If you have general fitness and wellness goals, you probably need some cardio in your training program. However, what you do for that cardio may vary considerably from what you are imagining. Slogging away on a treadmill or elliptical is definitely not required to improve cardiovascular fitness and all the fabulous benefits that come with it.
Putting it simply, cardio is any exercise that increases your heart rate to the point that your breathing rate increases and you start to feel warm. In order to get the desired benefits, you need to place adequate stress on the cardiovascular system to get the system to adapt and change for the better. Cardiovascular fitness allows you to perform “large muscle, repetitive moderate to high intensity exercise for an extended period of time.” The mountain hike on vacation, hours of quickly walking from ride to ride at an amusement park, raking and bagging leaves all afternoon, dancing the night away and even lifting weights will be much more manageable if you improve your cardiovascular fitness. That’s because cardio improves your body’s function in so many ways. One of the main improvements is a more efficient heart beat so your body is better able to deliver and use oxygen for metabolic purposes. It’s pretty cool how your body adapts to the (good) stress you place on it.
How do you get to the point of making these adaptations happen without wanting to quit (or pass out)? Here are your five tips:
In 2020, about one in five Americans reported using a smart watch or fitness tracker. It can be a tool that helps or hinders; it all depends on how you use it! Here are few pitfalls to be aware of and a few tips to get more benefit from your smart watch or fitness tracker.
The plank is a staple when it comes to core stability training. Variations of the plank are often found in "beginner" to "advanced" programs. What if you can't do them without pain afterwards? Examine your form. Here are three common areas that may need to be modified to make your plank strong, effective and pain-free.
Many of us are looking forward to getting back into the fitness studio or gym. However, even when these places resume business, it won’t look quite the same. Like it or not, exercise-at-home may remain your main option for a while as we deal with the Coronavirus pandemic. I’m hearing from many that you do not enjoy exercising at home. It may be that you don’t have adequate space or equipment. Or that you don't feel motivated without the group fitness atmosphere or a trainer there with you in-person. However, if you want to maintain or improve your fitness level and receive all the wonderful benefits of exercise, you can find ways around these barriers if you are willing to experiment. At-home exercise may not be your favorite but it can be effective and surprisingly satisfying!