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Is too much Cardio making you gain weight or hurting your fitness goals? Here’s how to tell if you are doing too much cardio and how to help yourself train smarter. What’s behind this trend of cardio junkies sweating to exhaustion? Here’s what happens when you do too much cardio, signs you may be doing too much, and how to help yourself restore body balance.
Even though exercise is good for us, our bodies perceive it like any kind of stressor. Chemically, the body reacts the same way to exercise as it does to “bad” stress. Therefore, too much exercise (or not enough recovery) can have negative effects on your physical and mental health (including your metabolism). In addition, too much cardio specifically can result in muscle wasting (atrophy) and fat storage on the body, which is not the outcome you want. In extreme cases, even the heart suffers from too much endurance training.
When you listen to your body, it will usually give you signals that it’s time to change things. If you experience any of these symptoms, it could be signs that you are doing too much cardio.
Weight gain. Research shows that cardio is not usually that helpful for weight loss. The body becomes “used to” the calorie deficit from long aerobic sessions and stores energy as fat to compensate. In addition, studies show most people eat more after exercise, and overestimate how many calories they burned while working out.
Increased body fat or hard to lose body fat (the body hangs on to it because it knows it has to keep going FOREVER)
Hormone changes (increased cortisol in the body due to prolonged stress from cardio training)
Joint pain and muscle aches
Repressed immune system (you get sick more than normal or are sick all of the time)
Repetitive stress injuries
Anxiety (from increased stress on the body)
Sleeplessness or insomnia
Brain fog or inability to focus
You can’t “lose your belly” or still not seeing that toned definition you’re craving.
Do you have one or many of the symptoms above? Do you still want to sweat so hard and so long to get those results from your workouts?
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms of cardio overload, it’s likely time to consider switching up your exercise routine. You don’t have to stop exercising altogether, or even exercise less frequently, but a different style of exercise will be quite helpful. It may take a while to re-train your body out of chronic cardio overtraining, especially if you have been a “cardio junkie” for years. However it IS possible to restore how your body responds to exercise and reset your weight, body fat, hormones, and system. It will require patience, hard work, focus, determination, and effort. You need to be prepared to do something DIFFERENT, to challenge yourself, to feel awkward, uncomfortable, and scared. Change is hard, new, and different. You will be tempted to fall back to old overtraining habits. But if you are truly committed to helping your body heal and to seeing positive effects from your workouts, you will be able to climb out of the chronic cardio state and find balance. Here’s what to do instead of hours of cardio: READ HERE: http://carolinejordanfitness.com/cardio/
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