Walking, jogging, bicycling, swimming, hiking, dancing, running are all good for fitness, BUT they are not the type of exercise that will keep you healthy way into old age

While a combination of cardio, weight training, and a good diet plan will definitely help you achieve your weight loss goals, cardio should NOT be your focus if you are trying to establish a healthy lifestyle that you can continue way into your old age.

A healthy lifestyle should be one that not only helps you achieve your current goals, but sets you up for a healthy, independent, capable and fulfilling lifestyle as you age. You want to be in the kind of shape where you can still carry your own shopping bags at 75, and taking a walk around the block doesn’t leave you exhausted for days to come. You want strong bones, and to be able to play with your grandchildren on the floor, and to get yourself out of the bath.

Here are some reasons why cardio should not be your primary focus for a healthy lifestyle, and what to consider instead:

1. Cardio is catabolic

When you jog (or do other cardio exercises) you are using energy, and breathing hard. It is a great way to get ‘fitter’ for more jogging, BUT it does not make you any stronger. Your body is not getting healthier in a way that’s beneficial in the long term. You’re not going to avoid a heart attack by jogging, nor will you ward off cancer that way. You may lose some excess weight if you are an absolute beginner (or very overweight, or both), but that also comes to an end quite rapidly.

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Unless you’re running A LOT – for example in marathon training – and eating very conservatively, you won’t see long-term weight loss results from jogging and running. Cardio is the kind of activity that pares the body down more than building it up – which is already happening anyway, as you age.

Click page 2 below for more things you NEED to know about living a healthy lifestyle into old age…

While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.