Cardio Weight Loss - An Alternative
The standard approach to cardio to lose weight and improve heart conditioning is to perform a moderate cardio routine for between 30-60 minutes 3 to 5 times a week. The heart rate is kept at a steady state. Before you adopt this popular belief and do endless hours of the same old boring routine, I'd like you to consider an alternative approach. Current scientific research indicates that steady pace cardio endurance may not necessarily be the best option.
The human body is designed to undertake short bursts of physical activity followed by recovery, or stop and start movement as opposed to constant state movement. Research suggests that variability is an important factor to consider in your cardio program. You will notice this paradigm extended throughout nature with animals subject to stop and start movements. The competitive nature of sport also demands stop and start movements. When you compare the body of a marathoner with that of a sprinter, you will see the contrast in body composition. Most sprinters have lean, hard and muscular bodies whilst marathoners have skinny and emaciated frames.
The internal effect of exercise should also be considered. Scientists have indicated that steady state exercise increases the production of free radicals in the body. This can contribute to muscle erosion, reduce immune function, degenerate joints and result in a pro-inflammatory response in the body that can potentially contribute to chronic disease.
In contrast, variable cyclic training has proven to increase anti-oxidant production and resulted in a more efficient nitric oxide response, an anti inflammatory response and a more efficient nitric oxide response which contributes to a healthy cardiovascular system and higher metabolic rate. All this can result in greater weight loss.
The benefit of variable rate training is also more in line with the daily stresses of life. This training teaches the body to respond and recover form daily functional demands improving the bodies overall condition and ability to respond to daily demands. Cardio programs that train your heart to increase rapidly and decrease rapidly will condition your heart to handle everyday stress. Stress can result in a rise in a rise in your blood pressure and heart rate. Constant state activity does not train your body to be able to handle rapid changes in your heart or blood pressure.
Other important factors that result from a variable cardio routine include the recovery period between bursts of exertion. The recovery period is important for the body to elicit a healthy response to the exercise stimulus. Short bursts of intense activity are also more exciting than steady state activities resulting in a reduction in drop out rate.
In a nutshell, the benefits of variable cyclic training include: increased anti-oxidant production, improved cardiovascular health, increased metabolic rate, improved immune function, deduced joint wear, tear and muscle wasting. Wind sprints are an example of an activity that can be incorporated that improves muscle definition and reduces overall body fat. High intensity variable training on any cardio equipment can also be performed in the same manner.
An example cardio weight loss routine that conditions and tones the body includes the following:
(a) warm up for an initial 5 minute period
(b) Interval 1: Run at a fast pace for 1 minute
(c) Interval 2: walk for 1.5 minutes at 4.0 miles and hour
(d) Interval 3: sprint for 1 minute
(e) walk for 1.5 minutes at 4.0 miles and hour
Repeat this workout 4 times for an intense 20 minute cardio routine.
By training your body at variable intensity rates for the majority of your workouts you will enjoy the benefits of improving you internal health, improving fat loss and muscle maintenance. Find out how to create the body you desire. Get a free report with 27 unqiue ways to raise your metabolism and melt away fat.