Both cardio and strength training is important for maintaining a good shape. Only cardio will give you the skinny fat look and just strength training will make you lose your flexibility and inability to burn fat. The combination of both is the best for health but also aesthetic reasons. How much is cardio per week enough? This depends on several factors such as your physical condition, your fitness goals, your body, genetics and also your diet.
Benefits of Cardiovascular Exercise
Cardiovascular exercise has many benefits such as a balance of hormones, increased metabolic rate and increased recovery time. During any type of aerobic activity, our body releases hormones that make us feel relaxed and happy and lack of energy. The other great thing about cardiovascular activity is that it speeds up your metabolism; also it helps with your recovery from intense exercise. For example, if you have had a leg workout at the gym, running afterward on the treadmill will help you with faster recovery by bringing more oxygen-rich blood to your muscles.
Diet and Cardio
If you are following a low-carb diet, your cardio sessions should not be intense and long. Do steady cardio for a maximum of 30 minutes and drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated. If you are following a high-carb diet, you can do longer gym sessions and even fasted cardio on an empty stomach for a greater fat-burning effect or HIIT(high-intensity interval) training.
Your genetics has a lot to do with your fitness and cardio schedule. There are 3 body types: ectomorph, mesomorph, and endomorph. Your body type determines your fitness regime and the intensity of your workouts.
Ectomorph: Ectomorphs have thin and lean bodies with little fat. The best workout training plan for them is strength training with minimal cardio included because of their fast metabolism. If you are an ectomorph, stick to 30-minute cardio sessions 3 times per week.
Mesomorph: Mesomorphs are considered to have the best fitness bodies because they gain muscle easy and don’t stock too much fat. However, the best training schedule for them is a combination of cardio and strength training. Mesomorphs can do cardio 3-4 times per week and also they can do HIIT and fasted cardio.
Endomorphs: Endomorphs have difficulty in maintaining a healthy weight. They gain fat very easily and they have a problem with getting a lean muscle mass. They need cardio training 4-5 times per week and strength training as well.
It is important to not overtrain and exhaust your muscles. Always keep your cardio limited as well as your strength training and make sure you take rest in between workout days.