Stay Fit with Cardio
What is Cardio?
Cardio gets your heart rate up, conditions your heart and lungs, and instantly burns off calories. Cardio reduces the resting heart rate and normalizes the blood pressure, thereby reducing the risk of heart disease and helping us to feel strong and energetic in our daily lives. And who doesn’t want that?
Cardio (or CV) can take many different forms, such as running, jogging, fast-paced walking, climbing stairs, biking, dancing, swimming, playing tennis or basketball … even cleaning your house!
For me, I like the treadmill, elliptical trainer, and stair climber at the gym for cardio. Sometimes, to keep things more interesting during cardio part of my routine, I “machine-hop” and do 10 minutes on each one. When I don’t feel like going to the gym, or I get bored of the routine, I play games like badminton or squash. Sometimes I rollerblade or bike to get my heart rate up. And at least once a week, I go dancing, which is fun AND healthy! Whatever your preference, I recommend performing a minimum of 30 minutes of continuous activity for the heart, lungs and circulatory system four to seven days per week.
Warm up First
But wait. Before you put on your running shoes and iPod, you should always warm up for three to five minutes to gradually raise your heart rate, and then cool down for five minutes to gradually lower your heart rate at the end of each session. This is common exercise advice what is so often overlooked. This can prevent injuries such as sprains or pulled muscles.
Don’t overdo it
During cardio exercise you should feel warm and slightly out of breath. Anything more severe than this, and you must stop. If you ever feel faint or not well during the exercise, do not push yourself, but slow down or stop completely. You should feel resistance and effort while you’re exercising but not at the risk of your health. And before trying any new cardio machine, you should always consult with a professional trainer on how to use it.
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