I was talking to a group this weekend and someone said they were going to start running to “get more cardio.” Running is great cardio, it’s cheap and somewhat easy, however it isn’t the only form of cardio.
All too often people tell me that they “have to run because they have to do cardio.” That is not now, nor has it ever been true.
The goal is to find something you somewhat enjoy and do that. Do you like to dance? Then do some form of dance cardio. Do you like to ride a bike, swim do obstacle courses, box, walk up a hill or row a boat? You can find a cardio exercise anywhere. All you need is to find something you enjoy that makes it harder to breathe and do that. *
Even if what you are doing is not as good as running, finding something you enjoy and thus can do for a while and not hate every second of it is important. Or else you will eventually give up.
The goal is really consistency for life. If you hate doing this thing day one and two and 765, it’s probably not the best call. Maybe you change it up a bit run one or two days, dance 2 days and box two days. If you can sustain that activity for a longer time, do it.
The goal for cardio is to have really broken sentences when speaking. If you are having trouble talking due to breathing too hard, you're most likely doing yourself some good cardio wise.
Oftentimes we have chosen the wrong cardio for our bodies. Make that heartbeat, make it hard to talk, get breathless, but most importantly find something that you enjoy doing that gets you there, so you’ll do it more.
Dr. Matt Chalmers
*As always check with your personal Dr. before starting any exercise program.