We know that cardio is the best workout for our hearts (and great for our thighs, too!). And we see a lot of articles, selfies, and commercials about running, CrossFit, or something known as a “mud run.” Running…plus dirt….that you pay for, and sweat?
Everyone has their separate taste for cardio. Mopping your floors counts, and walking load after load of laundry up and down the stairs counts, but your heart, and your future, deserve more. Try these different options to see if one seems like a good fit for you, or mix it up and try different things all week long! Aim for at least 30 minutes of cardio at least four days each week. And not the kind of cardio where you can carry on a conversation – the kind where you feel the sweat at your temples.
- Indoor cycling. Burning around 700 calories per hour, especially if you both push down on the front of the rotation as well as forcefully bring your legs up behind you. That way, you get a good thigh workout and a nice focus on your glutes and hams as well.
- Indoor rowing. This works your entire body for almost 600 calories an hour. For every stroke you take (legs push, back to parallel, elbows in), you use 84 percent of your muscles. You want a steady pace – shorter strokes won’t work the full range of your strength.
- High-intensity interval training. This uses short bursts of cardio such as lunges, jumping rope, or sprints, usually with a short rest or some bodyweight training in between. Aim to catch your breath between each interval for about half as long as the interval took you, for a 2:1 ratio. Go fast enough to require some effort, burning about 550 calories per hour, but not so fast you can’t breathe at all.
- VersaClimber. Like the stair master, but with added arm “climbers.” Just keeping up will give you a great workout. Even though you’ll feel like you’re putting in everything you’ve got to stay with a class or the training you picked, you’ll be building strength, coordination, and endurance (for your heart!). This burns a whopping 1,000 calories per hour, and is great for core strength and posture.
- Plyometrics. Think tennis training – explosive and quick movements such as box jumps, burpees, or jump squats. You’ll need to work out when you’ve got energy and are raring to go, rather than if you’ve done a different workout or are very tired. The plan is to contract a high amount of muscles in a short amount of time, burning about 550 calories per hour.
If none of these sound like you’d like to try them, lace up your sneakers anyway and pick one. Or integrate something else – swimming, jumping jacks and pushups, or a slow jog. No cardio is bad cardio (provided you have the right form so you’re not stressing joints or muscles you shouldn’t). For your heart, and in turn the rest of your body (think flatter stomach!) cardio is one of the best things you can do for your future!
To find out more about how to make good choices for your health, feel free to sign up for a visit with one of our physicians by clicking the button below to contact us. We look forward to hearing from you!