Should You Be Doing Cardio?

The popularity of cardio goes up and down. It really just depends on what the latest fitness trend is. During the 80s and 90s and the era of Jane Fonda workouts and Tae Bo, aerobics were in and weightlifting was out. The tables have turned now. Now it’s all about being strong, not skinny. Having bigger arms, better legs, more definition, and a great set of abs is definitely “in.”

We know resistance training is an essential tool for building muscle and improving metabolism. Plus, who wouldn’t mind looking great for summer vacation?

So, is cardio a complete waste of time? Couldn’t you just invest that time into doing more lunges, bench presses, squats, and crunches?

Cardio is not the enemy. Fitness trends will always change and vary in popularity. But it’s important to remember that all types of exercises have their benefits. Just like your nutritional regimen, variety will always be best.

You should have some cardio in your workout regimen. Everyone needs some light, moderate and high intensity cardio during the week. In fact, cardio itself offers quite a few benefits for your body that exceed that which weight training can provide alone.

Like every other muscle in your body, the more you work your heart, the stronger it becomes. Endurance increases with exercises that improve the body’s ability to deliver oxygen to muscles. The more you engage in this type of exercise, the more blood your heart is able to pump per beat and in turn, your heart rate (even at resting) will decrease. This will make both exercise as well as everyday activities much easier.

Studies have shown that the parts of the brain that control thinking and memory have greater volume in people who do regular exercise when compared to those who don’t.

Numerous studies have suggested that increasing physical activity can reduce the risk of multiple chronic diseases and health conditions including obesity, cardiovascular disease, and neurological diseases.

Aerobic exercise or cardio is still king when it comes to driving weight loss. The more we move, the more calories we burn, hence the more potential body fat we can lose.

Remember, the best exercise routine is one that you can adhere to. One of the keys to adherence is to make sure you are having fun and enjoying the exercise you are partaking in. So make sure that your routine is constantly changing and challenging you to improve your fitness level. If you’re someone who only likes weightlifting, try working in some bike riding, brisk walking, or a quick jog a couple of times a week. If you’re someone who runs the same track every day, try hitting some circuit training at the gym or even trying a few body weight exercises in your living room.

Variety is key in exercise selection, and nutrition. With a good amount of variety you might find yourself much more excited about your workouts. The possibilities are endless, so mix it up.