(BPT) - Does your exercise routine live and die by the treadmill? Does your workout consist of an hour on the elliptical? While you can't ignore the positive impact aerobic exercise has on your health, it may not be the dream weight-loss solution you hope for.
"It seems an awful lot of people walk, jog, run and cycle on a regular basis, hoping the time spent on the treadmill, bike or trail will equate to drastic weight loss results," says Paul Kriegler, registered dietitian and nutrition program manager for Life Time Fitness. "There's a fair amount of research on how much cardio is best for realizing health benefits, but there are a few factors that could be compromising those benefits for you."
You're doing cardio, but moving less throughout the rest of the day.
Think about this: you wake up early, get to your health club and work hard for a solid hour, spinning your legs until they feel like jelly. A puddle of sweat surrounds your bike and your heart rate monitor says you burned 950 calories. That's great, until later on, you forgo your normal walking break because you feel too worn out. And later that evening, you catch a nap before dinner rather than walking the dog or mowing the lawn. People often justify inactivity in the hours after a strenuous workout. Most experts recommend getting the majority of your movement throughout the day instead of condensing it into one particular segment.
You're doing too much cardio.
The health benefits of cardiovascular training appear to begin after around 30 minutes of moderate intensity four to five days per week, totaling around 150 minutes. When it comes to cardio, more isn't always better, especially if you don't give your body time to recover. According to an article titled "Effect of the volume and intensity of exercise training on insulin sensitivity," published in the September 2013 edition of the Journal of Applied Physiology, opting for long, frequent sessions is often less effective than shorter, higher intensity. Doing long sessions of cardio, more than 60 minutes, is rarely necessary unless you're training for a specific event. Another observational study of recreational joggers suggest you're better off capping your strict cardio time at 30 minutes and including several days per week of resistance training.
You think cardio means "I get to eat extra calories without consequence."
While exercising to burn off some energy may give you a little room for forgiveness, exercising to prepare for or undo poor eating habits doesn't guarantee you results. In fact, according to a study in PubMed, large amounts of cardio training have been shown to induce compensatory eating patterns, especially in women. It's easy to get into this mindset, but exercise is far more than just a way to expend calories. Well-planned, properly executed bouts of activity can stimulate your body to go through incredible changes, but not if you're using food as a reward.
All your cardio sessions are the same.
Cardio can be helpful for getting a little solitude or zone out time, but doing the same workout every day when you're looking for results is definitely not the answer. A good exercise program incorporates variability from one workout to the next. Your body has a few major energy systems, and they all need to be challenged over time. Try an Active Metabolic Assessment from Life Time to scientifically determine your most efficient heart rate zones so you can exercise smarter.
Cardiovascular exercise may promote a positive mood, better cognitive function and reduce diabetes risk, but only if you do it right. Take these factors into consideration the next time you lace up your gym shoes and hop on the nearest cardio machine.
Just because swimsuit season is over doesn’t mean it’s time to let your fitness regimen fall by the wayside. Keeping active and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is important year-around, so stay on track as the weather cools with these tips and tricks.
Beat Cool Weather
Keep health in mind as cold creeps closer
(Family Features) Temperatures may be dropping, but just because swimsuit season is over doesn’t mean it’s time to let your fitness regimen fall by the wayside. Keeping active and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is important year-around, so stay on track as the weather cools with these tips and tricks.
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Photo courtesy of Getty Images (Family biking, Running shoes, Sports glove and balls)
If travel plans frequently keep you away from home, it can be a challenge to maintain your regular fitness routine. With dedication, planning and a little creativity, you can use these tips for packing, staying active en route to your destination, finding time for a workout and dining on the road, to maintain your workout regimen no matter where your travels take you.
4 Tips to Stay Fit While Traveling
(Family Features) If summer travel plans frequently keep you away from home, it can be a challenge to maintain your regular fitness routine. With dedication, planning and a little creativity, you can use these tips from fitness entrepreneur Cassey Ho to maintain your workout regimen no matter where your travels take you.
1. Pack for Fitness
Like the right apparel, footwear and diet, it is also important to have the right contact lens technology for your eyes. It's crucial to your performance that you be comfortable throughout the day so you don’t lose focus.
“As a fitness trainer, fashion designer and social media entrepreneur, I need a contact lens that's as high-performing as I am,” Ho said. “Because of their unique water-gradient technology, Alcon DAILIES TOTAL1® contact lenses are so comfortable that I don't notice I'm wearing them, which allows me to focus on my workout, not my eyes.”
Beyond all-day comfort, daily disposable contact lenses can be a healthy option for your eyes, are easy to use and take up less space when traveling because you don’t need to pack bulky lens care solution and cases. Learn more at dailiestotal1.com.
2. Keep Active as You Go
3. Work in a Workout
4. Make Healthy Dining Choices
Keeping things simple and staying committed to your routine with these tips will help you to easily keep your health on track during your summer travels.
Photo source: Alcon DAILIES TOTAL1® production day
Ask your eye care professional for complete wear, care and safety information. Rx only
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