A to Z Challenge 2016

‘J’ is for Jumping Jacks and all things Cardio

April 12, 2016
Jumping Jacks and Cardio

cardio for good heart health

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

  • Running
  • Brisk walking
  • Weight Training
  • Swimming
  • Cycling
  • Sprinting
  • Climbing Stairs
  • Spin Class
  • Skipping

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.

12 HIIT exercises

Always remember to consult your doctor BEFORE STARTING ANY NEW WORKOUT PROGRAM.


Join me tomorrow for ‘K’ is for Knitting How relaxation helps our mental & physical health

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  • Reply Bev April 12, 2016 at 15:39

    Have just refound your website. Great series for A to Z. I definitely need to fit in more exercise. Thanks for the suggestions.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 12, 2016 at 16:32

      Hi Bev so glad you refound me!!! I hope that my A-Z series will be an encouragement for you to start exercising again. Have a great week.

  • Reply Deepti Agrawal April 12, 2016 at 15:53

    Lovely exercises.. I have recently started Yoga and m finding myself in much better spirit .. hope to feel fitter day by day.. will try some of your exercises too..


    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 12, 2016 at 16:33

      Thanks Deepti I think the important part of exercise is doing something you enjoy. Have a lovely day!

  • Reply Malavikka April 12, 2016 at 17:42

    Wonderful post and I loved it! Im badly in need of exercise right now especially for my abs. Good to get to learn these from your post.

    Visitor from A-Z here. Do drop into http://www.malavikka.blogspot.in

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 13, 2016 at 12:30

      Oh yes the abs are always the killer Malavikka! I’m so pleased you found the post useful. Have a great day and good luck with the exercising.!

  • Reply Jeffrey Scott April 12, 2016 at 20:25

    I really need to get back on a workout program. I’m so out of shape it isn’t funny. I’d love to lose at least 4 stone but 5 would be optimal. I keep telling myself I am going to start running again, but I keep putting it off. I think next month for sure.

  • Reply Leanne@crestingthehill April 12, 2016 at 21:20

    I’ll be back for knitting – it’s more my kind of workout than all those jumping jacks! I probably need to up my cardio a bit (I’d have to knit mighty fast to achieve that though 🙂 )

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 13, 2016 at 12:31

      Yes a gentler form of relaxation definitely! I’ve started knitting squares to make a blanket I’m not sure I will live long enough to finish it LOL:)

  • Reply Kala Ravi April 13, 2016 at 00:48

    Hi Sue, this is not really my cup of tea dear, I prefer gentle exercise! That said I do realize the immense benefits of cardio. My daughter regularly follows it in her workouts at the gym.
    @KalaRavi16 from

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 13, 2016 at 12:34

      Hi Kala – yes jumping jacks can take the breath away but you can do cardio just by walking briskly. As long as we move that is the main thing! Have a great day!

  • Reply Annette April 13, 2016 at 15:47

    I just love this . I am going to try the 7 minutes exercises. Have you tried it yourself, Sue?

    • Reply Sue Loncaric April 14, 2016 at 21:03

      Hi Annette!!! Glad you loved the post! Yes I’ve tried the 7 minute exercises and usually my PT gives me these types of sessions but repeated three times so about 21 – 25 minutes non stop. Let me know how you go!

  • Reply gigi June 3, 2016 at 18:22

    That is a great graphic Sue! Thank you for sharing it in your post. It just sums up the workout perfectly. I have to say that the Push Up and Rotation looks hard!!!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 5, 2016 at 16:01

      Yes I’m not a fan of pushups but at least it gives us an idea of what we could try. I’m glad you liked the graphic and found it useful.

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