How Much Cardio is Too Much

We all know that exercise is good for you. Now you might be wondering whether it’s worth doing cardio alone. Sometimes, in fact, doing excessive cardio can actually prevent you from achieving your intended fitness results. Here are 5 signs that you might be doing too much cardio:

  1. You’re not losing fat

When doing cardio exercise, you should be losing fat every time, right? Yes, but there comes a point that you’ll plateau: instead of burning fat, you’re actually losing muscle mass. Losing muscle mass can lead to a slower metabolism, which means you are burning less fat in the long run. So if you notice that you aren’t losing any more weight, then it’s time to change things up and start running less (or spending less time on the treadmill, as the case may be).

  1. You’re always tired

If you are working out every day doing cardio and you’ve noticed that you’re always tired during the day, then you should probably reduce your cardio exercise. The reason you’re frequently tired is that you are putting too much stress on your body. Moderate exercise is good because it helps you stay focus and alert, but too much can have the opposite effect and drain your energy.

  1. You’re not getting that toned body

You might be doing the wrong type of workout if you are trying to get a toned body for the summer. Yes, cardio can help you lose weight and make you slimmer, but it generally doesn’t improve muscle definition. In fact, cardio alone is likely to leave you a soft and a smaller version of yourself…if continued excessively. If muscle definition is a goal, then you need to mix weight training into your workout routine.

  1. You feel sore most of the time

As with any type of workout, it’s always possible to cross the line into “too much.” Even with cardio, you may be overworking your body and increasing your risk of injury. For example, excessive running puts pressure on your ankles, hips, knees, and lower back. Overtime, you may experience joint pain. This is a signal that you may need to ease it up.

  1. You don’t feel happy

Yes, having the discipline to continue working out is a great thing…and several of our blogs offer advice on this. But there may come a point at which you literally dread your cardio workouts–and the real red flag is that you don’t feel better afterwards either. Perhaps you used to feel great after a workout, but now you feel rather odd and dissatisfied. If that’s the case, then take a break from it and do something else, like yoga or Pilates. You should feel rejuvenated after a workout, not the same as how you started (or worse).

Overall, a strict cardio routine is not always the best solution for your fitness goals. You should consider adding some form of resistance in your workout to promote muscle growth and performance. This is how you get the toned body you’ve always wanted, while keeping your spirits up.