I have to say that since I don’t push myself and overdo my workouts any more, it is so much easier to maintain my weight!! I find that when I train too hard, not only am I so fatigued, it also makes me overeat. Do you notice that too? There are several published studies to explain why this happens especially if you are over age 40:
#1 Extra amounts of cardio wreak havoc on the metabolism. It decreases the T4 to T3 conversion. The thyroid is responsible for this conversion and it regulates our metabolism. I am a walking example of how too much cardio can cause thyroid disease. I suffer with hyperthyroidism and it may be linked to working out so hard for so many years.
#2 Too much cardio releases free radicals which are responsible for aging us.
#3 Excessive cardio releases cortisol. This hormone increases our hunger. Most people will eat on average 100 more calories than they just burned off making it impossible to loose weight.
It is easy to get addicted to cardio workouts. I should know, I used to kill it 5-7 days a week: running, spinning, and every group class you can imagine. I even taught high impact aerobics back in the day! While there are several benefits to cardio exercise, like helping to maintain a healthy weight, reducing our risks for diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes, overtraining can push muscle, ligaments, and tendons to potentially serious damage. I don’t know about you, but I’m in need of orthopedics, massages, and physical therapy on a regular basis to treat my aches and pains from so many injuries over the years.
What’s the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing again and again and expecting different results. You may need to do more strength and resistance training and less cardio to achieve your desired goals, or how about just go for a long walk! Remember, muscle burns fat and increases our metabolism, which in turn helps us loose weight! When you combine excess cardio with an improper diet, such as one that drops your total caloric intake below 1500 calories, the risk of burning significant muscle increases.
There are many opinions of how much moderately intense aerobic exercise adults should do each week. This includes activities like walking, hiking, jogging, light swimming, and biking. I believe that since we all have different metabolisms and lifestyles, we should do what works best for us. You have to go by how you look and feel, as well as know your current medical conditions. If you choose to do more than 300 minutes of cardio per week, you should talk to your doctor first to see if that level of exercise is appropriate for your individual health condition.