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What Too Much Of Cardio Could Do To You


What Too Much Of Cardio Could Do To You


2 months ago…

‘She’ woke up one morning, and sleepily dragged herself to the washroom. Once she was there, She stood in front of the mirror and kept staring at herself. Then She noticed, along with her own reflection, the weighing machine lying on the floor behind her.girl running on the treadmill

She walked towards it with the intention of checking her weight after a month, and She did. What the scales showed her shocked her. She had gained 7 kilos in a month. That was her wake up alarm.

She enrolled herself for cardio at a gym nearby and she promised herself that she would work it out as much as possible to lose those 7 kilos that had gained upon her.

2 months later…

Girl's feet on weighing scale saying HELP‘She’ wakes up today, and she still drags herself out of bed, but her body has been aching all over. She has not been feeling very energetic lately and she is always hungry. She boards the weighing machine with a grudging feeling for the umpteenth time this week.

All that she lost in these two months was 4 kilos!!!

And she is wondering for the umpteenth time, “What am I doing wrong, why can’t I lose this extra weight soon?”

Are “You” feeling like “She” is? It is not an uncommon feeling you know, especially when “You” are overdoing your cardio as “She” is.

What was She doing wrong?

She, was doing it all wrong! Yes she was.

I understand we do not want that extra weight which we might have gained intentionally/ unintentionally, but neither do we want to compromise with our health, do we?

At the end of two months it was clearly visible that She was losing her health, her strength, but not much of her weight.

If She does not control her cardio workout, things can get worse for her. She might have a heart attack, or undergo depression, or even become a compulsive eater.

Yes, excessive cardio workouts can make things worse for us. Here are some pointers which you need to know about what too much of Cardio can do to you and how much is enough.

What Too Much Of Cardio Could Do To You

Pointers on what overdoing your cardio can do to you

Too much of anything is always good for nothing and you must have come across at least one experience in your life which proves this saying. The same goes for cardio Workouts as well as any other workout too. So let me show you how.

1. Loss of muscles

According to a study done by the American College of Sports Medicine, it was found that 150 minutes of cardio in a week is what an average adult requires to lose weight the correct way. Moderate activities of five sessions for a duration of 30 to 60 seconds a week, or 3 sessions of 20- 60 minutes a week is enough to accomplish this. [1]

Cardio workouts carried out for more than the time duration mentioned above can cause the body to loss muscle mass. A good example which we can see cited everywhere are marathon runners. Their body is so because it starts adapting to running long distances by lightening up the load. With lesser muscle on, the oxygen amount required lessens and also the runner weighs less making his task easier. [2]

Hence, until you are a runner, and you want to look just thin then you should opt out of excessive cardio.

2. Heart problems

When you first hit the gym, for the first few weeks, wasn’t running on the treadmill the most difficult thing you might have ever done. At some point of time did you not feel as though your heart would explode and you just stopped?

Imagine doing that to your heart everyday. You would wear it out. Did you know that you can cause you heart to stiffen because of the excessive cardio workouts. This interferes in the process of the heart being able to maintain a regular heart rate and mostly causes problems with the right ventricle which is responsible for pumping blood into the lungs. [3]

I’m sure this is not what you want.

3. Psychological problems

Exercise has always been credited with being able to relieve stress and anxiety. However, what we were not told was that excessive cardio workouts or in that case any workout causes the mind to be stressed and sometimes even causes depression.

If we increase our exercise levels without enough giving our body enough rest then it negatively impacts the mind and causes depressive symptoms. This can sometimes be called the ‘Overtraining Syndrome‘ or ‘Exercise Induced Syndrome.’

An article from the University of Mexico’s Exercise Science website, explains that depression and chronic fatigue are the two most common symptoms recognized in overtraining syndrome.[4]

4. Cause of injury

When we join the gym, for any workout type, you must have noticed the trainer telling us to come every alternate day and not everyday. I always wondered why. I wanted to make the most of my gym membership then and i could not understand the logic of doing it every alternate day.

It was only until later when my trainer explained that when we work out, our muscles start tearing  and so we need to give it one day’s rest to recover from the injury. When we do not do that our muscles do not repair and that is how there is a loss of muscles.

5. Increased hunger pangs

Lately, have you been feeling hungry almost all the time ever since you joined the gym or started your workout routine. You know this too might be a reason of over doing your cardios right?

Controlled amount of cardio training decreases our hunger levels, too much cardio training will increase it. Moreover if you have also have to stick to a particular diet plan while doing your cardios, doing to much of the workouts will only ruin your diet.

I have told you what ever I felt is essential to you and your health as you do your workouts. As I did say before. It is amazing to have good health but not at the risk of hurting yourself or at the most killing yourself. I hope you keep these points in mind next time. See you soon again.

[1] Garber CE, Blissmer B, Deschenes MR, Franklin BA, Lamonte MJ, Lee IM, Nieman DC, Swain DP, & American College of Sports Medicine (2011). American College of Sports Medicine position stand. Quantity and quality of exercise for developing and maintaining cardiorespiratory, musculoskeletal, and neuromotor fitness in apparently healthy adults: guidance for prescribing exercise. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 43 (7), 1334-59 PMID: 21694556. ^Back to Top^
[2] Melanson, E., MacLean, P., & Hill, J. (2009). Exercise Improves Fat Metabolism in Muscle But Does Not Increase 24-h Fat Oxidation Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews, 37 (2), 93-101 DOI: 10.1097/JES.0b013e31819c2f0b. ^Back to Top^
[3] Patil HR, O'Keefe JH, Lavie CJ, Magalski A, Vogel RA, & McCullough PA (2012). Cardiovascular damage resulting from chronic excessive endurance exercise. Missouri medicine, 109 (4), 312-21 PMID: 22953596. ^Back to Top^
[4] FOSTER, C. (1998). Monitoring training in athletes with reference to overtraining syndrome Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 30 (7), 1164-1168 DOI: 10.1097/00005768-199807000-00023. ^Back to Top^

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