Is cardio the general key to losing weight?
Absolutely not! This is another popular fallacy. As I’ve said, I believe strongly in a combination of strength training, conditioning (cardio) and yoga, along with proper and plentiful nutrition. When it comes to weight loss, I believe nutrition is 80% of the battle. You’ve heard the cliché that you simply cannot outwork a bad diet, and it is true. Eating right is the #1 most important factor in losing and maintaining weight.
Incorporating strength training is critical as well to preserving healthy muscle mass and bone density. If we believe (and I do) that one pound of muscle burns an extra 50 calories a day while the body is at rest, this means our resting metabolic rate rises accordingly with our muscle mass. Cardio simply does not produce muscle, and too much can effectively cannibalize muscle. This is also an essential factor in functional aging, as we begin to lose muscle mass and bone density in our 30’s and must work to maintain or even gain for a more active lifestyle to long extend our golden years.