Some people think that cardio is the be all and end all of any fitness routine. Some people are totally indifferent about it and don’t bother putting it in. But just how important is cardio in your fitness routine? In order to make progress and stay healthy, finding that ‘cardio sweet spot’ is crucial. Here are some things that can impact how important cardio is to you:
Your Body Type
There are 3 main body types. How important cardio is in your fitness routine will depend largely on this. Here they are with a little bit about each:
- Mesomorphs – a mesomorph is a person who may naturally have a more athletic physique, or put on muscle and lose fat really easily. Depending on their goals, they usually find making progress a breeze and look great the majority of the time.
- Ectomorphs – an ectomorph is a naturally very slim person. They don’t put on weight, or muscle very easily at all. These are the people that will tell you they just can’t put on weight no matter what they eat! Many people are envious of their fast metabolisms.
- Endomorphs – an endomorph is a person that holds onto fat more readily than other types. This doesn’t necessarily mean they are overweight, it can just mean they are softer than other types. They do tend to put on muscle easily, however.
You may have a good idea of your body type already. In general, ectomorphs won’t want to do too much cardio, as it can impact muscle gains and make the body burn more calories than it needs to. Mesomorphs may not need to do cardio at all, or very little. Endomorphs will usually need to do the most cardio to keep fat off, however, this will need to be balanced to ensure that muscle is not being burned away.
Cardio is important for cardiovascular health, so no matter what type you are, it could be a good idea to include at least a small amount every so often. Even a walk can be a good way to get the benefits of cardio!
What your goals are will also make a difference to how importance cardio is. If you’re focused on bulking and muscle gain, then cardio should be minimized to avoid burning muscle as much as possible. However, you may still want to include a small amount to ensure you don’t gain too much fat in the process.
If your goal is fat loss, then cardio becomes more important, and could be done anywhere from 3-6 times a week to achieve your desired results. However, it still isn’t the be all and end all. Resistance training is still so important to avoid muscle loss!
General Health And Fitness
As mentioned before, cardio is important for general health and fitness. If you truly enjoy cardio, you shouldn’t cut it out, either. There’s no point in sticking to a routine if you don’t enjoy it! That being said, if you have an injury, ensure you’re using something like knee bracing and support to avoid further pain.
How To Make Cardio Work For You
With all of this in mind, how do you make cardio work for you? It’s a good idea to introduce it slowly, maybe a couple of times a week for 20 minutes, and then increase it and make a note of your results. While you can get quick results by introducing a lot of cardio, you don’t want to have to keep up 6 x 60 minute cardio sessions a week to maintain your goal!