No Cardio Clarifications

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I have three points from previous posts on cardio that I wish to clarify.

In the post Health Goals – Last Year and Today, I state that I got leaner despite doing no cardio.

I did not spent a single minute on cardio or interval training.

It was brought to my attention that my urban hikes should qualify as cardio. Even though I went for hikes as long as 22.5 miles, I never broke a sweat or had to catch my breath. I took frequent breaks during my hikes and they were all done at a relaxed pace. My heart rate never got as high it would have had I been cycling or doing a very slow jog.

For others, these hikes could qualify as cardio, but not for me. I did lots of strenuous hiking when I lived in San Diego. Walking around a city on cool Seattle day doesn’t raise my heart rate much. That is why I don’t consider my hikes to be cardio workouts.

Photo best laid plans… by ChrisB in SEA

The second clarification I wish to make is from the post Why Do I Diss Cardio? That post details why cardio is the least efficient method of fat loss. But it isn’t the least efficient. The least efficient is doing nothing. If your choice is doing cardio or doing nothing, then do cardio.

There is another reason to do cardio which I didn’t stress enough when I wrote that post. Cardio can help condition you so you can move onto more efficient fat burning exercises, such as weight lifting and interval training. My marathon and triathlon background helped me when I made the transition to weight lifting.

The third point I want to clarify is the effect treadmills and stationary bikes have on the out of shape and obese. Although I see those machines as useless steady state nonsense, that group can achieve an interval training workout on them just based off their size and lack of conditioning. So this group is the most likely to achieve benefits from treadmills and stationary bikes. This is a half blessing. Just don’t let me catch you reading a magazine in the gym. 😉