When it comes to cardio workouts, there are generally two camps of thinking: one is that cardio training will make you lose your hard earned “gains” , and you’ll become skinny with no muscle mass or strength. The other argument is that cardio is essential to physical fitness–that without it, you could have all the muscle mass in the world, but to accomplish basic life’s tasks can be much harder than it should be. In effect, strong, jacked dudes (and ladies) can barely walk up a flight of stairs, yet they might be able to bench twice their weight.
So what’s the right answer? Should cardiovascular development be a fundamental part of your weight loss plan? The answer, of course, is absolutely yes. But the key is to find a healthy balance between the two. Aerobic (cardio) and anaerobic (strength training) exercises are hands-down most efficient when combined.
Let’s take a step back for a moment. When we talk about cardiovascular development, we’re addressing the entire package–strengthening the heart itself, which then improves your blood flow, can reduce inflammation and help your entire body function optimally. Cardio development truly is one of the best things you can do for yourself, whether you’re looking to lose weight, get toned, or simply be the healthiest version of yourself possible.
Before you can improve your heart health, you have to first know your starting point. If these symptoms sound familiar, you might need to step up your cardio game:
The truth is, whether you want to lose weight or increase your muscle mass, cardiovascular development matters. If you think of your body like a car’s engine, efficient cardiovascular system allows for easier fuel delivery and removal of waste products. Sure, you can build a bigger engine, but if you don’t have enough gas to run it or can’t deliver gas efficiently, what good is it? Even for those who are already in relatively good physical shape, you will eventually plateau unless you are following a strategy to keep your body performing at a higher level.
In a nutshell, here’s why you need cardiovascular development, no matter what your goals are:
Despite conflicting viewpoints on the subject, the fact of the matter is that cardiovascular development is a crucial component of your overall health and fitness program and ,as such, needs to be seriously considered before embarking on your new exercise regime. Does this mean that there’s no place for strength training? Of course not. But what it does mean is that in order to excel at anything, be that weight lifting or weight loss, you’ve got to condition your heart first.