Aerobic exercise is good for your health, but they can cause you lots of problems. Find out the best and safest substitute.
Too much of cardio workout can be very dangerous for your health. It can cause a chronic disease, lower your immune system and even damage your heart. But don’t be afraid. I have a perfect substitute for the potentially harmful cardio workout.
What is Aerobic Exercise?
Aerobic exercise also known as cardiovascular exercise or simple cardio, is sustained full body rhythmic sport activity. The activity lasts for a relatively long period of time without rest (30 minutes or more) with lower to moderate intensity. It makes your lungs and heart work harder, because your body needs more oxygen.
Examples of Cardio Workout
- Fast walking
- Running or jogging
- Stair climbing
- Elliptical trainer
- Aerobic gymnastics
- Boxing and Kickboxing
- Skipping rope
- Circuit training
Benefits of Cardio Workout
There are many benefits of aerobic exercise like:
- Strengthening and enlarging your heart muscles
- Improving circulation
- Reducing hypertension or high blood pressure
- Increasing the number of red blood cells in your blood and improving oxygen transport
- Improved mental health (reducing stress and depression)
- Increased cognitive capacity
- Reducing the risk of diabetes type 2 and heart disease
What is the Problem with the Aerobic Exercise?
So, when you read all the benefits, you may ask what is the problem. Many studies have concluded that too much cardio can cause you more harm than good. Doing more than 45 minutes of cardio and more than 5 times a week can lead to serious problems.
Our ancestors’ have rarely done the physical activities that had lasted more than 45 minutes without a rest. The similar situation is in the animal world. More common and more natural are activities that last short period of time, but are more intensive and followed by the rest.
Read more about the exact limits when running is becoming dangerous in Running Benefits – Is Running the Best Exercise or Dangerous Activity.
What is the Risk?
Too much of cardio can lead to the following problems:
- Excess of cortisol (stress hormone)
- Catabolic state or breaking and losing muscle tissues
- Weakening of the immune system
- Lack of sleep or insomnia
- Scaring of Heart muscle
- Clogged Arteries
Read more about the problems caused by too much of cardio in the great article by Dr. Mercola.
The Best Substitute for Aerobic Exercise
The best substitute for aerobic exercise is HIIT or High intensity interval training. HIIT training consists of short, intensive bursts that last 30 seconds with the period of rest. HIIT training consists of many intervals of higher intensity burst followed by rest or much lower intensity.
This kind of training is much more effective in many ways:
- It takes less time - it can last only 15 minutes
- It burns more fat in less time - it is a better solution for weight loss than aerobic exercise
- You are not losing muscle like with a cardio workout
- Reduces your blood pressure
- It reduces your heart rate and makes your heart stronger
- It is more interesting than cardio
- It is great prevention of diabetes and it improves your insulin resistance
- You are feeling much better after doing it
So, like you see HIIT have all the benefits of the aerobic exercise, it is more effective, but at the same time you are avoiding all the dangers which can to intensive and too long cardio workout cause to your body.
More about the HIIT and its benefits, you can read on What is HIIT Workout and What are the HIIT Benefits.
If you are trying to lose extra fat and not to lose too much of your muscles like with aerobic exercise, High Intensity Interval Training is great choice. Read more about this in HIIT High Intensity Interval Training: The Most Effective Fat Burn Workout.
HIIT can be very demanding, especially for the beginners and overweight people. The good news is the you can adopt your HIIT training according to your fitness level. It is more flexible than the classical aerobic exercise.
The beginner or person that is totally out of shape can start with this 15 minutes, or even less exercise. 10 sets of:
- 30 seconds of running with 80% of your maximum intensity
- 60 seconds of walking
On the other side, the top athletes can have the HIIT workout in 30-45 minutes that can be very demanding to them.
More about this and how to find the most appropriate HIIT workout check in http://www.fit-over-30.com/workouts/hiit/17-treadmill-hiit-workout.
Aerobic exercise is not so flexible, interesting, and effective as HIIT, but also can cause you lots of problems. The ideal training schedule would include strength training and HIIT. If you are interested more about this and have some specific questions, signup free to Fit-over-30 Community.