Monday, April 12, 2010

Get Your Cardio On!

Ok, you've been trying to be healthy lately. You've been increasing your physical activity and watching what you eat. Maybe you've been taking a walk here and there and you're ready to tackle more...but what?

We've talked about the components of fitness, and we've touched on resistance training & flexibility. Today we're going to spend some time on cardiorespiratory fitness.

Cardiorespiratory exercise (aka 'cardio' or 'aerobic') defined:
The ability to perform repetitive, moderate to high intensity, large muscle movements for a prolonged period of time.

Examples of this would be walking, biking, running, swimming, aerobic dancing. Got kids? Be creative with your cardio and include them! Kids are natural exercisers, they can be enormous motivators if we let them.

Benefits include:
*Increased caloric expenditure (burns calories). Burn at least 150 calories per day, or 1,000 calories per week.
*Stronger heart
*Lowered blood pressure & cholesterol
*Increased metabolism
*Stress relief
*Many, many more. Try it & see for yourself!

Training guidelines:
Do some form of cardio a minimum of 3 times per week for a minimum of 20 minutes. More is better, but if you're just beginning, this is a good start point. If your goal is increased fitness or weight loss, work up to 5 times per week for 30-60 minutes.

Remember that when you're working on your cardiorespiratory fitness, it's important to know how hard you're working. Click here to learn how hard to work.

It's also important to find an activity or two that you enjoy. In other words, if you enjoy being outside, take a bike ride or go to the park for a walk.

Whether your goal is to lose weight, increase your fitness or just get healthy, adding some cardio to your workout routine is a must. Try it!

Don't forget this rule: have fun with your cardio! Challenge yourself, find a friend to workout with, be creative & try something new. Have FUN getting FIT!

Hey, if you have a favorite form of cardio, we want to hear it! Leave us a message below.