Sneaking some cardio into your day
Getting or staying fit is an ambition that’s in the back of everyone’s mind. We all want to get fit or stay fit. While it may be a distant reality for some people, it doesn’t mean that the thought has never crossed their minds or that it should become a forgotten issue.
A lot of people also mistake fitness for a vanity requirement, but this premise is completely false. Vanity comes as an added advantage to being fit. Take shoes for example. Most people would tag them as a fashion requirement. Some shopping sites even refer to shoes as accessories; but the primary function of shoes is for protection. Once that’s taken care of, everything else can be sorted out after, the shoe color, texture, shape, designer. The most primary reason for being fit is to stay healthy, prevent diseases and improve general wellness.
The surgeon general recommends engagement in 30 minute fitness routines for 5 days a week. People of all ages or strength and endurance can participate in some kind of fitness routine. Some routines may just have to be less tedious than others depending on factors like age, pre-existing conditions, weight or even time.
The major deterrent to fitness exercises apart from the excuses we make I think may be time. Most people don’t have the time to sign up at a gym and use all the machines they have in there and do endless routines for endless hours. It doesn’t have to be this way, for the purpose of staying fit generally, cardiovascular exercise is definitely the best way to go.
Cardio is any exercise or movement that gets your heart rate up and increases blood circulation. While the word cardio may be the scariest thing to some people, it’s actually the most important exercise for all round fitness. A steady cardio routine could improve the condition of your heart, manage diabetes, increase metabolism and believe it or not, help ease symptoms of depression.
I understand what the time factor may do to prevent us from getting our cardio routines done and that’s why I decided to write this article. I have no intention of boring you with long stressful routines. This article is for the reader who simply wants to be reasonably fit without feeling like they’re signing up for a triathlon. So I’m going to highlight the easiest and best cardio exercises and bust the myth of “time”
Let’s go over some very useful cardio routines and how to beat the clock.
Running or jogging
30 minutes of running every morning or after work could make all the difference to your health. If time is the problem here then all you have to do is get up 30 minutes earlier, don’t worry, I know how painful that can be, but it’s a small price to pay for fitness. If you require a shorter period then you can up the intensity of your movements, high intensity running for 10 minutes may just be as good as slow or regular paced jogging for 30 minutes.
Treadmill / Steppers / Elliptic Machines
If you don’t relish running or jogging around your neighborhood and you can afford to own one of these, it would be the most amazing way to get your cardio in and save time. You can get 30 minutes or more without having to leave home in the morning or after work, you can position your equipment in such a way that it lets you catch the news or your favorite TV show, so you’re killing 2 birds with one shot. When you look at it this way, you may not even be restricted to getting only 30 minutes of cardio a day.
This is one of, if not the most amazing exercises for total body fitness. Swimming as opposed to running or using a treadmill, works every single muscle in the body and can be quite a lot of fun. Signing up in a gym with a pool might be one of the best investments for your body. 30 minutes 5 days a week isn’t too much to give.
Playing a sport
If you find the exercises above to be a little too boring for you then this may be your best option. Playing a sport that requires a lot of movement can provide you with your daily dose of cardio exercise. For some people, just running around a neighborhood or on a treadmill can be so frustrating and boring because they really can’t see the end game, but engaging in competitive sports is different. If routines and strict workouts don’t appeal to you then find a gym or a park where you can play 30 minutes of basketball after work, five-a-side soccer, tennis or squash. There are a few advantages here, there is an aim to the game, it gives you the same results as strict cardio routines and has the tendency to keep you playing longer than 30minutes if you play a game that you’re passionate about.
If dancing is a passion or love of yours then you don’t always have to wait till its Friday night to hit the club dancing. Dancing provides a very solid and interesting form of cardio. There are dance studios where you can go everyday to put your passion to use, you can dance at home if you have the space for that or you can even sign up for dance lessons at a studio or gym.
This is probably the most practical form of cardio as it works your fitness and gets you from point A-B faster than walking or jogging. Cycling is an activity that can be engaged in everyday with a strict routine and at the weekends, could even be done for longer than 30 minutes daily. If it is something that you like to do, then you can make cycling your mode of transportation for anything not urgent or work related like getting groceries, visiting a friend or site seeing.
These are just a few examples of the types of cardio available to you and ways to easily incorporate them into your day. Depending on your preference, there are a lot of other cardio exercises available to you. The 5 times a week rule isn’t one that must be so strictly adhered to, 3-4times a week is very fair as long as you do a reasonable amount of cardio at above average intensity. If you happen to be completely out of shape then that’s okay, you just have to start slow at very low intensity and as you lose weight or get fitter you’ll find yourself being able to go longer and harder. The key here is consistency, just put in the work at a steady routine and your body will take care of the rest.