused cardio here and not sessions of jumping around with little focus. I’ve been looking at women who have been doing the SAME cardio classes for over a decade and they’ve not shed one single pound. I’m talking about working consciously and at high intensity for a fixed time and integrating other exercises that will create muscle confusion (and therefore increase your chances or actually transforming your body).
When an expert like Dr. John Berardi talks about the importance of cardio as part of your weight loss goals, I take note because this allows me to better guide my readers.
After all, it’s not only about Eat Smart to Age Smart, but it’s also about being fit in order to Age Smart! It really boils down to balance!
I’m sure you’ll find Dr. Berardi’s findings quite informative and this will help you better structure your fitness regime.
Correction: Cardio is NOT a Waste of Time by Dr. John Berardi:
OK, I admit it: When it comes to weight loss, I’m not a big fan of long, mindless cardio. And recently I wrote a piece, “The Problem with Cardio”, that might have led you to believe I think cardio is a waste of time.
That’s not actually true. I think that aerobic exercise is way oversold as a weight-loss strategy, and that most people could get the positive calorie burning effects in a much shorter time with high-intensity interval training. But just because jogging an hour a day may not be the most effective way to lose weight doesn’t mean you should abandon your cardio work.
Not long ago, scientists at McMaster University Department of Medicine, Health Sciences and Rheumatology Division compared the findings of 17 studies that examined the effect of exercise on anti-aging and the immune system. They were looking to answer the following question: “What, if any, are the effects of regular aerobic and/or resistance exercise on the immune system in healthy older adults?”
They looked at these studies with a very critical eye, extracting only results that met very rigorous criterion.
Their conclusion: Aerobic exercise appears to be a friend of the immune system”.
OK, remember these guys are scientists and tend to couch their findings in very conservative terms. But considering the incredibly rigorous standards they applied to their review of the research, that conclusion is pretty impressive. Coupled with all the other benefits we know even moderate aerobic exercise can confer- on the brain, for example, as well as on blood pressure, mood, well-being and the circulatory system - there’s no reason to abandon those 30-minute-a-day walks, just because they may not be the best way to go when it comes to losing weight.
And by the way — though daily moderate-intensity exercise (like walking) may not be the best way to lose weight, it may be an essential component to keeping weight off. Findings from the National Weight Control Registry that follows people who’ve successfully lost a minimum of 30 pounds and successfully kept it off for a minimum of a year show that approximately an hour a day of moderate intensity exercise is one of the key strategies for weight maintenance.
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