If you're someone who loves to spend hours on the treadmill, bike, or elliptical every day, you may have heard the term "chronic cardio" before. This term was coined by Mark Sisson, the author of the book "Primal Blueprint," and refers to the idea that too much cardio can be detrimental to your health. But what exactly is chronic cardio, and is it really a myth? Let's take a closer look.
What is Chronic Cardio?
Chronic cardio refers to long periods of cardiovascular exercise at a moderate to high intensity, typically lasting for 45 minutes or longer. This type of exercise is often done on a machine such as a treadmill, elliptical, or stationary bike, and is performed several times a week. Chronic cardio is different from high-intensity interval training (HIIT), which involves short bursts of intense exercise followed by periods of rest.
Chronic Cardio Training
While cardiovascular exercise is important for overall health, excessive amounts of chronic cardio can lead to a number of negative effects on the body, including:
1. Increased risk of injury: Prolonged periods of cardio can put a lot of stress on the joints and muscles, increasing the risk of injury.
2. Muscle loss: Chronic cardio can lead to the breakdown of muscle tissue, as the body starts to break down muscle for fuel during prolonged periods of exercise.
3. Increased cortisol levels: Cortisol is a stress hormone that can be beneficial in small amounts, but chronic cardio can lead to elevated cortisol levels, which can have negative effects on the body, including weight gain and decreased immune function.
4. Decreased immune function: Chronic cardio can suppress the immune system, leaving you more susceptible to illness and infection.
5. Reduced recovery time: Chronic cardio can reduce the body's ability to recover from exercise, leading to increased soreness and fatigue.
Chronic Cardio Myth
So, if you're someone who loves to spend hours on the treadmill or stationary bike, it's time to rethink your approach to exercise. Instead of focusing on chronic cardio, try incorporating a variety of exercise modalities into your routine, including strength training, HIIT, and low-intensity cardiovascular exercise. By doing so, you'll not only achieve better health and fitness outcomes, but you'll also enjoy your exercise routine more and avoid the negative effects of chronic cardio.
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