Does the elliptical really deliver the fat loss you want? Which exercise equipment should you buy and use in your home gym? Which exercise machines get results and which don’t?
Let me begin by saying, if you enjoy doing cardiovascular exercise you must be in shape to do it. Most people think they need to do cardio to get in shape, this is simply not true. Aerobic exercise puts much more stress on the body for longer periods of time compared to weight lifting.
This leads to an increase in cortisol levels (your body’s stress hormones) for longer periods of time, which puts more stress on the body’s immune and hormonal system. Which leads to chronic inflammation. If you have postural issues or a chronic injury, cardio can also lead to excess inflammation and cause problems structurally in the body. Especially if you do not start with a sound foundation, which provides stability when doing cardio.
If you just love to do cardio and can’t live without it, please learn how to prepare and train for cardiovascular exercise so that you avoid injury and disease. I’ve outlined a few tips below.
Tip #1 Create a weightlifting plan which develops stability and strength in the body. Cardio alone will not do this for you. Weightlifting benefits your hormones and balances blood sugar, which helps you lose weight more healthily. As well, it benefits the shape of your body by anaerobically building the muscles which creates a toned look. Cardio on the other hand will create a catabolic response in the body which breaks down muscle. So performing an individualized weightlifting program on separate days from cardio is recommended for maximum results. Consult with a qualified coach or trainer who can help you put together a program that suits the needs of your sport or cardio routine.
Tip #2 Stick to the type of cardio exercise that calls to your spirit. Calories in, calories out is a fitness myth. Your body just simply does not work that way, so don’t feel obligated to burn a certain amount of calories on the cardio machine daily. Do cardio only if you enjoy it, not because you feel like it’s another task that needs to get done. If you work on the cardiovascular machines because you feel like you have to to burn calories you’re doing it for the wrong reasons. This goes against what we want spiritually and how our body actually works. So if riding your bike outside calls to your spirit, then do that instead of the machines, and enjoy every minute of it.
Tip #3 Work with a Swiss ball (stability ball). This piece of equipment is extremely versatile, inexpensive and can provide everything that a gym has to offer. Swiss balls can be used in place of machines to improve stability. Gym machines (with the exception of cable machines) provide stability instead of your body stabilizing itself. This creates an imbalance and when you get off the machine to You can use them to train the body to stabilize itself when running, biking, hiking, etc.
Tip #4 I recommend doing cardio earlier in the day when your cortisol levels are naturally higher. Your body is naturally winding down in the evening between the hours of 5-7pm, so it’s really important to listen to what your body is telling you so that you are able to make proper hormones for sleep.
Tip #5 Make sure you are eating a diet consisting of organic whole foods. Avoid foods that are highly processed, packaged with colors, additives and preservatives. Include a healthy organic protein, carbohydrate and fat in every meal. These foods will help your body and immune system rebuild after your cardio workouts which will improve performance and help you lose excess weight.