“Cardio” is short for “cardiovascular”, a term used for the circulatory system consisting of the heart and blood vessels in your body. What people usually refer to when using the word are endurance exercises that strengthen this network. These exercises are done for longer stretches of time, making the heart beat faster and pumping more blood through your system, the blood carrying nutrients and oxygen to every cell.
Any activity that gets your heart rate to about 50 – 75% of the maximum can be classified as cardio. To find out your maximum, you can roughly calculate it as 220 minus your age (if you are forty years old, for example, it’s 220 – 40 = 180). It doesn’t matter if you do that with running, biking, dancing, tennis, skateboarding or whatever else you prefer, as long as it gets you in that range.
Now why would we deliberately choose to do this, make our hearts beat faster and get all sweaty and exhausted? Here are ten good reasons:
- helps you lose body fat
- strengthens your heart which is a muscle
- improves circulatory system which delivers more nutrients
- cardio stress means less stress
- keeps your brain younger
- improves brain function
- eases effects of depression
- assists with sleeping more soundly
- increases bone density
- improves self confidence
Plus, doing some cardio just plain helps us feel better today. My favorite way to do “cardio” is the stepmill (revolving stairs), it’s like walking up an escalator the wrong way. It’s easy on your joints and is a great way to elevate your heart rate.
The bottom line is you have to find what works best for you when it comes to doing your cardio. Try to get in at least 30:00 or cardio but ten or fifteen minutes is much better than none.
Many of my clients are enjoying the cardio benefits during their sessions with me. Contact me today and let’s discuss your health and wellness needs.