Most of you have probably already taken a baseball bat to your stationary bike and treadmill and threw them down a flight of stairs just after reading the title. Don’t despair just yet… for those with functioning exercise equipment, or those who prefer outdoor running, listen up! This is important.
We are used to misconceptions in the fitness industry. Most believe the very simple correlation to the more cardio we do, the more weight we lose. We get on a treadmill or bike, and just go at it for 30 minutes to an hour, the more the better, and watch the pounds shed. Although cardio does give tremendous results, too much cardio may actually reverse them!
According to Noah Abbott, a CrossFit coach in Brooklyn, prolonged, steady-rate cardio can deplete our body’s Triiodothyronine, or T3 hormone. This hormone is responsible for metabolism, and a depletion of this hormone can cause the body to go into a mode where it stores and gains more fat than usual. This hormonal change is also not affected by the intensity or frequency of activity… at that point, your body will gain fat regardless how much cardio you do.
The answer to solving this terrible dilemma is, ironically, a very CrossFit-type answer: cross training. Combining steady cardio with explosive cardio, weightlifting and CrossFit can not only prevent T3 depletion, but challenge your body in many, different and unique ways. A well-balanced workout routine will strengthen muscles, tendons and ligaments, lowering the risk of injury, while improving overall fitness endurance.
So run downstairs, apologize to your stationary bike and treadmill, beg for forgiveness and repair the damage… cardio is still an extremely important part of a complete workout routine, so keep it up!