This type of exercise:
- uses large muscle groups, such as your legs or upper body
- requires respiration or controlled breathing
- increases your heart rate and keeps it in an aerobic zone for a set amount of time
Common forms of cardio include walking, jogging, swimming, cycling, and fitness classes. Cardio machines may include a rower, elliptical, stair climber, upright or recumbent bike, and treadmill.
We’ve all been there: you gave in to your cravings and ate too much. And then you feel guilty, and want to punish yourself with exercise.
Or maybe… you just want to burn off those extra calories so you can eat more without feeling guilty.
Well, I’m here to tell you that both of these approaches are wrong.
First of all, any form of exercise is good—even if it’s not cardio—so don’t punish yourself by doing something you don’t enjoy because you feel like you have to do it to “work off” that huge meal. Exercise is a great stress-buster and should be something to look forward to, not a punishment. When it feels like a punishment, it becomes so much harder for your brain to make exercise a part of your routine.
But also, even if you do spend 2 hours on the treadmill burning 600-1000 calories (depending on your body type), you’ll still be disappointed because it takes time to see the results. And when that doesn’t happen quickly enough (which is most of the time), it just feels like a waste of time and energy. Not only will your workout feel pointless, but It will leave you drained so much that your cardio session will become a chore instead of an enjoyable way to get active and fit.
Instead of doing it as a punishment, try not to associate your cheat meal as a reward and working out as punishment. Not all days will be the same, so just be consistent with your workouts and add all the food in moderation.
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