If you’re displaying certain signs you need a break from cardio, let me give you some tips to give yourself a break, and actually take a break! Cardio is one of the hardest forms of exercises to quit. Once you get started, cardio’s like a drug, and a great one, at that! Cardio reduces stress, aids weight loss or a healthy metabolism, increases your mental focus, boosts your mood, and increases your heart and joint health. So what’s the problem, you ask? Well overdoing anything is never a good idea, and this even includes cardio. So, if you’re displaying any of these signs you need a break from cardio, give yourself a couple of days rest, or even a week, and try a different form of exercise instead.
1. Joint Pain
When you first start exercising, joint pain is inevitable, but one of the signs you need a break from cardio is when you start suffering joint pain everyday, to the point of it being almost unbearable. Hamstrings, calves, and hip flexors are all top areas that are known to become inflammed from overdoing cardio. If you have pain in these areas, stop popping the Advil, and start taking a break occasionally! You’ll feel so much better in a couple days and be ready to get back in the swing of things.
2. You’re Addicted
Okay, so I know cardio can be addictive in a great way, but when it becomes a problem, where you get anxious if you can’t do cardio, then it might be time to take a break. Obsessing to the point of fearing not being able to exercise is never a good thing, and many people actually obsess this way about cardio since it’s known to cause weight loss faster than anything else. Remember, there are multiple types of wonderful exercises out there besides cardio, so try one of those instead.
3. You’re Bored
Are you bored to tears with your cardio routine, no matter how much you try to shake things up and try something new? Intervals, different routes, and even HIIT training ... some people still get bored with any type of cardio. This might mean it’s time to take a break and try yoga, Pilates, kickboxing, or even just a simple hike!
4. You Aren’t Giving It Your Best
If you’re doing cardio and texting on the treadmill or just barely jogging along, then most likely you’re not giving it your best. This might be because you’re bored, or you just hate cardio, or you’ve just gotten slack. Maybe it’s time to cut back on the cardio and try weights or something more interactive instead.
5. You’re Losing Too Much Weight
There is a thing as too much weight loss, and overdoing cardio might be the reason. If you find you have a hard time stopping cardio sessions, whether at the gym or at home, then you need to give it a rest. Losing too much weight below your average BMI (body mass index), is not healthy, so be sure you stay at a healthy weight no matter what type of exercise you do. Since cardio can strip off pounds quickly, giving it up for a short time might be just what you need.
6. You’re Not Doing Anything else
Skipping the weights? Not trying new things? It might be time to give that cardio a rest and try new forms of exercise. It’s not good for your body to do the same thing over and over. Besides, strength training is one of the best things you can do for weight loss, a healthy metabolism, and lean muscle formation.
7. Blood Sugar Problems
One other sign you might need to give up cardio for a while might be surprising to you. Blood sugar can rise during cardio sessions if you go at it too long, or don’t fuel properly before and afterwards. For one, cardio causes your blood sugar to plummet, then to rise back up, which can increase your stress unless you do stress-reducing forms like plain walking. If you have blood sugar problems, you need to be sure to reduce the amount of high glycemic starches in your diet and do more low key forms of cardio to manage your insulin. Or better yet, take a break from cardio, and try more stress-reducing, insulin-reducing exercises like yoga, pilates, or strength training. Cardio is great for reducing insulin for some people, but in people sensitive to glycemic spikes, it might actually be worse.
If you love cardio, there’s no need to quit, but there are times when we need to take a break from it. How do you allow yourself to take breaks from exercise when needed, or when do you know it’s time for a much needed break from cardio?