What Kind of Cardio Should I Be Doing?

Every day clients are saying thing to us like "what kind of cardio should I do" or "I need to do cardio, what should I do?" Our first question is almost always "For what purpose"?   The intention and end result matter if you want to get the best results. 

Whenever people ask us, there are typically three main purposes behind it that I'm gonna cover today, and then I am also going to share my view on what I do for cardio because I don't believe in traditional cardio anymore and... Yeah, for most people, it's boring and not as effective as we think it is...

"If you're moving daily, you're already at the right heart rate for health..."

     There are two immediate reasons people ask about cardio... First is the health benefits. This is actually probably the least common, but I'll cover it first.  When it comes to the idea of being healthy, we've all heard it's good for your heart to be out and active. Well, the research shows that if you're moving, even just walking at a moderate pace, you're already at the heart rate that is gonna be good for health benefits. My recommendation for the average person for health benefit is to get out and walk;  move on a regular basis.

     If you're moving, walking pace or more, you're gonna get all the health benefits you need when it comes to cardio benefit. Your strength training is gonna count, your HIIT class, your boxing or martial arts, playing with the kids, all of that is gonna count for cardio. 

"I'm doing a ton of cardio and not losing weight..."

     The second reason though that people will ask about cardio is we think we need it for weight loss, and research shows that cardio is typically terrible for weight loss. We've all seen people who get ready for marathons, running tons of miles and they actually don't lose a lot of weight. And when training for a marathon, people are doing 10 times more cardio than the average person, and it's still not great for their weight loss.

  If you're trying to do cardio for weight loss (or fat loss), it is actually more effective to do strength training. Research says that if you're strength-training, your metabolic rate (rate that you burn calories) is higher for 48 to 72 hours after you work out. That means every time you strength train, you're burning calories for two to three days later. During the actual session, you won't typically burn as many calories as a traditional cardio workout does. But for the days after, you are burning way more than traditional cardio, like walking, running, those type things. If you're looking for the calorie burn that's gonna help you burn fat, stick to strength training.

"If you want to be a runner, you've got to run..."

The last reason people ask about cardio is for running. If you wanna be a runner, you've gotta run, if you wanna swim better, you gotta swim, if you wanna be a cyclist, you've got a cycle so I'd be lying if I said you don't need cardio for running, swimming or cycling, for all of those, if you wanna get better at it and you're doing races and stuff... Yeah, absolutely. Train your sport, get better at it. Spend a lot of time doing it, probably three to five days a week.

"You can't outwork a bad diet..."

    When it comes to losing weight, no matter what kind of workout you're doing, you're not gonna be able to outwork a bad diet. Focus on eating healthy and nutritious food, lean meats, and plenty of vegetables.  If you're eating fresh foods that are natural and not processed, it's gonna be far easier for you to lose weight and mainitain it. So, cardio is not the issue typically; incorporate strength training and make sure you're eating in a way that supports the goals that you have.


"Find ways to play and have a blast doing it..."

     The final thing -  why I don't believe in traditional cardio anymore...  I used to be a runner and a swimmer, and I loved doing those. If you love those activities and others like it, absolutely keep doing them; I'm never gonna say if you enjoy something to stop.

   One of my favorite forms of cardio now is actually going to a trampoline park where I'm jumping, twisting, climbing on things, and doing the Ninja Warrior courses. Why do I love doing that? First of all, it's a TON of fun, and I believe that our cardio should feel like play, so find things for you feel like play. And secondly, it's movement in a variety of directions. We as a society don't move enough anymore. Sure,  we do squats and dead lifts and walking or running, and it's very repetitive. But when we evolved as people in the society, we were and still are designed to move and twist and turn and crawl and climb, and we have stopped doing that. That's one of the reasons we're having so many injuries, whether it's knees, hips, shoulders, back, etc. It is because we're not moving our body in enough ways.

 So, for your cardio, find ways to play. Go over something, under something, around something... If you're running, figure out ways to hop up onto things, zigzag back and forth, and get that variety in so that your body gets the stimulus it needs. That's going to be plenty of cardio. I can tell you when I'm jumping on the trampolines, I'm breathing hard, I'm sweating, AND I'm having a blast doing it!

   So what kind of cardio should you do?  Find something that's fun, that feels like play for you and gets you moving in a variety of ways. If you'd like to come in and see how we apply different aspects of movement and variety into our programs, along with traditional strength training, go to Cadefit.com. You'll be able to get a free week with us and we'll show you exactly what we do and how we can support you with your goals. Thank you guys so much for watching/reading . Please like, comment, and share.  I'll see you guys next time.

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