Common myths regarding cardio exercises that you must stop believing | Health


Cardiovascular exercises, commonly known as cardio exercises, are a vital component of any well-rounded fitness routine as these exercises primarily target the heart and lungs, promoting cardiovascular health and enhancing overall endurance. Engaging in cardio exercises regularly offers numerous benefits including improved heart function, increased lung capacity and enhanced circulation.

Common myths regarding cardio exercises that you must stop believing (Photo by Gabin Vallet on Unsplash)
Common myths regarding cardio exercises that you must stop believing (Photo by Gabin Vallet on Unsplash)

Popular forms of cardio exercises include running, cycling, swimming, brisk walking and aerobic workouts where these activities elevate the heart rate, making the heart work harder to pump oxygenated blood to the muscles and organs. As a result, cardio exercises help burn calories, contribute to weight loss and maintain a healthy body weight.

Furthermore, regular cardio workouts have been shown to reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. They also boost mood and mental well-being by releasing endorphins, the “feel-good” hormones. Incorporating cardio exercises into your fitness routine can lead to improved overall health, increased stamina and a more energetic and vibrant lifestyle.

However, despite their numerous benefits, cardiovascular exercises have several myths associated with them which often demotivate many people and reduce the effectiveness of the workout. In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Sanjay Bhat, Senior Consultant – Interventional Cardiology at Aster CMI Hospital in Bangalore, highlighted some of these myths and busted them with facts related to cardio workouts –

Myth #1 – Only focus on cardio training

Fact: Many people only consider cardio exercises for weight loss, however, apart from cardiovascular exercises, strength training exercises such as weight lifting are also equally important to effectively shed excess kilos. By performing strength training, you not only build lean muscles but are also able to burn fat at a fast pace. Lifting weight twice a week for 45 to 60 minutes will give you an afterburn that will ensure that you burn calories even while resting and will also help you increase your metabolism.

Myth #2 – Do cardio before weight training

Fact: There is a high chance that you may get injured if you hit the treadmill first and then go to do strength training. This usually happens because your body is already drained because of an intense cardio session and so while weightlifting you may end up lifting weight in an incorrect form and may hurt yourself. It is recommended that you create a proper workout plan and perform cardio and strength training on alternate days. Even if you want to do both together, then you must perform weight training first and should later go on to do cardio.

Myth #3 – Cardio with an empty stomach can help in burning more calories

Fact: This is perhaps the most common myth that most people have. The fact is that without a balanced diet, your body cannot function for a long time and if you are not eating properly, you cannot finish your workout and will easily feel exhausted. Furthermore, fasting for a long time in the morning can also slow your metabolism and so you must begin your day with a healthy and hearty breakfast.

Myth #4 – Doing cardio in the morning is more effective than in the night

Fact: There is no right or wrong time to exercise, instead, what matters is consistency. If you are consistently following your workout routine, then you are bound to reap the health benefits that you desire.

Myth #5 – A 10-minute intense cardio routine is more effective for weight loss than an hour-long session

Fact: Whether you run for an hour or do high-intensity training for 10-20 minutes, you will burn calories. However, many people today believe that they can reduce weight only with high-intensity interval training. This is nothing but a myth because even if you consistently do cardio exercises at your own pace, you are bound to lose weight.

Now that we have debunked some common myths and misinformation about cardio exercises, you’re ready to kickstart your exercise journey.


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