Yes, too much cardio: Dr. Mercola recently published an article on the negative effects of too much cardio exercise has on individuals with a heart condition.
Not to say that cardio is bad by any means. On the contrary, cardio exercise is absolutely necessary, especially in those with heart conditions. However, he simply cautions individuals with a history of cardiovascular conditions to take it easy!
You may be over-doing your cardio workouts, if you:
- Are exhausted instead of energized after a workout
- Get sick easily
- Are unable to sleep or do not sleep well
- Have a feeling of “heavy” legs
- Are short-tempered or irritable
- Are regularly sore for days after workouts
Not only is extreme cardio exercise a very inefficient form of exercise, it causes undue harm on our systems, especially on the heart. It creates high levels of oxidative stress, inflammation and puts a great deal of strain on the heart.
Instead, opt for activities that involve more bursts of movement or exercise, such as high-intensity interval training, or HIIT. One reason for this is that it mimics our hunter-gatherer ancestors, or in other words, it may be likely that we are better adapted, or created, for that type of exercise.
Typically, a HIIT workout consists of alternating periods of 30-40 seconds of intense activity (such as running) with 90 seconds of medium activity (such as jogging or speed walking). The duration of exercise is flexible, usually lasting 30 to 40 minutes. There is usually a 30 second warm up period as well, although not all exercise programs include one.
Benefits of HIIT training include:
- Increasing & maintaining Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) for 24 hours
- Improving Maximum Oxygen Consumption (VO2 max)
- Most effective method for reducing body fat percentage
- Improves & reduces insulin resistance
- Better glucose (sugar) & fat metabolism
- Improve energy levels & increase libido
- Decreases chances of developing cardiovascular disease
Dr. Mercola talks more about his own HIIT program, and about the dangers of prolonged sitting and some things you can do to combat its negative effects.
Read his article here for more information.