What counts as cardio?
Most people know that cardio is good for them but they don't always know what counts as cardio. If you're a seasoned runner or cyclist, you are most likely doing enough cardio (maybe even too much but more about that in another blog). But what about the rest of us?
Cardio is about getting the heart rate up which helps to strengthen the heart. It reduces the risk of getting a number of diseases, from coronary heart disease, some cancers and osteoporosis to depression. It enhances our sleep, burns calories and lowers stress. In short, it makes us have more energy and feel a lot better, on the inside and out.
Many bodyweight exercises actually count as cardio: from burpees, lunges, hamstring curls, mountain climbers, squats and star jumps to dancing and walking. Some cardio requires minimal equipment such as skipping or mopping the floor. If you're able to dial in to an online class, something like aerobics or Boxercise are great for getting your sweat on.
I am always on the look-out for fun, low-impact cardio and re-discovered rollerblading during the first lockdown and highly recommend it. Easier on the body than running but harder than cycling, plus you get a core workout too.
At this time of the year where you might normally be prepping your body to go skiing, you can replicate the indoor ski equipment with a pair of light dumbbells or some resistance bands to pull on as you squat down (hence the photo, it’s not perfect but it does the job 😉). Throw in a few squat jumps or pistol squats and you will be getting both your quads and heart ready for some future action!
For your average person, a minimum of 150 minutes of cardio per week is recommended. You can split this up however you wish. It’s possible to do lighter forms of cardio every day but for the high-intensity kind, build in rest days.
What is your favourite cardio?