What is cardio?
To increase fitness, some sort of cardio exercise needs to be done regularly. Ideally, to maintain fitness, 45 minutes of cardio should be done three times per week. To increase fitness, 60 minute sessions done at least four times per week would be more beneficial. This is just my opinion, and my experience with clients, when I was a gym instructor and personal trainer. Adding any cardio to your workout routine will, of course, bring benefits of increased fitness. The above times are a guide for maximum benefit.
When we think cardio, we often think of how boring it is to sit on an exercise bike or cross trainer while just going into robot mode. Or perhaps your mind goes to mind numbing hours spent on the treadmill.
Most cardio equipment is worthwhile using and will give a fantastic cardio workout. But you get out of it what you put in. The clue to getting the most out of these machines is variation. Vary your speed. Vary your intensity. Adding intervals to your cardio workout is s great way to get results quickly.
Intervals are the best way to increase your fitness. So rather than getting on that exercise bike or cross trainer, and just pedalling, add in fast intervals. Mix it up to trick your body into not becoming complacent.
My Top 10 Cardio Choices
- Cycling – road bike, trail bike and RPM classes.
- Walking at a fast pace, including interval training
- Boxing classes and sessions alone with the boxing bag
- Hill intervals on the hill at my front gate
- Fitness Classes
- Cross Trainer, using intervals
- Set up a circuit, alternating strength exercises with cardio
- Rower, using intervals
- Rebounding workout
- Stair climbs
The rebounding workout is my new favourite that I’ve recently rediscovered. In the ’80s, the rebounder, or mini trampoline, was hugely popular, but it went out of fashion in recent years. I came back to it, after coming across rebounder workouts on YouTube. These workouts reminded me of how much I used to love this simple and relatively inexpensive piece of gym equipment.
The workout below is my favourite. This 30 minute cardio workout is quite intense if done intentionally and with enthusiasm. In future, as my body gets used to the workout, and it starts to feel like it’s not challenging me, I will add ankle weights to increase the intensity. There are many rebounding workouts on You Tube.
What’s your favourite form of cardio? I value your comments and love hearing what you have to say. I promise to reply to all comments