Friday, September 29, 2017

Kegels: Women vs. Men

Since kegels made their major debut a few years ago, they only continue to gain in popularity. With promises that they can help do everything from preventing urinary incontinence to improving orgasms, women—and men—of all ages are giving them a try. So while it may seem like everyone and their mother is doing them, kegels shouldn’t necessarily be taken lightly.

On the surface, kegels seem simple enough. All you have to do is squeeze and release your pelvic floor muscles, which are located between your hips and help to hold your reproductive organs in place. Overtime, the pelvic floor muscles naturally weaken which can lead to urinary and bowel incontinence, which is where kegels come in.

There’s no denying that kegels are an important part of any health regimen for both men and women. But before you go kegel crazy, Sheila Warren, RN, GMC's Health Navigator, provides a few cautions and helpful tips that you should know—even if you consider yourself a pro.

So, what exactly causes a weakening of pelvic floor muscles?

Women:While a weakening of the pelvic floor muscles is common for both women and men, there are a few things that only impact women, like pregnancy, childbirth and menopause.

Men: Lucky for men, the primary cause of a weakening pelvic floor is simply age. However, prostate surgery can also come into play.

For both men and women, high-impact exercises, bowel straining, excess weight and a chronic cough can all take their toll on the pelvic floor.

Do the benefits of kegels vary between men and women?

Women: For women in particular, benefits include: support for the bladder, uterus, rectum and intestines; urinary incontinence control and prevention; childbirth preparation; minimizing pelvic pain symptoms; improving painful sex and intensifying orgasm.

Men: For men in particular, benefits include: support for the bladder, rectum and intestines, urinary and bowel incontinence control and prevention, diminished erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation.

What are the risks of doing kegels?

Women: Even if you’ve read several articles on how to correctly perform a kegel, it’s still easy to make these common, yet risky mistakes. The most frequent mistake is—you guessed it—working out the wrong muscle group. There’s a lot going on down there and it can be challenging to differentiate which muscles are which.

Another common mistake is squeezing too hard when trying to perform a kegel, which can be hard on your pelvic floor muscles, making it difficult for them to do their job.

Another big no-no many women overlook is the importance of doing kegels with an empty bladder. You don’t want to regularly do kegels with a full bladder or while going to bathroom as this can up the risk of a UTI.

Finally, and most importantly, women may be doing kegels with constricted muscles or an already-tight pelvic floor. If your pelvic floor muscles are constricted, you may end up making them more rigid, which may increase your risk of incontinence. If you have a pelvic floor that’s already toned, kegels aren’t necessarily going to help with some of the issues you may be experiencing, like pain during pelvic exams, difficulty emptying your bladder and unresolved pain in your lower back or pelvis.

Men: In this case, men face many of the same risks that women do. It’s important to note, though, that just like for women, kegels aren’t a cure-all for problems going on down there. When it comes to any ejaculatory or erectile problems, there could be a number of causes, not just pelvic floor strength.

Restore your pelvic floor.

Doing kegels now can help support lasting pelvic floor health. But that’s only one piece of the puzzle. As an important part of reproductive health in both men and women, it shouldn’t be taken for granted. So, ladies and gentleman, it’s time to listen up and see your doctor. With a wide range of expertise, the providers at Gwinnett Medical Group Primary Care can help you tackle tough topics—incontinence and pelvic floor health included.  

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

5 Workouts That Do Your Back Justice

Aches and pains are old news for most of us. Once you reach a certain age, you’re accustomed to a little discomfort here and there. Heck, you probably expect it. And while knee, hip and shoulder pain are among the most common types, the reigning champ continues to be back pain.
Whether it’s an uncomfortable bed, sitting for long days at the office or forgetting to stretch before a workout, your back will likely pay the price. So, why is it that back pain is so common?
Well, it’s complicated—literally.
Your back is made up of bones, ligaments and tendons, muscles and most importantly, nerves. It’s important to note that while the spine is the primary structure in your back, it houses a majority of the major nerves of your body, making your back especially susceptible to pain.
Unfortunately, though, when back pain strikes, the response that most people have is to limit physical activity, when the opposite may be more beneficial. Light exercise, like walking, can help promote circulation and keep your back in a neutral position.
Not only is activity the best medicine to help ease back pain, it can actually help to prevent it all together. You’re likely overlooking some of the best workouts that are not only beneficial for boosting strength and burning calories, but also building key muscles to support your back.
According to Michael Brockett, PA, a back pain specialist at GMC's Back Pain Center, here are 5 exercises every back needs:
Abs: Try planks instead of crunches.Crunches put additional stress on the spine as you must constantly bend to perform one. When performed correctly, planks can be a great way to maintain a stable back while toning your belly.
Back & Shoulders: Try lateral raises instead of the overhead shoulder press. Any workout that has you lifting weight overhead can cause compression in the spine. Too much weight or improper form can cause serious injury. Lateral raises work the same muscle groups without the added stress on your back.
Legs: Try the stairmaster instead of the treadmill.The high impact of the treadmill and the resulting strain on joints can increase stress on your back. The stairmaster is low impact and also requires the use of more muscle groups in the lower body, removing strain from the upper body and back. Be sure to use proper form, keeping the workload on your legs. Don’t lean into the handlebars for support.
Aerobics: Try swimming instead of high-impact aerobics classes. While the benefits of aerobics for strengthening core muscles is undeniable, the high-impact and turbulent nature of aerobics can exacerbate back pain. Swimming also works the neck and back, increasing strength in the muscle groups supporting the spine. For additional relief, try the backstroke and breaststroke as they require less trunk rotation than traditional swimming techniques.
Yoga: Yoga is one of the best exercises to reduce lower back pain. Even chronic pain sufferers have raved about the benefits of a regular yoga routine. It strengthens the entire core, increasing stabilization and support for the spine. You could also try hot yoga, as this can help in loosening tight muscles, but be sure to stay hydrated.
Don't let your back be a pain
While strengthening core muscles and taking proper care to prevent further injury is essential, back pain can be difficult to navigate on your own. How do you know when it’s time to turn to the experts for relief? GMC’s Back Pain Center takes all the guesswork out of where to start and what to do. From a pinched nerve to a bulging disk, the experts at the Back Pain Center will provide comprehensive care for your unique back or spine condition. You don’t have to live in pain, make an appointment today.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Are You Keeping Cycling Safe?

Riding a bike isn’t something that’s just for kids anymore. Whether its riding down to the local farmer’s market, going on a challenging trail ride or taking the whole family out for an afternoon of exploring, bicycling is back. And for good reason, it’s a fun, healthy and efficient way to get around.
Heck, even if you haven’t been in a while, you can still head out for a ride. After all, you don’t just forget how to ride a bike. And now that you’re an adult, you can skip the dorky training wheels and helmet, right?
Not so fast. Recent statistics continue to show that the number of accidents involving cyclists continues to rise, as does the average age of people involved in these accidents (with 45 being the average age). But between other cyclists, pedestrians and cars, there are several potential dangers you may encounter while out and about.
So, what can you do to stay safe? Well, it’s as simple as strapping on a helmet before you head out. This is important for cyclists of all ages as it reduces the risk of traumatic brain injury by nearly 90%. Now you may be wondering, are traumatic brain injuries really that common? Yes they are. Along with football and baseball, bicycling is one of the top causes of sports-related head injuries.
While traumatic brain injuries can include everything from a minor concussion to severe brain damage, all of which are good reasons to wear a helmet—don’t be one of those people that risks a life-changing injury just to avoid helmet hair, looking uncool, or not being able to feel the wind in your hair.
It isn’t just preventing a traumatic brain injury that makes helmets so important, though, here are four reasons you should always wear one:   
   1. Set an example

Research indicates that nearly half of children between the ages of 5 – 14 do not wear helmets when riding a bicycle. Sometimes, adults can show the kiddos that wearing one is cool. After all, they often look to you for guidance.

   2. Visibility

A majority of bicycle accidents involving motor vehicles are the result of drivers unable to see cyclists on the road. Ensure your helmet has reflective strips on it to improve your visibility to motorists, particularly in the early-morning or evening hours. Opt for a brightly colored helmet for added visibility.

   3. Weather Protection

Weather conditions can be unpredictable and you never know when added protection from the elements can be beneficial. Helmets with visors are best – they can keep rain, snow and even sun off your face, improving your ability to navigate potentially hazardous conditions.

   4. Social Responsibility

By wearing a helmet, you’re not only creating awareness for bicycle safety, but you’re also helping to minimize any social stigma that’s out there. Unfortunately, for a majority of young people, wearing helmets just isn’t the cool thing to do.

Protect yourself.
Wearing a helmet is one small, simple thing you can do that makes a big difference. Unfortunately, though, you can’t always prevent every bicycle-related injury and that’s when you can turn to Gwinnett Medical Center. With a specially-trained trauma team, the latest equipment and technology and wide-ranging resources, GMC’s level II trauma center is always ready to effectively care for critically injured patients 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. 

Friday, September 22, 2017

Stroke Under 30? It's Not So Far Fetched

Despite the common belief that strokesonly happen in people over the age of 65, this isn’t at all the case. In fact, in the midst of declining stroke numbers, one statistic continues to grow—the number of strokes in people between the ages 18 – 34. While the jury is still out on what the cause of this surprising trend is, experts agree that the following risk factorsare likely major contributors.

High Blood Pressure: Hypertensionis one of the biggest risk factors for stroke, and that goes for all age groups. It can cause the blood vessels to weaken and increase your chance of developing blood clots in the brain.

This risk factor is especially significant for younger age groups because many of them are entirely unaware that they have developed the condition. Ignorance is bliss—right? Well, not in this case. Remember, it’s important to have your blood pressure routinely checked, regardless of age.

Smoking: With over 4,000 chemicals in each cigarette, it’s no wonder smoking increases the risk of developing several serious health problems, including stroke. When cigarette smoke is inhaled, the carcinogenic chemicals are transferred into the blood where they damage blood vessels and affect platelet production, increasing your chance of developing a blood clot.

While the number of smokers has decreased overall, data from the CDC indicates that younger age groups are the exception to this decline. If you are having trouble kicking the habit, talk to your doctor, or utilize smoking cessation programs.  

Drug & Alcohol Use: While studies indicate that one drink per day may actually decrease your risk of stroke, when you get to two or more drinks per day, it has the opposite effect. It actually increases your stroke risk significantly.

Birth Control: Women who take birth control pills are nearly twice as likely to experience a stroke as those who don’t. This risk increases exponentially when combined with other factors, such as migraines and high blood pressure. This is likely due to the hormonal changes brought on by synthetic estrogen.

Pregnancy: Stroke during pregnancy is a leading cause of maternal death. This is due to the potential complications women face while pregnant, such as preeclampsia, amniotic fluid embolus, postpartum cerebral angiopathy and postpartum cardiomyopathy.

Migraines: More than 37 million Americans suffer from migraines, more than 70% of which are women. A particular type of migraine, migraine with aura, is most commonly associated with stroke. This type of migraine can increase your risk to nearly triple when compared to women who do not experience migraines at all.

Are you at risk of suffering a stroke?

The good news for millennials who may experience one or more of the risk-factors listed above is that the overall chance of stroke is still relatively low for the 18 – 34 age group. Younger victims of stroke also tend to have less long-term damage than their older counterparts. It’s crucial, though, that anyone who suffers a stroke takes the proper preventative measures so they do not fall victim again.

At Gwinnett Medical Center’s Emergency Department, the Stroke Alert process begins with placing you in a dedicated stroke unit, with customized care provided by a team of stroke experts. If you are eligible, specialists will provide you with tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), which is the only FDA-approved clot-busting medicine.

Even after you receive care for a stroke, GMC is still dedicated to ensuring the best health outcome possible; this includes personalized rehabilitationservices at GMC’s Glancy Rehabilitation Center. With private rooms, a 4,000-square-foot rehabilitation gym and on-site physicians, you will receive customized care at every stop of healing process. 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Why Does Fun In The Sun Leave You Feeling Exhausted?

It’s that time of year. Where we exchange the hot, summer temperatures with the crisp, fall air. And while fall in Georgia is undeniably hard to beat, with apple orchards, football and colorful trees, many of us are still soaking up every bit of warm, summer sun that we can get. Although there’s no denying time outdoors is one of the best ways to spend any afternoon, it can leave you feeling pooped. Nap anyone?

Even with the energizing impact that fresh air and fun activities can have, a day in the sun never fails to leave you dog-tired and sprawled out on the couch. So, what is it about the sun that makes it so draining? And is there anything you can do about it?

It’s dehydrating. It may seem obvious, but it bears repeating. When you spend ample time outdoors, especially in the sun, your body runs through water quickly in an effort to stay cool. Not only does dehydrationlead to headaches and lethargy, it actually forces your heart to work harder, too, which is a recipe for exhaustion.

It throws your body out-of-balance. Whenever you sweat, your body loses water and salt. Replenishing your body with water is only part of the equation, though. In order for your body to maintain a balance of fluids, you need salt, too.

It overheats your body. Your body’s ideal temperature, to keep everything running smoothly, is 98.6 degrees. This means no matter how hot or cold it is outside, your body has to work to maintain this internal temperature. So, when you’re in the warm sunshine, your body uses extra energy and increases your metabolism just to keep cool.

It’s tough on your skin. Sunburns aren’t always bright red and painful. Even just a little pinkness after time spent in the sun can leave you feeling extra tired. This is because sunburns—mild and severe—up your temperature and have a dehydrating effect on your entire body.

It keeps you active. Chances are, if you’re spending time outdoors, you’re doing more than just sitting. And whenever you’re active, sunshine or not, your body releases the chemical, adenosine. This chemical, coupled with the other draining effects of the sun, provide a double dose of fatigue.

It’s natural. Your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle is regulated by circadian rhythms, which are driven by the rising and setting of the sun. When you spend your day in the sun, your body suppresses melatonin, the sleep hormone. So, naturally, when the sun goes down, your body begins making melatonin again and higher amounts of melatonin equals increased tiredness.

Can you beat the heat? The recipe to successfully tackle a day spent in the sun is pretty simple. Start with lots of water, a little bit of sunscreen, some time spent in the shade and a healthy amount of nutritious snacks. Oh, and don’t forget a visit to your primary care provider, too.

As the specialist that knows you best, your primary care provider will work to address all of your unique health needs, as well as improve your overall health. When you feel your best, you can spend more time doing what you enjoy—like having some fun in the sun. 

Monday, September 18, 2017

Are You In The Know About Vertigo?

The power of your ears is pretty amazing. They not only make hearing possible, they also help to keep you balanced. These are two big jobs for such a small body part. And when things are running smoothly, you hardly give your inner earmuch thought, but even a slight change can impact this delicate system.

Whether it’s standing up too quickly or an exhausting workout, the result is the same—a case of the spins. So, what exactly causes these feelings of dizziness or lightheadedness?

Lightheadedness vs. Dizziness:

Oftentimes, lightheadedness is described as a feeling of unsteadiness or weakness. If you’re feeling faint, the likely culprits are dehydration, low blood pressure, low blood sugar or medication side effects.

On the other hand, dizziness usually causes feelings of imbalance or false movement and/or spinning. This is often the result of an inner-ear condition, including vertigo, Ménière's Disease or labyrinthitis.

Vertigo 101:

As an extremely common medical condition, it is estimated that 40% of Americans will experience vertigo at some point. Of that 40%, women are more likely to experience it than men. While people of all ages can experience vertigo, it is most common in individuals over 50.

What causes vertigo?

Vertigo is often assumed to be a condition, when in fact; it is actually more of a symptom. The most common conditions that cause vertigo include:

·         Ménière's Disease: a buildup of excessive fluid in the inner ear

·         Labyrinthitis:a viral infection of the inner ear causing inflammation

·         Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo: a condition where dislodged calcium crystals in the inner ear send false messages to your brain

·         Migraines: as a nervous system condition, migraines can cause dizziness along with other typical migraine symptoms, like light- and noise-sensitivity

Can vertigo be a sign of something serious?

Because episodes of vertigo can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few days, it can be hard to determine the severity of each episode. However, if you experience prolonged dizziness or any of the following symptoms, it’s time to see a doctor.

·         Sudden and severe headaches
·         Vomiting
·         Changes in speech, vision and/or hearing
·         Difficulty walking
·         Fainting
·         Chest pain
·         Changes in heart rate
·         Numbness and/or weakness
·         Difficulty breathing
·         High fever

How can you treat vertigo?

While there isn’t a go-to treatment for vertigo, there is no shortage of effective options. Whether its medication, vestibular therapy, healthy lifestyle changes, surgery or maneuvering techniques, the experts at GMC will help to determine the best treatment plan for you. 

In order to truly help patients experiencing vertigo, or other vestibular disorders, GMC’s Vestibular Rehabilitation Program utilizes innovative technology and treatment techniques all provided by specialized physical therapists certified in vestibular rehabilitation.

Friday, September 15, 2017

What's Actually Causing Your Heartburn (It's Not What You Think)

Do you remember the first time you got heartburn? Maybe it was after a particularly spicy meal or during a night when you had one or more drinks? The unexpected chest pain can be a bit scary the first time you experience it, but experts say acid reflux and its primary symptom, heartburn, is one of the most common health conditions in the US.
A common misconception about heartburn is that it’s caused entirely by what you eat. Spicy and fried foods, tomato-based foods and high-acid fruit juices are often assumed to be the culprits behind any uncomfortable flare-up, but this isn’t necessarily the case.
While there’s no denying that certain foods may increase your likelihood of reflux, experts agree that the amount of acid in these foods hardly compares to the liter of hydrochloric acid that your stomach naturally creates to breakdown what you eat. So, if it isn’t your food choices that are causing your heartburn, what is it? Chances are, it’s how you eat and other lifestyle choices are the true triggers behind your reflux.

Feeling the burn? It may be one these common culprits:   

   1. Chowing down too close to bedtime

Lying down within two to three hours of eating can cause serious problems. When your body is horizontal, gravity takes over making it easier for the contents of your stomach to slide back up into your esophagus. Eat meals earlier in the evening to avoid the discomfort of heartburn while trying to sleep.

   2. Eating large or frequent meals

When you over-fill your stomach, it’s much easier for excess food and stomach acid to make its way back up your digestive tract. Eating frequently or at odd intervals can have the same effect.

   3. High Body Mass Index

There is a clear link between heartburn and a high BMI. Added weight can create more pressure on your stomach, slow down the digestive system and cause the sphincter muscle in your esophagus to loosen, allowing more acid to get through.

   4. Excessive Drinking

Alcohol relaxes the sphincter muscle in the lower esophagus. It can also cause the stomach to produce more acid while simultaneously increasing the sensitivity of the esophagus.

   5. Smoking

While the many health risks associated with smoking are well-know, one that is often overlooked is its link to heartburn. Similar to alcohol, nicotine relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter, allowing more acid to get through. Smoking also causes the body to produce lower amounts of acid-neutralizing bicarbonates that are found in saliva. These bicarbonates neutralize acid in the mouth and coat the esophagus for added protection from reflux.

Is heartburn holding you back?

Many people can control their heartburn through healthier diets and lifestyle choices, but despite their best efforts, nearly one in five Americans will still develop Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, or GERD, in their lifetime. While GERD is common, if left untreated it can cause a variety of health concerns including tooth enamel erosion and throat injury, even asthma or esophageal cancer. 

So, if you’re experiencing acid reflux twice a week or more, it’s time to put the antacids down, and see your doctor. With experienced gastroenterologists at the new GMC Primary Care & Specialty Center-Suwanee, you can enjoy the latest treatment options, up-to-date technology and a spa-like environment all in a convenient location that’s close to home. 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Workaholics Rejoice: 6 Tips To Boost Your Health

For most of us, a 40-hour work is a thing of the past. In fact, it is estimated that the average work week is roughly 49 hours or more. With so much to do in so little time, it may feel like you don’t really have a choice when it comes to time spent in the office. But what are those extra hours costing? They may have a surprising impact on your health.

A recent study found that working 61 to 70 hours a week increased the risk of coronary heart disease by a whopping 42%, and working 71 to 80 hours increased it by 63%. And because heart disease is still the leading cause of death worldwide, with more than half a million deaths each year in the United States alone, this study provides important insight.

On top of a higher risk for heart disease, yet another study found that people who work long hours have a higher risk of stroke than those working standard hours.

Now you may be asking, are the long work hours worth it? Unfortunately, it seems like extra time spent in the office may not even lead to increased productivity. This is because long hours can zap your energy, focus and efficiency. Just take a look at Germany, the country with the largest economy in Europe, yet the average worker only spends 35.6 hours per week on the job.

So, what can we learn from Germany? Not only is working less possible, but it may be essential to overall health and well-being. Here are some steps you can take to make less work equal more productivity:

Get more sleep at night. This will give you the energy to be more productive during the day and get you out of the office sooner.

Create more than one to-do list. One of the best ways to ensure you get tasks done is to organize them onto a list. However, instead of looking at your crazy, long to-do list for the week, make a list for just today. This will help keep you focus and prevent feeling overwhelmed.

Tackle the tough stuff. Instead of procrastinating and avoiding the biggest items on your to-do list, start with the toughest project. Not only will this help get the stressful stuff over with earlier in the day, it likely won’t be as bad as you’re thinking it will be.

Get distracted. While this isn’t an excuse to get sucked into social media feeds for hours, studies have shown that listening to music can help to boost creativity and let thoughts flow more freely.

Buddy up.Oftentimes, projects can seem more daunting when you’re facing them alone. Instead of trying to always do things on your own, try working with your colleagues to complete tasks. This will lighten the workload and likely produce a better outcome.

Stay up-to-date. Nothing kills productivity faster than feeling worn-out. Between the chaos of work life and home life, it’s easy to overlook your health. But the truth is, staying up-to-date with routine wellness visits and health screenings can make all the difference. By safeguarding your health, you’re ensuring the best version of you both inside and outside of the office. 

Monday, September 11, 2017

Yummy Veggies That’ll Satisfy Your Starch Cravings

Who doesn't love a big serving of creamy mashed potatoes or a side of steamy rice with their chicken? There’s just no denying it, starchy foods are downright delicious, making it easy to overindulge. And if you fill your plate with your starchy favorites, you be falling short on healthy vegetables.

Making Smart Substitutions

Try these simple ideas for lower-calories options that will keep both your taste buds and your tummy happy.

Start with cauliflower, a non-starchy vegetable that easily mimics starchy ones, both in flavor and texture. You can mash, whip or rice cauliflower just like potatoes, and even use it to make pizza crust.

Or try spaghetti squash instead of regular spaghetti and top it with a fresh tomato sauce.

For a great mac and cheese alternative, grate yellow summer squash and bake it with a sprinkling of low-fat zesty cheese. It's a great source of vitamin C, fiber and potassium, plus you'll get calcium from the cheese.

When summer's over, roast winter squash varieties, like acorn and Hubbard, for lighter yet still sweet swaps for sweet potatoes.

When you just have to have a grain, make it a whole one. Opt for couscous, quinoaor barley. Whole grain side dishes like these are a great way to get fiber, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. To save on calories, cut your usual portion in half and add in steamed or lightly sauteed vegetables to boost volume and more nutrients. And don't forget to use herbs and spices to liven up the taste.

Getting Out Of The Rice Rut

After a long day, a savory starch may sound like just the right thing for dinner. But before you know it, you’ve had starch-filled meals every day this week. Instead of eating the same old thing, try something different—your body will thank you for it.

Remember, just because you’re trying to eat healthy, doesn’t mean you have to compromise on taste, though. These yummy veggies are just scratching the surface when it comes to incorporating more foods that are both delicious and nutritious. Utilizing services like nutrition consultations, Diet by Design and metabolism testing, you can finally find the right diet for you and all of your unique health needs.  

Friday, September 8, 2017

Does Cardio Make You Gain Weight?

Before we go any further, it’s important to clarify that exercise—of any kind—is beneficial and important for your overall health. With that being said, depending on your unique risk factors and your exercise goals, there are some activities that may be more or less beneficial for your specific needs.

So, if your goal is weight loss, like it is for many routine exercisers, is cardio your best bet? After all, weight loss should be as simple as burning more calories than what you take in—right? Well, not exactly.

Instead of helping you drop pounds, cardio may actually be increasing your weight, but not necessarily for the reasons you think. But before you give up on cardio completely, let’s take a brief moment to highlight the many benefits cardio offers, even if weight loss isn’t at the top of the list.

Just a few of the many benefits include improving your…
·         Heart health
·         Lung health
·         Bone density
·         Energy levels
·         Sleep

So when it comes to weight loss, why isn’t cardio your best friend?

Cardio makes you tired. After the first few minutes of your cardio workout, fatigue starts in making intensity and form hard to maintain. You may feel like more time spent on cardio must equal more calories burned, but not if you’re dragging along.

Increased cardio = Increased huger. With how tired you’re feeling after a cardio session, you may feel hungry enough to eat just about anything. Unfortunately, you may be overestimating how many calories you actually burned during your workout—it isn’t a free pass to indulge.

Cardio isn’t efficient at building muscle. By now, you’ve probably heard that one of the best ways to lose weight is by building more muscle. This is because with increased muscle comes increased metabolism, or the rate at which your burn calories throughout the day. Now, cardio does build muscle, especially if you are running uphill or riding a bike with high resistance, but it isn’t as efficient as strength training.

Cardio can be time consuming. You don’t always have to spend a lot of time doing cardio to get its many benefits; however, if your goal is calories burned, it can take a fair amount of time. Depending on your intensity, it can take up to an hour to burn a high amount of calories. While weight lifting doesn’t necessarily burn more calories right away, your added muscle mass will boost your metabolism.

Cardio requires intensity. Similar to any type of exercise, weight loss with cardio isn’t only about consistency. When you routinely perform any activity, your body adapts and grows accustomed to that exercise. To keep cardio as beneficial as possible, you have to make sure to up intensity and increase your workout.

Cardio can be difficult. Between sports-related injuries, working on your form and reaching your next personal best, keeping your cardio routine in tip-top shape can be a challenge. That’s why Gwinnett Medical Center’s Fitness & Performance Center offers personalized, hands-on training from knowledgeable specialists. Whatever your individual needs, GMC’s fitness experts will provide a customized regimen that’s as unique as you are.