Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Cardiovascular Activity

Many people struggle to lose their excess fat because they do not put in the time to do daily cardiovascular activities. Cardio is extremely important to fitness because it not only burns fat but also increases your lung capacity and its ability to absorb oxygen which supplies your muscles more oxygen leading to increased strength and muscle gain. Depending on what activities you are doing, regular cardio can be extremely boring. Here are a few tips to make your cardio routine more enjoyable:

  • Music: Load up your iPod or mp3 player with your favorite tunes and focus on the music. If your jogging or running listen to upbeat music and try to match your running rhythm  to the music.
  • Sports: If you have trouble just running mindlessly on a treadmill or using the cardio machines at the gym, joining a sport can be a fun way to change up your cardio routine. Sports like soccer, basketball, lacrosse, boxing and swimming are extremely good cardio and they're fun too! If you're unsure of your athletic ability, join programs that are for fun and exercise and not so competitive. 
  • Variety: No matter what cardio activity you are doing for the day, change up the pace and intensity; this is more effective in burning fat and makes the routine more interesting. Another way to vary your cardio is to switch machines/exercises e.g. Run hard on a treadmill for 20 min then switch to a bike for 10 min and finally skip rope for another 15 min.   
  • Grab A Partner: Again the importance of working out with a friend comes in to play. When doing any routine there is no greater motivation than working out with a buddy who is pushing you to run longer, push harder and go faster. 
  • Set A Goal: Keep track of how long/how intense your cardio routine was for the day and beat it the next time. A good way to journal your cardio is to purchase a heart rate monitor and record the peak heart rate, time, and calories burned.
The benefits of cardio far outweigh the temporary drudgery that you may experience, these include: Weightloss, increased lung capacity and strength, relief of stress, reduced risk of heart disease, better sleep and more energy. 

If all the above tips fail, just push through it and know that it will be worth it in the end. 

Thanks for reading!


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