This is something we haven’t addressed head on- where does cardio fit in to overall health? Certainly, there are many benefits to cardio- the main benefits (in my humble opinion are as follows):
-cardiovascular endurance/performance (in general, of course there are specified activities where it serves a much more important role).
-getting you active
-modest weight loss
Cardio really is not the end all be all. I think the number one purpose it serves is helping you improve your endurance. Better lung capacity, improved endurance, physical agility, etc.. First and foremost for this posts purposes, I am going to exclude the role cardio plays in marathons, triathlons, decathlons and most of the other “lons.” I am focusing on the role of cardio in daily living, and how it serves in improving overall physique, and health. It is the summer and with that comes more outdoors activities like hiking, going to the beach, biking, etc.. Most people in during this time, being that more body parts are showing will generally look towards weight loss rather than weight gain. Maybe you have begun attending the gym regularly or starting walking outside, biking or hiking for example. These are all great activities and keep up the good work! However, if you are looking to cardio (loosely including these activities) for your primary weight loss mechanism, unfortunately, you will be probably be happy when looking at the skill but disappointed overall. You can (and probably will) experience some weight loss. If your diet hasn’t changed but your activity level has increased you are thus burning more calories = operating in a caloric deficit = weight loss. The scale only goes so far. (Clothing is a really good gauge on whether or not you are trimming down because it is completely objective). Here is my conclusion- when looking to improve overall physique, not just pure weight loss, cardio AND weight training is critical. Weight training plays a much bigger role than cardio when pure weight loss is not the only goal. So if you are just doing cardio, then look to switch it up and mix in weight training. You will experience improved results!
Here is a fresh recipe for this post!
Sun Dried Tomato and Chicken (or 95% lean beef) Meatballs with Spaghetti Squash
This recipe is phenomenal! It's clean, rich, and delicious. Make the meatballs from quality chicken and you can't fail. The squash can be a bit of a challenge if you've never dealt with this particular gourd, but even new cooks can quickly get the hang of it.
- In a bowl mix chicken, tomatoes, salt, oregano, and basil.
- Add paper baking cups to a 12-cup muffin tin.
- Roll mixture into meatballs with your hands and place into baking cups.
- Bake at 350 F for 23-25 minutes.
Spaghetti Squash Ingredients
Spaghetti Squash Directions
- Microwave for about a minute at 50 percent power.
- Cut the squash lengthwise down the middle.
- You can remove the seeds prior to baking or after.
- Place both halves of squash face down in a casserole dish with about an inch of water and cover with foil.
- Bake at 375 F for about 40 minutes.
- Remove from oven and flip halves face-up.
- Bake another 5 minutes with foil on, then remove from oven and let cool for about 5-8 minutes.
- Remove any remaining seeds, then brush a fork over the squash to make thin strands that look like spaghetti. Add sea salt to taste, chives, basil, and 1-2 tbsp of coconut oil.
- Use the squash as a bed for your meatballs and serve!
Serving Size 12 Meatballs, Plus Squash
Amount per serving
Total Calories 1,489