Cardio

The long-hated cardio. Now, from what I know cardio is purely a fat burning activity but unlike lifting weights it doesn’t burn calories even after the workout, and it doesn’t help you tone up. It’s just part of the work-out package, it helps your cardiovascular system and your stamina, and it’s the best way to get belly fat off! Which is my favorite thing about cardio. 🙂

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I got into running about 2 years ago and I finished a 5 mile run, two 5K’s and a 10k within the span of about 2.5 months and I ended up injuring myself with runners knee and had to sit out of running and any other high-impact activity for a number of months. This made it quite a bit harder for me to get back into running.

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Running is some of the best cardio you can do, but it’s also one of the most boring ones. I wanted to run because it was an easy workout, but I find that because I’m bored often I tend to focus on how my body feels and this is not a good motivator. So since then I’ve given up running as a sport – as in I don’t plan on doing any races in the future. I plan to still utilize it though.

My most favorite cardio workout is soccer.

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I played for years and I coached for a couple years too. I absolutely love soccer, and wish there was an adult league in my area or a team at my college but there isn’t. Otherwise I would be there. I probably would have played in college if I hadn’t of torn my ACL and meniscus when I was 16. It required surgery and my knee wasn’t strong for quite a while.

Cardio is about two things: getting a good workout, but having a good time. So if you like a sport, look around in your area for places that you can do it at or join a team.

If, like myself, you are basically stuck to three options: biking, treadmills, or the long and weary road here are some tips.

Biking: Go in the summer, when it’s nice. If you have a mountain bike, try some actual mountain biking it’s an awesome way to get some cardio and muscle building in. If you have a road bike like myself, try for speed and distance. Trust me, it’ll give you a great leg workout.

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Running: If you haven’t been running for a while, start with walking. It won’t get you anywhere if you push too hard too fast and you’ll end up with an injury. If you’re feeling ambitious then do a combination of running and walking, but try for 30 min if you doing a combo or if you’re walking first go for an hour or longer. Every week add either more time or more running.

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Treadmill: If the weather isn’t nice outside, then go for the treadmill. Make sure the incline is at 1 or higher otherwise you’re running completely flat and this will get you nowhere, the more resistance the better. It helps mimic running on the road.

Whatever you choose to do, make sure you’re doing it(keeping your heart rate up) for a minimum of 20 minutes otherwise it doesn’t really benefit your cardiovascular system very well. So make sure you’re going at a pace that you can keep up for that long, but not a pace so slow that it’s too easy.

I also utilize workout videos. I currently own three different Beach Body workout videos, and for cardio I use Turbo Fire or P90X. Now Turbofire is completely a cardio workout set, whereas P90X only has a couple DVD’s that are cardio, but it’s good to have choices.

So what are your favorite forms of cardio? What tricks have you learned, or your experiences?

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