Whether we like it or not the fact of life is that if we want to be healthy we have to MOVE! The way to keep your heart healthy is to include cardio into your workout program.
A cardio workout is any form of exercise that elevates our heart rate and makes you breathe heavier. Cardio is short for cardiovascular training and it is important to include cardio workouts 2 – 3 times per week depending on your fitness level.
When I think of Cardio, I imagine swimming in sweat, red faced and lots of huffing and puffing however, Cardio training can be as easy as going for a brisk walk or as hard as bootcamp, running marathons or crossfit. As long as you are moving and your heart rate increases then you are doing CARDIO.
To attain cardio fitness you need intensity, duration and frequency.
So why do we need to include cardio as part of our fitness program?
6 Benefits of cardio workouts
- Strengthens your muscles
- Increased bone density
- Improved Sleep
- Reduced stress and anxiety levels
- Strengthens your heart and lungs
- Increases metabolism which aids fat loss
Types of Cardio Workouts
- Brisk walking
- Weight Training
- Climbing Stairs
- Spin Class
Don’t have time? Can’t get to the gym? Here are some ways to get your heart pumping in less time than you think in the comfort of your own home. All you need is a wall and a chair plus your own body weight.
- High Intensity Circuit Training
Researches from the Human Performance Institute in Orlando, FL. Have designed a High Intensity Circuit training program that can be completed in just 7 minutes! Consisting of 12 exercises, designed in order to allow opposing muscle groups to alternate between working and resting, each exercise is performed for 30 seconds with a 10 second rest. At the end of the 12 exercises a longer rest period can be taken. The optimal time for completing the HICT would be around 20 minutes which would be 2 – 3 sets of the 12 exercises. This image from Well.blogs.nytimes illustrates the 12 exercises required for the HICT workout.
Always remember to consult your doctor BEFORE STARTING ANY NEW WORKOUT PROGRAM.
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