It seems to me that “cardio” has become the Penicillin of Fitness.
High blood presure? More Cardio. Carrying a few extra pounds? More Cardio. Feeling tired and low on energy? More Cardio. Gain muscle, get faster, become a millionaire…… all through more cardio.
As I’m sure you’ve guessed by my sarcastic tone cardio will not fix all your problems, infact there a many that average American face that increased cardio will actually make worse.
Cardio is so “over perscribed” simply becasue it’s easy. It’s easy advice to give and easy to take action on therefor it gets over used.
We should know by now the easy fix is not ususally the best or most effective one. The changes that lead to long term sustainable results are often more complex and can be difficult to implement. I’m not try to be a downer just a realist, change is tough. It is more difficult to take an objective look at lifestyle choices as the cause and fix of any issues we might be having. How much sleep am I getting? What am I doing to manage daily stress levels? What is my daily processed food intake? How much activity am I getting? How much time do I spend outdoors? What foods work best with my body (just because someone else calls it “healthy” does not mean it agrees with you)?
In the end more cardio becomes the over simplistic answer to a more complex question. For the average American (you and me) more cardio can actually be a huge problem. Most of us are sleep deprived, under nourished and over stimulated; never forget that exercise (as good as it is) is still stress. What happens when you take someone who is not getting enough sleep, eating food they can’t obtain nourishment from and constatnly at a 11 level freak out at home and work because the big report deadline is on the same day as little Johnny’s soccer game and add more stress to their week? The math on this one is not hard to do.
The take away her is two-fold;
First, think balance. When we look at the big picture adding more cardio doesn’t’ fit but to see that we have to zoom out and try to see the whole picture.
Second; Sometimes things are complicated. We love simple, easy and actionable but life is not always that way and that’s ok. It’s ok to seek answers and search for truth and it’s ok to get help along the way. My experience is if a piece of advice can fit into a Twitter post there is probably more to the story and deserves some more diving into.