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Don't let these pervasive myths about cardio ruin your workout! We're explaining the truth behind these ten cardio myths:
1. I only lose weight from cardio
Cardio is not the only way people lose weight. Cardiovascular workouts are aerobic in nature, meaning that oxygen is needed to create energy from various sources.
The thing that cardio training best does is train the cardiovascular system! That means the heart and blood circulation system. Cardiovascular workouts are definitely not the way to go about losing weight, though this myth persists no matter how much research proves otherwise.
2. The treadmill will make me a better runner
The trouble with cardio machines like the treadmill and elliptical is that they do not simulate real running as well as most people believe. Since the belt on a treadmill moves without having to push it away, the user is pretty much just hopping up and down to get out of its way. When running in real life, you have to force off the ground in order to create movement and maintain momentum.
3. The best cardio is in the “fat burning zone”
Most cardio machines have a little chart which shows the “fat burning zone” on it. Sure, working at a low intensity may have your body use up a few calories each minute from fat. Unfortunately, you still won't lose weight, even if you are training in this suggested zone. A pound of fat has approximately 3500 calories, and burning 100 of those in a long cardio session won't lead to any loses in the fat you see on your body.
4. Cardio is painful
Certain cardio activities may be uncomfortable for some, but there is no golden standard for everyone. In addition, there are dozens of cardiovascular workouts you can do, including one with weights. Dancing, cycling, jogging, jumping jacks, skipping, circuit training, swimming, brisk walking, and others are all options you can try.
5. Cardio should last 20 to 60 minutes
There is no real minimum or maximum time for cardio. Any little bit of exercise is better than none, and each person will benefit in a different way from various lengths and intensities of the activity. What we're trying to say is, there is no one way of doing cardio!
6. Cardio will help with my 6 pack
As mentioned before, cardio is not the best way to lose fat, and as a result, you can't expect it to clean up your belly fat and show your 6 pack. Seeing abs, or defining any muscle, requires the layer of fat under the skin to disappear. Its a lot less about the muscles and more about the fat loss to develop your 6 pack. Fat loss is best done through a healthy, clean diet.