I’ll Huff, and I’ll Puff, and I’ll be Out of Shape No More!

It is time to save the huffing and puffing for the big bad wolf. Let’s learn about cardio!

Q: What is cardio?

A: Cardio is any type of activity that gets your heart rate up above its resting rate.

Q: Is there a benefit to cardio workouts?

A: Cardio workouts strengthen the cardiovascular system. The cardiovascular system consists of your heart and blood vessels. A stronger cardiovascular system pumps more blood throughout your body and to your heart, which creates better circulation of oxygen and nutrients. It is important to remember the heart is a muscle that needs exercised and strengthened. A stronger heart pumps more blood, leading to a healthier you.

Q: Do you have to run for cardio exercise?

A: Nope! You can run, walk, swim, jump, fence, and more- All are forms of cardio. Just get your heart pumping! You can make it a challenge to find new activities, get creative!

Q: Well then what are some examples of a cardio workout?

A: Cardio does not have to be your basic treadmill or elliptical workout. While those are often the first that come to mind, there are other forms cardio can take. It is time to blow the roof off what you thought you knew about cardio workouts! Read below for a few examples and ideas.

  • Example 1: Rowing- A hidden treasure of the exercise world. Rowing has been around for quite some time but seems to just recently be making a popular reappearance on the fitness scene. With its low impact assurance and sleek feel of performance, it is no wonder rowing in and out of the water is coming into preference. Not only is the rower an aerobic (cardio) workout, but it is also an anaerobic (strength) workout! Talk about a two for one deal! So get off the cardio-haters band wagon and try something new!


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  • Example 2: Biking- To get from point A to point B or stationary, both will help you work up a sweat. Instead of plopping into your car to drive to the house down the street or the store a few blocks over, hop onto a bike to get there. Your legs might not like you in the beginning but your heart will be delighted. A stationary bike is a fantastic way to keep up the biking when weather is not cooperating with your activity goals. Bike at a gym or invite a friend and make it into a social activity. Or catch up on that Netflix show or movie you have been yearning to watch and make it your ‘you time’. There are endless ways to mix up your cardio and make it fun.


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  • Example 3: Circuits- An option for the free spirited or creative-minded individual. Or, if you are someone who dislikes cardio because of its monotony, then give this method a try, you might just enjoy it! Create a course for yourself that consists of different exercises-- it can include equipment, machines, or anything else you can think of! Start the course and do not stop until you have completed it in full. The key to making an exercise circuit a cardio workout is to not stop. Resting breaks should be kept short and your heart rate should not drop back down to a resting rate until you have finished. This can be combined with the “lift weights faster” idea of a cardio workout as well.


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  • Example 4: Taking the Stairs- I know that elevator button looks shiny and tempting, but let’s stop making excuses for why we need the elevator today and take a large stride with pride to that staircase. You might be out of breath by the time you reach the top with beads of sweat rippling on your forehead, but you will feel accomplished. And trust me when I say, it will get easier each time. So keep up the effort and do not let gravity get you down!

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It is important to keep in mind that even when you feel like you are juggling a million things, having no time for cardio is not a good excuse. Cardio does not have to be your classic hour long run. There are ways to get your heart rate up and make it a workout in as little as 15 minutes. You just need to be dedicated to learning them and doing them.
**Stay tuned for future posts on tips and workouts for the busy body.**

On a final note, August is recognized as Family Fun Month. So grab your mother, father, daughter, son, aunt, uncle, grandma, or grandpa and go have fun getting your heart rates up together!


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Posted By: Jennifer

Live, Laugh, Love Yourself

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