Exercise is one of the fastest growing trends in America right now. Most everyone desires to get in better shape, and do it now! However, there is so much confusion on what types of exercise and workouts are appropriate to obtain the best results. One of the first activities that individuals decide on is excessive aerobic activities (cardio) including use of treadmills, ellipticals, group classes, etc. Cardio is beneficial to everyone, particularly for those with high BMI and body fat percentages, but not everyone falls into that category, and participation in this type of exercise ONLY could cause more harm than good. This is where we introduce the concept of “skinny fat.”
Excessive cardio can lead to decreased muscle mass, which over time can decrease your metabolism, making weight loss difficult. Being thin doesn’t necessarily equate to good health. Increased muscle mass makes your body run more efficiently because is revs up your metabolism. High metabolism = more calories burned = weight loss. Increased muscle mass also provides a more “toned” body appearance in addition to weight management. A good strength-training regimen is vital to improve your fitness level and overall health.
Now, this article isn’t intended to persuade anyone from participating in aerobic exercises altogether. However, it’s about a balanced workout regimen to continue to get the maximum results. If you’re one of those individuals looking to lose the last ten pounds by increasing your cardio by fifteen minutes, STOP NOW! Instead of focusing on the number on the scale, pay more attention to your body fat composition. This will allow you to set and achieve new goals that will benefit your body inside and out. Adding muscle will help you lose the flabby, puffy, “skinny fat” look, increase your metabolism, thus making weight loss and management easier.