Cardio training, what we normally call “cardio,” often gets a bad rap for being boring. But cardio shouldn’t be a chore. What we often forget is that cardiovascular training simply means that we exercise our heart (arguably the most important muscle in our body).
What is important to remember is that to be effective, the heart must reach a high rate and be maintained at this level for a period of time. The amount of time required can vary depending on the type and intensity of activity, but studies show that 10 minutes of aerobic activity is the minimum requirement for cardiovascular gains.
In other words, get your heart pumping!
Here are some ideas other than running:
- Skipping rope
Jumping requires minimal coordination and minimal space! Skipping rope can get your heart rate up quickly and is a great alternative to jogging.
Cycling is a good choice for those looking for low-impact cardio. Whether indoors on a stationary bike or outdoors on a road bike. We are fortunate to have an abundance of bike trails in our area.
- High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) Circuit
HIIT includes short bursts of intense exercise combined with recovery periods. For example, a sequence of 30 seconds of intense activity followed by 40 seconds of rest, repeated continuously for a total of 10 to 30 minutes. HIIT can be useful if you only have a short time to devote to your cardio workout.
Swimming is another great option for low impact activities. Especially with chronic pain or joint inflammation, water is a great solution to keep doing your important cardio workout.
- Any activity that gets your heart pumping!
If you like to dance, hike or play sports, any activity can be called cardio if your heart is beating hard.