Why You Should Never Eliminate Cardio from Your Workout

7th April 2019
Cardio is very beneficial for athletes and it should never be missing from any workout routine. Here's why you shouldn't eliminate cardio from your workout.

Cardio is one element of your workout that should never be left out. If you’re thinking you might want to eliminate cardio from your workout, keep in mind that it should be the last thing you do.

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Changing your exercise routine keeps you interested and committed to the activity, which means you’re more likely to do it on a daily basis. However, if you want to eliminate some elements from your workout routine, cardio should not be one of them.

It’s common knowledge that if you want to slim down, you should focus on increasing your cardio activity and reducing the calories you consume. However, maybe you’re unaware that cardiovascular exercise also works all the muscles of your body and keeps you in shape.

There are many ways to do cardio: walking, riding a bicycle, going out for a run, etc. In any case, if you think your muscles need a little more, we also recommend that you opt for exercises that incorporate more intense movements such as box jumps or burpees.

That way, you can obtain the benefits of both cardiovascular and strength training.

Why you shouldn’t eliminate cardio from your workout

Cardiovascular exercise is one of the key components that should never be left out of a physical conditioning program. Below, we will tell you why.

1. Don’t eliminate cardio, it burns fat and calories

Firstly, you should have no doubt that cardio, similar to weight training, can burn fat. However, to get the best results, it’s important to combine it with a healthy and balanced diet. Additionally, you should choose activities that adapt to your needs and to your body.

Couple on bike machine at the gym don't eliminate cardio exercise

If your goal is to lose weight, it’s better to do short cardio sessions several times a week instead of one long session. In this case, you’ll want to do 30-minute sessions five times a week.

If that wasn’t enough, cardio isn’t only good for losing weight: it’s also great for maintaining your weight and staying healthy and in shape.

2. Cardio allows you to build muscle

Next, you should know that it’s incorrect to say that cardiovascular exercise isn’t good for building and toning muscle. In fact, all you have to do is choose the correct exercise and combine it with a proper diet. It’s ideal to follow a proper calorie intake and increase your consumption of protein.

On the other hand, you must take into consideration that there are machines, such as the rowing machine, that are specifically designed for muscle toning and weight loss. Moreover, getting regular cardiovascular exercise will improve your endurance and give you more energy.

3. Cardio gives you energy

The majority of people who choose cardiovascular exercise use it as a way to burn excess calories. Additionally, given that the body is in constant movement, it demands more energy requirements from your body.

It’s possible that you might not feel it when you’re doing a full cardiovascular workout, but regular cardio exercise improves your endurance and gives you a lot more energy. Don’t forget that cardio exercise also helps you stay in shape, even when you’re aging.

You might like: Steps to Moderate Cardio

4. Cardio improves heart health

Your heart is a muscle just like any other: if you want to strengthen it, you must work it. There’s no better way to improve your cardiovascular health than to utilize physical exercise, especially cardiovascular exercise.

In fact, regular exercise strengthens the heart and its blood vessels, which allows for better blood circulation.

Woman outside running taking a break next to a brick building listening to music

If you don’t work your heart, it will become weaker over time. This could cause a variety of negative health effects. When you make the heart beat a little faster than usual, you’ll help to keep it healthy and in optimum condition. 

Finally, to summarize, it’s worth pointing out that specialists tend to suggest that the best type of training program is one that includes a few days of cardio and a few weight training days.

However, as you’ve seen, cardio is essential if you want to improve your physical condition. Given that cardiovascular exercise demands a lot from your body, you need to rest every once in a while. If you don’t take a rest day, you could end up with an injury.

Don’t forget that resting is just as important as working out!

  • Agarwal, S. K. (2012). Cardiovascular benefits of exercise. International journal of general medicine5, 541.
  • Guiney, H., & Machado, L. (2013). Benefits of regular aerobic exercise for executive functioning in healthy populations. Psychonomic bulletin & review20(1), 73-86.