Not only could chronic cardio cause you to gain weight, it could be bad for your health. Let’s focus first on how it makes you fat! When you’re doing cardio, such as running, it torches calories for fuel. The problem is that it doesn’t differentiate where the source of those calories and many come from burning lean muscle mass, as well as fat. Lean muscle mass burns more calories, so the less you have, the harder it is to lose weight. That’s just one problem from chronic cardio.
Like any type of exercise, you can get too much of a good thing.
If you’re running for hours every day, you face the potential of stressing your body. In some cases, just putting on running shoes can begin the process of stress. When you’re under stress, your body creates hormones to prepare it for flight or fight, but running burns off those hormones. However, if you’re overdoing it, the stress of running too much and daily stress can make it overwhelming. It’s unproductive and makes you tire easily, are irritable, have difficulty sleeping and become ill.
The residue from burning calories include free radicals.
Free radicals bind to cholesterol and build plaque in your arteries, plus they cause oxidative stress that damage cells. While running for an hour doesn’t create a problem, running longer or doing more than an hour of intense exercise does create excessive oxidative stress. You can address the problem by ensuring your diet is high in antioxidants. If you don’t, it could cause you to be weaker and less immune to health issues.
When you’re doing chronic cardio, you’re often using the same muscles and joints.
One of the most immediate problems faced by avid runner, who are often in the group of those who do chronic cardio, are repetitive use injuries. Those are injuries that come from doing the same motion continually, such as pounding the pavement with the feet. Doing chronic cardio doesn’t give your body time to recover. One sign is nagging pain. If you feel nagging pain, it’s time to take a break.
- Studies show that people who run five to 19 miles a week, pacing it between six and seven miles an hour and spreading it over three or four sessions get the most benefit from running. Doing more reduces the benefit, until it eventually causes harm.
- No matter what the type of exercise, excessive amounts can prove damaging. One study of 108 avid marathon runners, compared to a similar group of sedentary people, showed more coronary plaque build up in the runners.
- To be truly healthy, you need all types of exercise, cardio, strength, balance and flexibility training. Strength, balance and flexibility training are important to your health and safety. Focusing on just cardio can affect your overall health.
- Too much cardio can cause achy joints and interfere with your sleep. The stressing of your body can increase cortisol levels, which can cause fat to accumulate around the abdomen.
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