May 4, 2022
Join us for this replay from the archives and learn more about
strength training versus traditional cardio...
Dr. James Fisher answers the question once and for all, do we
really need to do exercises like running, cycling, and swimming to
improve our cardio? Find out the truth about cardio exercises and
cardiovascular health and why you should get off the treadmill and
start doing resistance training right now.
- The fundamental question is “What is cardio?” Even people who
have seen the results of the 20-minute routines delivered by the
Exercise Coach still wonder what place cardio has in physical
- Historically people have perceived exercise to be going for a
run or what we think of as traditional cardio. Usually this takes
the form of long duration and low intensity and focuses on aerobic
- The accepted wisdom is that cardio is just activities like
running and cycling, but the truth is that any activity can become
cardio exercise if done at the correct intensity. Cardio also
raises the idea that we need to perform prolonged exercise to get
the result, but that’s not necessarily the case.
- The trouble is that duration doesn’t necessarily translate to
improved fitness. Someone going for a 4-hour walk isn’t going to
see the results they would see from an activity with a higher
- Cardio activities like running, cycling, or swimming improve
our heart health because of the sustained elevation of the heart
rate. While that’s true and that process also makes the heart and
muscles more efficient, but it’s really the act of having the heart
rate elevated for an extended period of time that brings those
results and it’s not reserved for traditional cardio
- It is possible to be fit while still having an unhealthy heart
due to lifestyle choices. Studies have shown that it is better to
be fit and fat, than unfit. People who are overweight and exercise
have better health outcomes than people with a normal Body Mass
Index who don’t exercise at all.
- Exercises that we perform that are a high enough intensity and
frequency can more than counteract any of the other lifestyle risk
factors. There is growing evidence that shows that effective
exercise alone and improving fitness is powerfully prophylactic in
terms of health and longevity.
- Even if you no longer see visible fitness increases from your
exercise, you are still catalysing positive changes at a cellular
level and prolonging and improving the quality of your life.
- Traditional cardio exercises are not necessary to become
healthy. Strength training exercises have similar results to
traditional cardio training with similar cardiovascular health
benefits. It also comes with less risk of chronic joint pain.
- Don’t feel tied to an exercise modality. Studies have shown
that people have seen increases in cardiovascular health and
efficiency with only a simple 12-week strength training
- Resistance training is the superior choice because, in addition
to the cardiovascular benefits, you also improve strength, bone
density, and muscle mass. Improved muscle quality is a jackpot
outcome because it has a ripple effect that leads to all of the
systems of the body getting better when we optimize the health of
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