Don’t waste your time! Isn’t the number one excuse for skipping the gym is your hectic life? So make the most of your cardiovascular exercises. Cardio is exercise that elevates your heart rate for an extended period of time, engages the balanced and rhythmic movement of the body’s arms and legs and enhances blood circulation in the body. It helps you lose fat, improves your mood and significantly reduces depression, reduces mental fatigue and gives you more energy, strengthens your heart, improves lung functionality and blood circulation and helps gain muscle.
So, in order to do cardio with a purpose, you first have to determine what your goal is. Just like everything else in life, if you don’t have a set goal or target in mind, it’s a lot harder to see results. And let’s face it, nothing is more motivating than seeing results. Are you looking to decrease body fat, blood pressure, cholesterol and some stress in your life? Steady-paced walking could be a good fit for you. If the focus is more on improving your cardiovascular and respiratory system and a little bit less on fat burning, jogging or doing some interval training would be better fit. Or, if you’re looking for something a little more fast-paced and athletic with a greater intensity, doing somekick-boxing or more intense cardio classes would be more your speed. A lot of the classes offered at most gyms can be modified to the different levels of fitness for the people taking them but some are specifically geared toward people at higher fitness level and should be clearly stated in the class name or description. Don’t be afraid to talk to the instructor before class to get an idea of what you’re in for if it’s your first time attending. It’s also not a bad idea to let them know where you’re at in your fitness training. Also, as you start to see results or reach your goals in specific areas of your body, set new goals and change up your plan. The great thing about cardio is that there are so many different options of exercises. It should never be boring. If running is not your thing, try some aerobics. If you never felt particularly coordinated, pick up some boxing gloves. If you are bored in the gym, you are doing something wrong! Talk to a trainer and get some ideas on how to work in different types of exercises that target the areas you want to work on so that you see results faster and you aren’t doing the same thing day in and day out.
The most important thing to remember is that your time in the gym is just that: your time. Don’t be afraid to take control and make it what works best for you. And, what works best for you doesn’t have to be boring and monotonous. It can also be new and different and, dare I say, even fun. But, all that aside, there is nothing more important that you could be doing for your body. Cardio will literally improve the length and the quality of your life. No more excuses; just get out there and do it.