Why do people say too much cardio is bad for you?
After having discussed the many wonders of cardio, it is only fair that we explore the other side of the spectrum and dive straight into the downfalls of cardio:
Too much cardio can be detrimental to your heart and health
Chronic cardio has been shown to cause plaque build-up, stiffen your arteries and even result in heart dysfunction. This was found in a study done on strenuous runners who were completing ultra-marathons and Ironman triathlons. Many of these endurance runners suffered from cardiac (heart) issues, one of these issues was a weakened right ventricle.
Although recovery was evident a week following their races, the conclusion made was that intense and sustained cardio can be detrimental to the way our hearts function, causing significant physical stress when pushing them too hard through strenuous endurance training.
Too much cardio can result in weight gain
When performing chronic cardio i.e. extremely gruelling cardio over a long period of time, it can have a negative impact on your hormones. If you are pushing your body too hard and putting your body under stress, your body will release cortisol – the ‘stress’ hormone.
This hormone is not a bad thing in small doses, however, when it is consistently released, it can sabotage your health as the hormone tells your brain to store more fat than needed and hinders your body’s ability to process sugars. This results in weight gain. So, if you find that cardio is making you fat, and you’re not eating more calories to compensate for the deficit created by this exercise, then this could very well be the reason.