Cardio Options for Health
There are a whole host of options for cardio exercise, it’s simply a matter of finding the one that you really enjoy and can continue for the remainder of your life.
The biggest thing that sets cardio apart from other forms of exercise is the rise and maintenance of an elevated heart rate during said exercise. This can be accomplished with almost any physical activity, but some of the most common options include, but are not limited to:
- Brisk walking
- Cardio machines at the gym
- Weight training cardio circuits
- Sports, specifically aerobically challenging sports
- Climbing the stairs
- Versions of yoga that include elevated heart rate
The list goes on, but, no matter what method you choose, be sure to include cardio in your life for your health’s sake.
Obviously you know about walking or running faster or for longer distances as good ways to intensify your cardio, and that can apply to all the current methods listed above.
BUT, have you heard of interval training? I go more into it here, but interval training is the idea of combining periods of hard work with periods of rest or active recovery.
A great cardio option that uses intervals is on the elliptical or a bike and follows a 1:2 work:rest ratio to start and allows you to increase the difficulty by decreasing the rest time.
For example, perform a sprint or an increased speed for 20 seconds, then go really slow for 40 seconds. Repeat this for 15-30 minutes depending on your fitness level, then you can start to decrease the rest. You can do that with sprints, jogging and walking, and most other forms of cardio as well!
Best Cardio Option for You
I know it sounds a little cliche and like a broken record, but seriously, the best cardio option is whatever works best for you. Whatever you can fall in love with doing that will get you through the days that it isn’t fun or you don’t want to do it.
I know it’s hard to know what’s going to work, if you’re going too hard, and if you’re doing all the right things, but there are people out there to help you (like me), who’s job it is to help you learn, progress, and gauge what works for you. Don’t be afraid to reach out to me (or others) and ask for help if you need it or want it. That’s what we love to do.
How You Can Include Cardio in Your Routine
Where you want to begin doing, or improve upon your cardio routine is dependent upon where you are in your fitness. My advice on the matter is simple:
- Start where you are. All you can control is from today forward, so don’t worry about what’s happened before, or what you used to be able to do, just start with what you can do today, and do that.
- Be consistent and make it more difficult over time. Although you need to be consistent, you need to force adaptation within your cardiovascular system as you go. Over time, it will get better, so you must then increase either the duration or intensity of your cardio to appropriately challenge the system.
- Make it something you enjoy and can stick to. It’s a marathon not a sprint, no pun intended. But seriously, what’s the point if you don’t enjoy it? It’s not going to be fun all the time, but if you like it a majority of the time, then you’ve found something that works!