Maintaining Muscle Mass

When trying to lose weight, many people put most of their emphasis on performing cardio exercises. After all, everyone knows that cardio is the best way to shed pounds, right?

While it may be true that cardio helps to burn away the fat, it is important to keep in mind that performing an excessive amount of cardio can actually lead to muscle loss. Although this may result in a loss of pounds, losing muscle mass is not a good step toward achieving a higher level of health. This is because maintaining muscle mass provides a number of benefits. These include:

·    Muscle is more effective at burning calories than fat
·    Muscle helps to increase your metabolism
·    Having an increased core muscle strength helps to improve your stability and balance
·    Maintaining muscle mass helps to improve your physical performance on daily activities as well as sports
·    You are at a decreased risk of injury when you maintain your muscle mass

Of course, maintaining your muscle mass also helps you to look and feel better as well. If you engage in too much cardio, however, your body will experience a cardio deficit. Rather than seeking out your fat stores for energy, it will also use your muscles to obtain the energy it needs. In fact, according to many experts, the body will use the muscles for energy before it will use its fat stores.

In order to prevent the loss of muscle mass, some experts recommend limiting your cardio to three times per week and avoiding doing cardio on the same day as weight training. You should also perform strength training at least two times per week and should consider engaging in interval training rather than in typical cardio routines.