Can cardio increase body fat?
While I agree that everyone should do cardiovascular activities to keep the heart healthy and the blood flowing, I don’t want people to solely do cardio because they want to lose body fat. If you do too much cardio, you’ll lose muscle, slow your metabolism, and increase your body fat, so if your goal is to look better, you’ve been doing what’s counterproductive.
Whether it’s body weight training, like push-ups, lunges or plyometric exercises; or lifting weights, those movements are what’s ultimately going to boost your metabolism and shrink body fat. The other bonus about weights, that people usually forget, is that it strengthens the core and improves balance (like when you do lunges). Seniors especially need weight training because muscles atrophy as we age, because we use them less, and balance tends to weaken. No one wants to fall and break a bone so weighted exercises, either on a machine or with assistance is really helpful for those that aren’t very physically active.
To get your body healthy and strong, lift weights (it doesn’t have to be heavy weights) or do body weight training three times a week. Do 30-45 minutes of cardio every day, ending with light stretches, but save the intense cardio workouts for days you don’t weight train. This will give you the toned body you want.
P.S. There is a one week detailed weight-training and cardio exercise program in my book: The High-Five Diet
Photo: That’s me doing curls.