What is a cardio king or a cardio queen?
Basically it’s someone who just does cardio for exercise.
Runners, cyclists, swimmers…anyone that trains ONLY cardio.
I have been this person. Back in the day, when my children were small I did aerobics two times a day.
Kickboxing in the evening and step aerobics in the morning. I did this five times a week and then hiking or jogging on Saturdays. In fact, I taught dance aerobics and step aerobics, and spin. I also owned turquoise shiny leotards,.
I thought I was super fit. Until my body started to show me differently, I was tired all the time. I always had a cold.
It felt like my body despised me, and took every opportunity to let me know.
Throughout all of this, I tried convincing myself I was fine…
“Pain is weakness leaving the body!”
“Sweat is your fat crying!”
…. and I was not getting stronger!
It was when I started personal training and my fitness manager had a talk with me about the whole ‘cardio queen’ dilemma. He basically said to stop doing so much cardio – and he actually called me a ‘cardio queen’.
This is when I discovered weightlifting, and realized I had been torturing myself by doing so much cardio.
Research now shows us that lifting weight may be better. Study after study shows that weight training has benefits for young and old, athletes and for rehab and recreation.
A recent theory suggests that large amounts of endurance-type cardio provoke oxidative processes which lead to eventual degeneration and decay. Additionally, higher intensities but shorter durations of cardio-type activity are turning out to be superior to lower intensity, long duration bouts for both fat loss and overall conditioning
So it turns out, weight training for 75 minutes, four times a week made more of a difference to my body AND my mind in six months than pounding out five to six hours of cardio, six days a week for I don’t know how many years!!
So aerobic activity should be tailored to individual goals, and should be only one aspect of a well-rounded program.
We need to be aware of flexibility and strength – we don’t want that to affect our quality of daily life. Cardio and weight training should be a fundamental part of any good fitness program.
How do you know where to start? Ask yourself
What do you want out of your cardio?
Do you want to improve your general fitness?
Do you want to improve your speed?
Do you want some lighter, “active recovery” cardio for rehab?
Do you like the social atmosphere of a cardio class or walking partner?
Do you want fat loss?
How much time are you willing to devote to it?
Your aerobic or cardio activity should be part of a well-rounded fitness program. It is up to you. You don’t need to follow anyone else’s exercise prescription, and YOU don’t need to worry that you’re doing the “wrong” cardio.
If you are working within your abilities, and your building a good base of general fitness, and are tailoring your activities to YOUR goals and interests, then… no worries!! Your doing the right one for you!