Cardio is the ability of the heart, blood cells and lungs to supply oxygen-rich blood to the working muscle tissues and the ability of the muscles to use oxygen to produce energy for movement.
Some things to consider when beginning cardio is:
- Choose an activity you enjoy doing. Walking, cycling, swimming, running, aerobics, rowing, stair climbing, dancing, etc. Keep in mind that any activity may feel difficult at first, so don’t rule something out just because it’s hard the first time. It always gets easier.
- Set up a time for it that will be successful. If your a busy mom, maybe getting up before the kids do is a way to set up cardio for success.
- Start easy. Any Cardio is better than no cardio. 20-25 minutes a day is idea but 5-10 min is better than no minutes. Constantly keep adding minutes to your daily routine.
- Increase pace and intensity. Keep adding on to your time and increase intensity. Increase the incline on a treadmill or increase your speed. Add sprints or intervals to your cardio.
- Make sure you warm up and cool down after your session. Whatever that cardio consists of. A 2 minute walk before a jog and a 5 min cool down after helps your body warm up and cool down before it works harder or stops.
- You don’t need to earn that gold metal that first session. Don’t push yourself so hard that you’re not able to walk the next two days. That’s not productive. Slowly increase your minutes and intensity.
- Don’t be afraid to change up your choice of cardio 4-6 weeks into a healthy routine. Skip rope or jump on a trampoline. Ride a bike or swim. All are great forms of cardio.
Heart Rate Monitors are a great way of monitoring your cardio sessions and making sure your intensity stays regular. You can get a good one off Amazon for $30. While doing cardio make sure that your exertion is about a 5-6 on a 1-10 scale. You don’t want it too easy, but you don’t want to be dying after either. If you can talk during your cardio session, chances are you could push harder.