Cardio Files

by Dr. Daamini Shrivastav

December 10, 2015


  • Weight lifting boosts metabolism which Cardio doesn’t
  • Because Cardio isn’t anaerobic in nature like weight lifting I won’t burn calories after my workout
  • Cardio exercises cause injury and should be avoided
  • Cardio doesn’t burn fat exclusively. You lose muscle and lean tissue mass as well.


  • This is completely untrue. Both forms of exercise boost metabolism, the only difference is the time-frame post workout when the boost is experience. In the case of Cardio this tends to be during and immediately after.
  • While it is true that weights and resistance training burn calories after your workout, minute for minute of the actual workout Cardio exercises indisputably burn more calories.
  • Any form of exercise if done improperly sans guidance from an expert and done with incorrect form results in injury and bodily strain. This is the case for weight and resistance training as well.
  • While this is true about low to moderate intensity Cardio based exercise, HIIT or High Intensity Interval Training type of Cardio exercises attack and burn fat exclusively.


  • Cardio is fabulous for increasing fitness levels and building stamina. If you’re excessively overweight and are looking to drop pounds quickly then Cardio is definitely the way to go. One can burn an average of 500+ calories in one good and intense Cardio session.
  • Cardio is a phenomenal way to slash stress. The natural surge of endorphins and adrenaline do wonders to uplift the mood, manage pain and give you an energy boost
  • Cardio based workouts do wonder to boost the immune system and people who do exercise regularly are less susceptible to minor illnesses and ailments
  • The health benefits of cardiovascular exercise are numerous ranging from improved circulation to increase in bone density (this combats osteoporosis) to improved sleep to reduced anxiety levels to stronger tendons and ligaments.
  • HIIT workouts are excellent in that they can be done in short time-periods of 15 to 30 minutes and still produce the same “after-burn” effects like that of weight and resistance training. This is especially useful for those who work long hours


  • Repeating the same Cardio exercises will result in the body evolving to manage it more efficiently. This means that you will slowly begin to burn lesser and lesser calories for the same workout.  
  • A major drawback of pure Cardio workouts which are not HIIT based promote Cortisol release which in turn results in the loss of precious muscle and lean tissue mass and accumulation of fat around the abdominal region. It is this very mass which when developed gives your body tone, a sculpted shape and which is responsible for fat burning long-term. This is precisely why Cardio do-ers tend to have ‘soft’ bodies
  • Over-engaging in Cardio can drain one of physical strength and energy which in turn could be detrimental to will-power and determination
  • Those who indulge in Cardio exclusively are less likely to be sensible when it comes to nutrition and eating behaviors. The surge of adrenaline and endorphins can inflate one’s sense of achievement and lead one to falsely over-reward one’s self with food. The thinking is “I deserve this and have an excuse to eat”.
  • Repetitive Cardio workouts lead to an array of injuries like stress fractures, strain and overuse injuries, plantar fasciitis and muscle imbalances

My Take

It’s an age-old dispute and one that certainly has no signs of dying down anytime soon; Cardio or Weights? Your stereotypical marathon runners will swear by the adrenaline rush that Cardio brings to the table whilst the bodybuilders will staunchly defend their trusted weights’ rack.


My answer - BOTH! One requires both to achieve the physique and health we all lust after. And what’s more is it is imperative to “mix it up” and challenge one’s self in every session. So for those of you who run endlessly on the treadmill or make sweeping strokes for hours in week on the elliptical, stop!


You’re doing yourself no favors from a fitness viewpoint and what’s more is you’re making yourself more prone to repetitive motion injuries. Every single workout should focus on different muscle groups for eg arms one day, abs and back the next etc and the minutes should be spent with bursts of HIIT Cardio and some weight and resistance training. It’ll ensure you’re body is kept on its toes and that you’re deliciously sore after. My own personal benchmark for a good workout is how sore I am post it. No pain, no gain !

Dr. Daamini Shrivastav


Dr. Daamini Shrivastav

Juggling many roles from physician to writer to pilates instructor to Marketing-PR executive, Dr. Daamini is constantly pushed and inspired to get creative on how to encompass a Retreat into her daily life.
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