The controversy surrounding cardiovascular exercise and how it should be done generally arises due to people not understanding what exactly cardio is. As stated, it is any form of exercise that increases your heart rate over a sustained period of time. This can be done through running, rowing, walking, stepping and even weight training. Cardio is generally good for you.
Obviously when we say that, we are not talking about the type of cardio engaged in by endurance runners who have developed heart issues through chronic cardio-based exercise and overexerting their cardiovascular systems, we are talking about good, healthy doses of cardio.
There is no doubt about it. Cardio exercises your heart, improves circulation, blood flow and nutrient supply. It also improves carbohydrate intolerance and reduces insulin resistance. It can result in a happier and healthier you, however, too much of a good thing can also be detrimental. It all comes down to balance and finding the workout combination that works for you.
Also, remember that your body is an ever-changing and adapting system, and so is your metabolism. So, if all you are doing is stepping on the treadmill at the same speed and interval every single day without changing a thing, then your body is likely to adapt and hit a plateau and you are unlikely to see any results.
However, if you combine cardio with strength training, you are bound to see some rather satisfactory results. However, if cardio is your cup of tea, then have a look at our article on running for weight loss.