Exactly How Much Cardio Should You Be Doing? New research says not as much as you’d think

by Charlotte on June 14, 2012 · 71 comments

Cardio queens, adrenaline junkies, runners with a constant high and cardioholics, please stand up! (Then sit down. And then plyo jump back up. Repeat down and up until your heart rate is in zone 4.) New research is afoot in the great cardio debate and — I’m going to break this to you gently, so don’t run away — you’re not gonna like it. The skim-worthy version of the no less than six new studies on the subject of cardiovascular exercise, heart health and life outcomes is this: People who do some cardio live longer and healthier lives than people who don’t do any. But people who do lots of cardio have more heart problems and die sooner.

I know. Kinda stopped my heart too. (Har!) Because of course I am a reformed cardioholic myself. (For any newbies, I used to exercise up to 6 hours a day, most of it cardio, and ended up suppressing my own thyroid, gaining ten pounds, losing my freaking mind and ending up in eating disorder treatment for compulsive over-exercise. Plus I got to be the freak of the week on a bunch of TV shows and in magazine articles thereby becoming the de facto cautionary tale in all discussions of exercise bulimia. My parents are so proud!) To this day I’m still an adrenaline junkie and if left unchecked will exercise way more than is necessary.

Confession: This past month since I’ve had unlimited access to all of LifeTime Fitness‘ amazing programs I’ve been working out two, sometimes three, times a day. Take Monday, for example, when I did an hour of weight lifting in the morning followed by two hours of puketastic MMA training that night. Or today with an hour of “no limits cardio” in the a.m. and then 1.5 hours of basketball. Yeah. But unlike previous periods of over-exercise, it hasn’t been in an effort to lose weight or “earn” my food. This time it’s more of a ticking-clock problem: I feel like I have such limited time so I have to do! everything! while! I! still! can! And everything is just so much fun!! This is a problem. I know it. I’m working on fixing it. It helps that LifeTime extended my pass for 3 months so now I have a little more time. But the first step is staying accountable, which is why I’m telling you this. My husband and the Gym Buddies are all fully aware of what I’m doing too (again, unlike last time where I did my best to hide it from everyone). And tomorrow I only have one workout scheduled and then I’m relaxing by the pool with the kiddos!

/End overshare/ Back to the research! The key in all of this is defining what exactly constitutes “too much” cardio. This can vary from person to person but in a study of 14,000 runners and 38,000 non-runners conducted by the Mayo Clinic and the American College of Sports Medicine researchers found some very interesting numbers. So how much is “a lot” of cardio? Not as much as you’d think:

The runners with the lowest death rate were those who ran 10-15 miles/week, only ran 2-3 days/week and kept a pace between 10 and 8:30 minutes/mile. Translate that running into any cardio activity* and you’re looking at 20-30 minutes a day, 5 days a week at the high end. Runners who ran more, or more days, or faster, had higher death rates. Check out the tables of the hazard ratios and you’ll see that jumping up to 25+ miles/week or 7 days/week skyrockets your risk of a negative health outcome.  Runner’s World‘s Amby Burfoot writes, “What this paper points out is that a lot of people do not understand that the lion’s share of health benefits accrue at a relatively modest level… Beyond 30-60 minutes per day, you reach a point of diminishing returns.”

Over the past 5.5 years of doing these Great Fitness Experiments, this is something I’ve discovered for myself. In fact, it’s become a pet peeve of mine. In a recent interview with College Life Styles, they asked me what the biggest fitness myth is, in my experience. I answered, “That running is the best exercise. Running is great if you love it but I’ve discovered so many people who hate it – or like it but get injured doing it – that are still running all the time because they think it’s the ultimate exercise. Everyone wants to do a marathon but that’s a performance goal, not a health goal.” And while I picked on running (I’m not saying you should never run – I run!) you can substitute “running a marathon” for any large amount of cardio activity.

The bottom line is that you don’t need much cardio to reap the health benefits. Other studies have shown that adding HIIT (high intensity interval training) and lowering the amount of steady-state cardio you do maximizes the health benefits while reducing the risks. Repeat after me: when it comes to your health, more is not better.

But as I pointed out in my confession – there are other reasons people exercise besides their health. I did more than an hour of cardio today because, hey, it was a lot of fun and I didn’t want to miss out on anything! And 5 years ago I proved that I would keep over-exercising even when it was obviously deleterious to my health. As Amby concludes, “Many aspects of exercise and running also follow a U-curve. This is why many people believe the moderate approach is the smartest path to follow. Of course, you’ll never qualify for the Boston Marathon that way. We all have to make our choices.”

He’s right. And it’s not bad to have performance goals! But what his conclusion made me realize is that I need to keep my main goal for exercising - my health – firmly in my mind so that I don’t let over-exercising creep up on me again. I’m not running Boston. I’m not competing for anything. The only thing I’m running for is to stay in my kids’ lives (and their kids’ lives) as long and as happily as possible. And to do that, that may mean not doing a lot of other things. Priorities.

What do you think about this new research – does it support what you already thought or does it freak you out like it did me? (Both?) How much cardio do you normally do? Is it hard for you to cut back?

*Note: researchers were not talking about really low cardio like walking but rather the medium-to-high intensity stuff like jogging, spinning, cycling, and other “aerobics”.

 

{ 70 comments… read them below or add one }

Sable@SquatLikeALady June 14, 2012 at 8:06 am

Interesting!!! I hadn’t seen this research and I wonder what mechanism produces the higher death rates with more cardio. I wonder if those people tend to be underweight? Hmmm.

This is just more proof that more is not better!!

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Charlotte June 14, 2012 at 10:49 am

I should have explained it more… it’s not really anything to do with their weight but more with the stress and inflammation results in the body. Over exercising can damage the heart muscle and has effects on a cellular level – although what exactly that all means in a practical sense is still being debated.

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George Super BootCamps June 14, 2012 at 3:04 pm

Damn, but you beat me to it!

Thinking of this in relation to hormesis will send us in the right direction for ‘why’.

If we simply don’t have sufficient time to truly recover and become stronger as a result of our stressors, then we don’t get any stronger!

As someone else who can happily train until they fall over, I also have to be careful about overdoing it, this evening, for example I was planning on doing some Tai Chi, but then I walked upstairs and nearly sagged near the top, I thought ‘hmm, maybe resting is a better idea’. But now I’ve sat down for an hour and chilled, I can feel my energy coming back and can feel the temptation to get up and go again!

As a side note, I’d classify doing a marathon as an outcome goal. The only reason being that you can train all you like for it, but you still might not complete it. If it were a performance goal, we’d look at the way in which the running is being done. I think this qualitative shift is something much underrated. Everyone I’ve worked with so far who’s taken on board the ‘quality not quantity’ thing with running (which mainly means learning how to do chi running/pose running or barefoot running – or we could even say re-learning how you ran as a child) has found themselves enjoying it much more, being less injured and less sore.

My 2c,
Keep up the good work (but not too much of it!),
George

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Danica Schelts June 14, 2012 at 8:10 am

I love reading your post. It is really important to engage cardio workouts to have a beautiful and sexy body. It will really help a lot to have a healthy body. I always do cardiovascular workouts at home. Because of my busy time, I just spend 30 minutes workouts and it is very effective.

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Jill June 14, 2012 at 8:15 am

I suffered from bulimia myself so I was already aware of this. I think it goes along with everything in life; moderation. Crazed work-out people tend to be isolated and preoccupied with weight, food and body image. They are not enjoyable to be around and I know, I was one of them.

Love this new research!

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Charlotte June 14, 2012 at 10:59 am

“They are not enjoyable to be around and I know, I was one of them.” Haha – ME TOO.

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Tess June 18, 2012 at 1:04 pm

SOME crazed work-out people are isolated and preoccupied with weight, food and body image and not enjoyable to be around. But some just love what they are doing. Ultrarunners, for example, seem to be a crowd that has a pretty healthy attitude and a love of the sport and the scenery they run through. But moderation is apparently not their strong suit….

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Qqie January 3, 2013 at 1:49 am

Ultrarunners are cult members. They enjoy being around each other (sorta). I’d hardly consider that group a viable counter example.

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Abby June 14, 2012 at 8:25 am

Good to hear! I sometimes feel like I should be doing more than my 3 hours of cardio a week (ah, the siren song for the former over-exercisers) so it’s nice to have a reminder. And one of those hours is a HIIT class so that makes me happy. The research doesn’t surprise me at all. Everything in moderation, right?

Just be careful Charlotte! It’s so easy to justify returning to unhealthy habits, especially when it’s for a legitimate reason. I know how hard you’ve worked to get where you are, it’d suck to slide backwards, no matter the reason.

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Charlotte June 14, 2012 at 11:01 am

“It’s so easy to justify returning to unhealthy habits, especially when it’s for a legitimate reason.” So very true. I think writing it all out in this post was the reality check I needed. I’ve got my schedule planned for next week and there are no double workouts and a rest day. I agree, I do not want to undo all the hard work of the past few years!!

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Paula March 18, 2014 at 11:25 am

Someone who has been an exercise addict does NOT need to be careful about returning yo unhealthy habits! The unhealthy habit for her was over exercise. It would be a good thing for her to learn to be lazy!

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Naomi/Dragonmamma June 14, 2012 at 8:44 am

My hatred of running is clearly a protective mechanism, and now I have a new study to quote when pressuring folks to come to the gym for 20-minute intervals. Thanks!

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Charlotte June 14, 2012 at 11:01 am

Haha, that’s what I’m here for.

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Katie B June 14, 2012 at 8:47 am

I love running (ran my first ultra marathon last weekend!) and spin classes. I do waaaaay more intense cardio than is recommended, and this information scares me! I obviously work out to be healthy. That is my number one objective: to live a long and fulfilled, healthy life. But I also have a lot of really big fitness goals that I someday wish to accomplish, like maybe qualifying for Boston or running a 100 mile race or doing an Ironman. I just feel like I don’t get a sense of accomplishment or achievement from my desk job. Having and working towards these big goals make me feel like I have something to strive for and earn. It kind of give me purpose..?

And more importantly, I just really like the endorphins associated with a long hard sweat-sesh. Doesn’t everyone? I don’t get that from a casual walk around the park.

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Heather June 14, 2012 at 9:40 am

“I just feel like I don’t get a sense of accomplishment or achievement from my desk job.”

This brings up an interesting point. Do people who sit at a desk for eight hours a day need or benefit from more cardio than someone who has a more active job? Just a thought.

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Charlotte June 14, 2012 at 11:13 am

You know, I’m not sure about that one! I know that the research says that doing an hour of exercise does not compensate for sitting at a desk 8 hours a day and that we need to get people back to standing up and walking more… but it’s hard to say if the corollary is true as well.

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Evilcyber June 15, 2012 at 8:11 pm

If we take fitness activities as a substitute for doing the physical stuff our bodies were meant to do, like, uh, hunting mammoths, then more physical jobs should be accounted for when you plan your athletic endeavors, methinks.

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Charlotte June 14, 2012 at 11:05 am

“I just really like the endorphins associated with a long hard sweat-sesh. ” Oh YES to this! I love my endorphin rush:) And I do understand that a lot of cardio can be very rewarding – I think that’s why Amby made the point he did about it being about choices. Plus the more educated you are, the more you can take steps to do what you love but do it in the healthiest way possible. Finding something you love and are passionate about is huge:)

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Heather June 14, 2012 at 9:33 am

It pretty much proves to me what I’ve always thought about marathons: unnecessary torture that can’t be good for the body. But, having said that, I am still training for my first (and only!) marathon. I’m choosing to do this for myself, but am currently following a low mileage training plan. I will NOT sacrifice my body to injury to meet this goal. I am also not going for any specific time goal, other than to finish within the 6 hour course time limit.

However, I have nothing but respect for the awesome runners who can do several marathons a year and put in high mileage. That is their choice; it’s just not my preference. I get bored easily, so the second something stops being fun, I switch to a new exercise/activity. Exercise ADD, perhaps? I’m already looking forward to being done with my marathon (September 1st) so I can focus on riding my new bicycle and starting a consistent weight training program.

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Charlotte June 14, 2012 at 11:10 am

If anyone understands exercise ADHD it’s me;) Good luck with your first marathon! I did one and I’m glad I did it – it was a fun experience – but like you it will be my only one. On to the next thing!

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Cat@thingsmybellylikes June 14, 2012 at 10:14 am

I completely and utterly loathe running. I only do it when I’m running away from something (danger) or towards something (cake).

In order to sneak any cardio into my workouts I have to do it the HIIT way. Guess, everyone’s different when it comes to their preferred form of exercise…. which leads to an interesting off-topic question – are gym bunnies born or made?!

Cat

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Charlotte June 14, 2012 at 11:11 am

Hahah that IS an interesting q! Probably a little bit of both! You have to have that personality type but you also have to have the resources and opportunity. For me personally I think it was more “made” than “born”… You??

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Cat June 15, 2012 at 11:24 am

Made, definitely made. I was a chubby child and terrible at sports so basically I was the stereotypical kid who’s always picked last in gym. It’s taken me years (YEARS!) to rid myself of those mental scars, let me tell ya!

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Emily June 14, 2012 at 10:21 am

Good news for me, and corroborates what I have been trying to let myself accept based on what my body has been telling me. I used to be a cardio-obsessed person: HIITs, circuits, running, spinning, kickboxing…. not because I really enjoyed all of these things, but because I felt like iIhad to do them in order to achieve my goals. Not so. Having dropped everything for the past month and a half in favor of 5-6x/week Bikram yoga practice, I feel so much better and am finally seeing the kind of results, both physically and emotionally, that I have sought for some time from other programs/routines. Also, it’s helping let go of some of the obsession. I am actually enjoying the practice, not just watching the clock and waiting to go home and walk my dog (my favorite thing).

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Quix June 14, 2012 at 10:26 am

I love my long cardio, but only when I’m specifically training for something. As a triathlete at least I have built in easy days – most swims and ez trainer rides (heck, even outdoor rides are built in interval training, up the hill hard, down the hill coasting/easy spinning to recover) compliment the 2-3 days a week I run. I’m only going to pretend to be a runner for a few weeks after tri season this year instead of the whole winter. Nov 12th, the day after my marathon, I look forward to a) a week pretty much OFF, maybe some walking or yoga or a fun class and b) after that, doing shorter cardio + lots of strength for a while.

Also, I have learned this year that anything I need to do to sacrifice to get at least 2-3 weights sessions in per week is worth it. Even if it’s precious milezzz.

That’s odd that they put a pace limit on it. I can guarantee you I’m working harder at 8:30s than elites work at 5 minute miles.

And I did the same thing with my gym when I got my week trial. I was there for every day trying ALL THE CLASSES. How is lifetime by the way? I did an indoor tri there and was impressed at the MEGA GYM but I asked around in the locker room and they said after work there were ALWAYS waits for equipment. No thanks. My gym may be little, but I’ve never not been able to some sort of equipment, and 99.999% of the time it’s what I want.

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Charlotte June 14, 2012 at 6:57 pm

” I have learned this year that anything I need to do to sacrifice to get at least 2-3 weights sessions in per week is worth it. Even if it’s precious milezzz.” I’ve had to learn this the hard way too! That’s why I love reading your blog – I swear you and I are always figuring stuff out at the same time:) As for Lifetime, I have loveloveloveloveloved it. It’s been a riot. I’ve never had to wait for equipment ever, regardless of time of day. But they do have long lines to get into some of the cardio classes (like Zumba – people will line up an hour early! It’s crazy!). It’s probably individual to each location though. They offer free 2-week passes though so you could get one and see what it’s like. It’s been equipment heaven for me – they have EVERYTHING.

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Katie June 14, 2012 at 10:58 am

I read this article and I thought the same things as most of the other commenters. but mainly what I thought was “Sweet! I now have tangible evidence for what I already know based on what I do!” I have cut WAY (former over-exercisers unite!) back on cardio in the last year. All I ever do is ride the stationary bike, which I do for about an hour a day while reading a book. Clearly I am not going very fast and hard for that hour, but I get to read for an hour every single day! Its a multi-tasking, exerciseaholic, bookworm girls dream!

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Charlotte June 14, 2012 at 6:59 pm

Reading for an hour every day is the very definition of luxury to me! I’m so glad you found a way to fit it in (and keep your over-exercise at bay)!

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Elizabeth June 14, 2012 at 11:16 am

I’d recommend reading the link for the first Amby Burfoot quote. It actually links to a Runner’s World blog by Alex Hutchinson called Sweat Science. It really analyzes the studies and the way they came to their results. I am not a cardio over-exerciser currently but I have done marathons (half and full) and triathlons in the past. I am not worried about the effects of “excess cardio” after reading it.

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Charlotte June 14, 2012 at 7:01 pm

I did read both Burfoot and Hutchinson’s pieces and thought they were great. In Hutchinson’s piece he links to one he wrote earlier (about a week ago?) with his reactions to an earlier study on the same issue. The two together I think give a very reasonable picture. No need to panic if you love running but also no need to panic if you hate running;)

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Cristina @ Tiny Perfect Bites June 14, 2012 at 11:25 am

I love running and ran on a regular basis for years. I have run two half marathons, but other than that, I usually run 3-5 miles, 2-3 times/week. I haven’t been able to run for the past year due to a series of (minor) injuries, and I am really surprised that I don’t feel any different. I still exercise 3-5 times/week (yoga, hiking, running on occasion), but not doing any traditional cardio hasn’t affected my weight or how I look and feel.

I walk a lot because I have dogs, and I can’t wait to start running again once my ankle heals. However, having dedicated a lot of time to cardio for the past 10 years, it’s been interesting to see that I didn’t fall to pieces when unable to stick to the same routine.

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Charlotte June 14, 2012 at 7:03 pm

” it’s been interesting to see that I didn’t fall to pieces when unable to stick to the same routine.” – I love this! I think being flexible is the key to lifelong exercise and as someone who really likes rigidity and schedules it’s something I have to keep re-learning. Glad your injury is healing!

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Tim June 14, 2012 at 11:55 am

A key point to emphasize is that all the running groups had much better life expectancy and health than the non-running group. Nobody should use this as an excuse to lie on the couch.

Moreover, the optimum running dose was only moderate exercise if you adjust the data to remove any effect from running improving body mass index, hypertension and hypercholesterolemia. If you leave all these factors in, running more is just as healthy as running less.

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Charlotte June 14, 2012 at 7:03 pm

Point 1: Yes, totally agree!

Point 2: Thank you for explaining that!

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Tim June 15, 2012 at 10:49 am

Ironically I am running shorter at the moment, since I’ve run my marathons for this year and am now training for a sub 20-min 5K. However, running for me is a pleasure, not a health prescription.

Running solely to live longer seems a dull way to do something that can be joyful – it would be like only having sex to make babies!

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Charlotte June 15, 2012 at 11:08 am

Okay this: “Running solely to live longer seems a dull way to do something that can be joyful – it would be like only having sex to make babies!” made me laugh out loud. And I’m sitting in a cafe so now people are looking at me funny,. Thanks A LOT Tim:) Seriously though, that is a perfect way to say it.

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helene @healthyfrenchie June 14, 2012 at 1:04 pm

Interesting study. And I love that it’s about choices! Some people are dedicated athletes and will do marathon and ironmen.
But it goes to show that for most of us that are only looking to stay healthy, we don’t have to go crazy!
Personally I enjoy running, especially with my dog :) I go for 30/45 min twice a week and for an hour at the week-end. I don’t think I’ll ever race for more than 10k simply because it is not FOR ME
I also LOVE HIIT, I wish I had discovered then earlier in my fitness journey. And lifting :)

I am so jaleous of your extended membership by the way

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geosomin June 14, 2012 at 2:32 pm

Interesting. I know, being under a time crunch, that lately I’ve been digging the short bodyrock tv style workouts where I’m dripping sweat by the end but it only took 20 minutes. Part of me wonders if it’s enough, but there seems to be an endless progression with fitness to do more…and eventually you can’t and you hurt yourself.

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Charlotte June 14, 2012 at 7:15 pm

Having done the bodyrock workouts myself I think you’re getting plenty of exercise! They’re high intensity and pretty well rounded. Although I still miss Zuzana.

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Nessa June 14, 2012 at 5:34 pm

I wonder how it works in the somewhat-short term. I’m exercising a ton right now to get my weight down, then I’ll go to 30 min a day or something when I’m there, I imagine. Maybe I’m prolonging my life anyways by getting rid of the pounds, so it will all equal out? There’s the fact that I sit to work to consider, too. So much confusion sometimes trying to balance all the study results.

I want to do at least another half marathon and maybe even a marathon. I like the sense of accomplishment I get.

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Charlotte June 14, 2012 at 7:17 pm

Yes, I think it’s important to remember that we are each the best scientist of our own bodies! It sounds like you are finding what works best for you!

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Chris Sturdy June 14, 2012 at 5:41 pm

People tend to forget that the cardiovascular system gets an excellent workout, and maybe even better than with traditional “cardio”, when we do resistance training, sprints, yoga, HIIT etc. Way less time devoted in the gym/basement/track/road, and better results. Combine this with recuperative low-level cardio (to take a page from Mark Sisson and others) like walking, relaxed cycling, etc., and you have a recipe for good health with time to spare for your family!

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Charlotte June 14, 2012 at 7:17 pm

Agreed – And I love Mark Sisson’s take on cardio.

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Lisa June 14, 2012 at 6:02 pm

Just like Teresa Tapp often says, “Less is More!”

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Holly Deloach August 23, 2012 at 6:01 am

I think cardio workout is very important in order to firm the muscle and make it strong. It is necessary to engage cardio workout in order to have a healthy lifestyle and healthy body.

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Jody - Fit at 54 June 14, 2012 at 7:35 pm

I have been hearing & reading about this but all I can say is that if I only did 30 minutes of cardio 5 days a week, well, I would be a lot heavier. I have been at this a lot of years & we all have different body types. I have done more & less along with eating clean & doing weights & I have fond that I need to do more cardio than others, even when I was young.. no matter how clean I eat. I don’t do just steady state either – I push myself & mix it up. Yes, I could do less & eat 1200 calories a day but not willing to do that. ;-)

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Cort The Sport June 14, 2012 at 7:43 pm

If I wanted to EXIST on the planet as long as possible I might “take this to heart” (pun intended). But I’d rather LIVE LIFE more wide open and be here for less time. If that means I’m giving up a few grey years to enjoy my training and racing, so be it!

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Alyssa (azusmom) June 14, 2012 at 9:57 pm

(I think Zuzanna has her own channel now. I’ll look into it & let you know.)
I used to do all cardio all the time. Then I went in the other direction and focused on yoga, Pilates, and weights. I find that a nice mix, not too much of any one thing, works well. And a good walk through the hills helps to control my weight and clear my head.

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Kiya June 16, 2012 at 2:39 pm

This COMPLETELY makes sense to me. I teach Zumba, Sometimes up to 6 days a week. That is WAY too much for my body! For example, last week I was so exhaused that I alternated wanting to puke and pass out in class. If I had heen a participant, I would have ducked out 10mins in, but the teacher doesn’t have that option :(

I’m working on cutting back how many classes I teach, but it’s tough when someone always needs a sub or one of my gyms wants to add “just one more class…” I’m getting much better at saying “No,” haha.

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Kris June 18, 2012 at 7:54 am

The part of me that loves exercise thinks you should do as much as you want, and not worry. The part of me that gets exhausted working out 6x a week realizes that while I can handle this much, maybe I’m pushing my body a little too hard. I think for me its not just the volume that I overdo, but the intensity.

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Troy Adashun-Formulatedfitness.com June 22, 2012 at 2:52 pm

These are some really great points. Running isn’t for everyone-and in most cases its not for most people!

There are so many other forms of getting in cardio or aerobics and people shouldn’t be crippled in there conquest to fitness and health if they don’t enjoy running! High intensity interval training is a great alternative and you only have to do it a few times a week to get AMAZING results

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Charlotte MuMin June 25, 2012 at 10:44 am

This research helps.
This proves that too much of something isn’t good. Although exercise is good for our health, it doesn’t mean that we have to do it excessively.
Thanks for sharing.

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Annie June 27, 2012 at 12:53 pm

I agree. Cardio is great for your heart, but to get the best results in the quickest amount of time, High Intensity Interval Training is better. It builds muscle, as well as burns fat, and heart healthy. With any workout program, you still have to eat right. Diet accounts for over 60% of results. Check out this article for more info on healthy eating habits. http://www.commit2fitnessgal.com/losing-weight-and-body-fat-eat-small-meals/

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Cardiovascular Fitness January 31, 2013 at 9:56 am

Great article thanks. I heard that too much cardio can actually hurt your health.

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Steve June 26, 2013 at 8:28 am

Thank you for the great info. I was a runner in High School and still run some. However it is mostly in the summer. I have been trying to find out how much is enough to benifit. When I run during that 5-6 month period of warm months it usually falls in the range you mention 3-4 days, 11+ miles at about 9-10 minute miles.
I always want to push for more thinking it better but now at my age 40+ my body tells me to much at around 3-4 miles. Before it was just to lazy. However this article makes me feel so awesome, my body and my “lazyness” to run was all for the better (lol)?
Now I just wonder about long periods of down time. I have a feeling the news wont be as good. For now I will stick with my 2.5-4 mile runs when its nice out or the occasional sunny winter day run. I will be pushing for more consistancy all year now, especially knowing the facts from this article.

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Ganesh July 29, 2013 at 10:15 pm

This was indeed an eye opener. I got to yne gym 4 times a week. Jog for 20 mts and lift weights for 20 minutes and once a week play doubles badminton for 90 to 100 minutes and was feeling extremely guilty about not having enough exercise. badminton is a high impact sport and really get tired after the game. Based on what you have said, i am exercising enough and dont need to push myself any more. I still have a big tire around my tummy.

Am i missing something here.

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Ganesh July 29, 2013 at 10:15 pm

This was indeed an eye opener. I got to yne gym 4 times a week. Jog for 20 mts and lift weights for 20 minutes and once a week play doubles badminton for 90 to 100 minutes and was feeling extremely guilty about not having enough exercise. badminton is a high impact sport and really get tired after the game. Based on what you have said, i am exercising enough and dont need to push myself any more. I still have a big tire around my tummy.

Am i missing something here.

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Rob August 15, 2013 at 8:06 am

I used to dwell in the “cardio for hours and hours” camp as well, but I’ve found that for optimal performance across the board, an AVERAGE of 70-80 min. per day (and I’m counting resistance training [of which I do 6 30-min. sessions per week] when it elevates my heart rate) is about right for me. For the time to “count” toward my goal, my heart rate has to be at least 133. Of course, I like to hit the road for a 20-40 mile bike ride a couple of times per week (which can burn through a couple of days’ cardio), so I always get at least one 36-hour stretch of recovery (i.e. NO cardio) each week.

So far, my combination of bodyweight training (Mark Lauren: You Are Your Own Gym), resistance training with weights, and the cardio regimen described above, ALONG WITH a ketogenic diet (Gary Taubes: Why We Get Fat) have empowered me to drop a good 80 pounds over the last 12 months, and to keep it off (so far)! 30 more to go before I hit 200 (at 6’0″), which is my overall goal.

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Charlotte August 15, 2013 at 9:26 am

Way to go ROb! That’s fantastic progress!! And I’ll have to check out the Mark Lauren book – haven’t heard of that one before! Thanks!

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Rob August 15, 2013 at 8:24 pm

Mark has also recently released a supplemental volume that’s tailored to the needs of women. It’s called “Body By You,” and it adapts the bodyweight approach to the particular needs of women. You MAY want to start with that one, and if you find that this approach agrees with you, pick up his “You Are Your Own Gym” book and app (available for iOS and Android) and go nuts! More info here: http://www.marklauren.com/

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Rob August 15, 2013 at 10:46 pm

(That was redundant – sorry, I hit “Submit” before I was finished editing …)

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Steven November 29, 2013 at 5:16 am

20-30 minutes jogging,3 times a week.For good heart health it’s all you need.

Fast walking is a good alternative.40-45 minutes,4-5 times a week will do.

HIIT is not needed if you ask me,why stress your joints/heart/lungs if you’re not a pro athlete?

Fat loss depends mostly on diet,not cardio.Unless you run 2 hours every day which will probably make you look like a marathon runner.Terrible.

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Paula March 18, 2014 at 11:30 am

A guy who is really up on all this stuff is a Matt Stone of 180degree Health.
Has anyone read his blog or books?
Good for you Charlotte! As a recovering bulimic and orthorexic, it’s great to learn how moderation and balance is healthier than excessive anything. I hope you live a long, long healthy time to enjoy your kids and their kids too

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lagu indonesia terbaru April 27, 2014 at 4:33 pm

Hmm is anyone else having problems with the pictures on this blog loading?
I’m trying to determine if its a problem on my end or if it’s
the blog. Any feed-back would be greatly appreciated.

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Chris June 12, 2014 at 7:40 am

Really? a female doing mma training? that’s all I need to read to know this woman knows nothing about being a real woman and fitness. lets all just hit each other in the head and choke one another and say its good for your health lol. Lets beg for equality, yet still expect men to pay, protect and open doors. Ah American women…

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