Whilst the end of the summer spells sadness for a lot of people, it also gives a sense of ‘relief’ to many avid gym bunnies across the UK. In the summer your on the beach, by being heavily muscled you draw more attention to yourself when your topless therefore you feel more conscious of your fat percentages. As the sun goes back into hibernation you feel as though you can relax your diet a little because hoodies begin to feature more heavily again as the temperature plummets. If you fancy rice and chilli at 9PM you will eat it, yet just a handful of months ago you wouldn’t have entertained such a preposterous idea! Cardio is something else you tend to lapse on, possibly knocking it on the head all together until the beginning of next year. However, the question is should you really STOP cardio now the summer is over?
Why do most of us posers do cardio? Yes that’s right because we are vain, self-obsessed characters who want to look as ‘hunkish’ as the next aspiring Arnie standing proudly in his skimpy Speedo’s on the beach, 20 feet away. Maybe that is a little harsh but you would agree it was successful in making a valid point. The fact is, very few people who lift weights as religiously as Prince Phillip offends people don’t do cardio for their health and well being, it is simply to burn body fat for aesthetic reasons. For sure, it is healthy to remove your tire around your waste yet there are compelling reasons as to why you should do some cardio all year round.
Remember, FitMag isn’t a source of information just to look ‘buff’ but also to be ‘buff’ inside and out. For want of a better word, this means that we like to promote advice which will make you LOOK great, physically, but also be healthy physically inside as well! With that being said we would advise you to do some cardio all year round, even in the winter months! I know, cruel aren’t we!?!
So what are the benefits to this?
If your body is used to metabolising body fat via regular cardiovascular exercise and you just stop it all, it stands to reason you will gain body fat. It is normal to gain some body fat in the autumn and winter months, yet surely it makes sense to limit this by maintaining a level of cardio exercise. Normally people want to eat a lot more to gain mass after the summer, so their complex carbohydrate intake will be a lot higher! If you keep up a certain level of cardio you will help limit the conversion to body fat.
Increased aerobic capacity
If you’re able to work more efficiently in your aerobic threshold then you will be able to push harder with your weight training. ‘No you wont, weight training is all anaerobic!’ Really? Think about this, after you have just squatted 3 plates aside for 15 repetitions and your gasping for air is that anaerobic? NO! Too many people seem to have the opinion that their aerobic capacity is not relevant to weight training, well it is. Also, if you really train hard then every 3 weeks you will be doing an ultra high repetition workout as well which is extremely aerobic.
On another note, if your heart is more efficient at pumping oxygenated blood into the working muscle you will be able to work harder because, the toxins in the muscle will be removed more efficiently!
Shifting heavy poundage’s 4 or 5 times a week sure does give your cardiac system a good workout; however, it is also healthy for the heart to keep it working in an aerobic capacity for pro-longed periods of time. Many studies have shown by aerobically raising the heart rate a few times a week to a moderate consistency can help improve the health of your heart. If this doesn’t make you want to do cardio I don’t know what will!
In a nutshell it is important to keep doing cardio all year round, it wont prevent you from gaining muscle mass like so many believe! Sure, if you are doing 1 hour every day in the summer you might think this isn’t feasible all the time, and your right! Instead, shoot for around 20 minutes 4 to 5 times a week and you will find you stay a lot leaner and feel less winded during your workouts!
To mix things up, use the rowing machines, cross-trainers, treadmills, the open roads and cycling to ensure cardio remains a fun activity for you!