Challenging Fitness Myths: Cardio Is for Women

Ladies, ask yourselves why you get on that treadmill. What do you hope to achieve with this routine? Most of the women out there probably haven’t thought about it too much. And can we blame them? Women’s magazines and social media tout pumping cardio as the thing to do, so it’s only natural to go with the flow. But let us take a moment to re-evaluate the norms.

Generally speaking, we believe that cardio on the treadmill is a prerequisite for losing weight. It’s not bad to use the treadmill—but that outlook is oversimplified and misleading. Yes, you do burn more calories when your heart rate is elevated. However, you also continue to burn more calories every second of the day when you have more muscle. The truth is, any kind of movement is right for your body. The key elements are variety and consistency. 

While losing those few extra kilos due to having a baby, being tied down to a desk or menopause, is a laudable goal, it’s important to keep in mind that the female body needs more than weight loss. 

Common assumptions of what type of exercise is suitable for each gender are pervasive. My personal favorite is that women should not lift, not break a sweat and should remain “feminine” during training sessions with sweat-proof makeup on. 

But the good news is that those attitudes are shifting. All of my female clients can lift, can do push ups and can push themselves to their limits physically and mentally, truly challenging themselves to become a better version of themselves. Why? Because they get it. They know building a strong muscle foundation is the key to preventing and reversing the effects of sarcopenia (loss of muscle mass) and preventing osteoporosis (bone loss).

As a personal trainer and weight management specialist, as I have trained my female clients over the course of more than a decade, I have witnessed first-hand how together we have changed the mindset towards a more sustainable way of living. Women are no longer interested in a “crunch day ” on one day, then a treadmill session the next—all while they starve themselves.

I believe being strong is the new sexy! It’s a state of mind not a gender-base prerequisite. People that are mentally strong are physically healthier. When we exercise, let’s do it because it makes us feel good, gives us energy and promotes healthier choices throughout the day. And it’s fun!

The shift in mindset from a skinny Victoria’s Secret body to healthy body fit to wellness is a gamechanger. It’s the key ingredient to realistically achieving longevity. So let’s continue to work towards making a holistic approach to overall well being regardless of gender as the new cool, fun thing.