Run Forest Run!

It’s not just all running! “Cardio” is a short term for cardiovascular which pertains to the heart muscle.  Many exercises can work out the heart muscle, not just running.

I’m sure you’ve heard from your doctor and other health professionals about the great benefits of exercise and cardio.  Here’s a list to help remind you why:

  • Burns calories which results in weight loss
  • Increases metabolism
  • Promotes healthier and stronger heart and lungs
  • Reduced risk of heart disease and diabetes and other health problems
  • Increases bone density
  • Relieves stress and anxiety
  • Helps you get a good night’s rest
  • More energy
How do you workout your heart?

You have to increase your heart rate!  Here’s a small list to give you an idea:

  • Walking
  • Running
  • Jumping jacks
  • Jump rope
  • Swimming
  • Cycling/Elliptical
  • Martial arts
  • Various sports
  • etc.

All will increase your heart rate if you perform them for 10-20 minutes a day.  In fact, most activities that cause you to break a sweat can be considered cardio.  There are plenty of activities and opportunities to engage yourself in cardiovascular health – so start getting creative!  Check out the plyometrics here or you could even do basic jumping jacks!

What if you’re always too busy during the day or too burned out after work to do cardio?  Here’s a couple things I often do:  walk the long way! For example, park your car far away from the grocery store or take the stairs at work.  Remember consistency is the key to getting results.

The point is, cardio is performed to improve your heart’s overall health such as its pumping efficiency and resting heart rate.  The extra benefits are weight loss and burning fat!  Cardio is the key that usually unlocks your fitness bug.  Consistency with cardio is hard to commit to.  One of the best ways to stick with it is to sign up for a race.  If you plan on running for cardio sign up for a local 5k!  If you’re more interested in road cycling or mountain biking, sign up for an event!  It’s all pretty easy to find with Google.

From there you go up to 10ks, half marathons, 50 mile bike rides or whatever might make you get the cardio bug like Triathlons, Tough Mudder events or Color runs etc.

You have to raise the bar for yourself and stay consistent when it comes to exercise. Remember, if you don’t go that extra step, you’ll never be able to reach your goals.

Cardio is one of the fastest ways of getting into shape.  It is the beginning of most exercise programs, and it’s usually the fastest at helping achieve results.

Take action and just go walk, run, biking!  Best of all, it usually costs you nothing!

Good luck!