"Those who think they have not time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness"
Based on some of the feedback and questions I've received from readers this week's topic is CARDIO!
WHY DO CARDIO? WHAT'S IN IT FOR YOU?
*Burn more calories. If you remember last week's newsletter burning off more calories than you take in is a major key to weight loss.
*Make your heart stronger so it doesn't have to work as hard to pump blood. Those of you reading this message in your early 20s to late 50s may not recognize now how important this is NOW because your heart may be functioning just fine. In January my grandpa passed in large part due to a weak heart and I'll never forget my uncle (who is a cardiologist) saying that the exercise you put in through your 30s, 40s and 50s will strongly impact your cardiovascular health into your 60s, 70s, 80s ( and 90s if you're really lucky :)! )
*Increase lung capacity. This is especially beneficial for smokers looking to quit or people who have already quit. I have a client who has been trying to quit and once she started walking on the treadmill and going to spin class it finalized her decision and sharpened her focus because she doesn't want to jeopardize the great results she's been getting.
*Reduce your risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart attack and diabetes.
*Boost immune system function and increase blood flow to the brain which increases alertness.
*Mental and emotional benefits. Sleep better, reduce stress/anxiety and feel better when you're finished! Studies show that people who exercise regularly are less likely to eat poorly and abuse drugs or alcohol. Exercise alone cannot cure mental and emotional health issues but it does have a positive impact.
WHAT KIND OF CARDIO SHOULD YOU BE DOING?
*Find something you like. Understand there is no "right" or "best" when it comes to cardio. While some forms of cardio burn more calories than others-the most important advice I can give you is to pick something you enjoy doing. There is no point in forcing yourself to do something you dislike because you will lose motivation very quickly.
1. Walking/running (indoors, outdoors, alone, with a buddy or with a group)
**Lots of times finding a friend to do it with you will keep you motivated, accountable and increase your likelihood to keep it up
** check out http://www.runningintheusa.com for races, results and running groups in your area OR http://walkers.meetup.com to find a walking group near you
2. If you belong to a gym or health club there are lots of options for cardio.
Try out all the machines (bikes, treadmills, ellipticals, climbers, stairs, steppers...etc), see what you like and do that!
Check out what kind of group exercise classes are available at your gym-this helps to break the monotony of your own routine...remember VARIETY IS THE SPICE OF LIFE :) Many clubs offer cycling, kickboxing, cardio dance, Zumba and other such classes that you may enjoy.
"Cardio hopping"- for those of you who get bored quickly. Do 10 mins on three different machines, this is just as effective as 30 minutes on one machine
One last tip on this point- Have a favorite show? hop on the cardio machine during your show and tune in-the time will fly by before you know it! (this also works well if you have cardio equipment at home)
3. Lastly today, here's a workout for those of you who are "too busy"...it's ONLY 20 minutes and taken from a program called Body for Life (www.bodyforlife.com). This can be applied to any form of cardio.
Minute Intensity Level (how hard you feel you're working on a scale of 1-10)
0-2 5 (warm up)
*increase intensity by going faster or increasing resistance/load
18-19 10 (peak)
19-20 5 (cool down)
*NOTE: your rate of perceived exertion or intensity level will change over time as you increase your endurance and can handle more strenuous exercise-always remember to listen to your body, if you're not working hard enough-pick up the pace or crank up the resistance. If you're extremely short of breath, dizzy or woozy, slow down, turn down resistance and grab some water.
In Fitness and in Health,