Beware if a little cardio makes you feel rough

Do you hate cardio? Do you have problems doing it? If you’ve always disliked cardio for unknown reasons or you felt overtrained in a hurry, you may have an underlying cardiovascular problem. We know a lot about exercise’s effects on muscle; eat and train right, and you grow. But exercise’s effects on the cardiovascular system have been less understood – until now.

Researchers examined how much muscular oxidative stress and pulmonary oxidative stress was occurring during exercise for people with prior cardiovascular problems. They had participants work out for 20 minutes at 40 percent of their calculated 1RM and studied their blood and urine before and after exercise. Those with preexisting cardiovascular problems experienced increased pulmonary oxidative stress and overall systemic inflammation after exercise, while the healthy control group didn’t.


Hating cardio because it’s boring isn’t the same as hating it because you quickly don’t feel right. If you get tired way too fast, get a cardiovascular stress test from your doctor. After all, your heart and lungs pump oxygen and nutrients to your muscles so they can grow, so if you’re having cardio trouble, it’s a sure bet that you’re not growing as much as you should either.


Mercken EM, Gosker HR, Rutten EP, Wouters EF, Bast A, Hageman GJ, et al. Systemic and pulmonary oxidative stress after single-leg exercise in COPD. Chest. 2009 Nov;136(5):1291-300. Epub 2009 Aug 20.

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