Is More Cardio Beneficial for Your Health?


The benefits of cardio are well known. It improves heart health, boosts mood and reduces risk of chronic illness. In short, cardio is good for your health. But is more better? Here’s what you should know.


What is cardio?

When you think of cardio, likely activities like running, biking or tennis come to mind. That’s only part of the picture. Cardio can be any kind of exercise that gets your heart rate up. Maybe you’d rather dance than do a spin class – go for it!


How much do you need?

Most adults should aim for 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise each week. Again, get creative and do whatever motivates you to keep moving.


Can there be too much a good thing?

The short answer is yes. The drawbacks of too much cardio include insomnia, inflammation, overuse injuries, muscle loss, and burnout.


Of course, that doesn’t mean you need to stop right at 150 minutes of moderate exercise. Every person is different. It does mean you should notice how your body is responding to exercise. It also means you should prioritize time for rest and recovery. If you feel fatigued, even when you wake up, or you notice that you feel sore all the time. You may be doing too much cardio.


Why cardio matters

Exercise is important for the many health benefits it offers. It is the closest thing to a magic bullet you can get for good health. But that isn’t the only reason to rev up your heart rate with some cardio. Cardio also matters because of the emotional health benefits it offers. You’ll beat stress, anxiety and even mild depression, but you’ll lose many of these benefits if you do so much cardio that you start to dread it. As the saying goes, everything in moderation. Even the things that are good for you.


The takeaway…

Cardio does a body good, but it isn’t the only item on the better well-being menu. Mix in some strength training and yoga for balance. The variety will give you a good base to build fitness without injury, burnout or boredom.