Spoiler Alert: Aerobic Exercise is not just about burning calories
There are a lot of different styles of aerobic exercises out there, but you can generally put them into four different categories: Cardio, Strength, Balance, and Flexibility. The key to overall fitness is to include a little bit of each into your regime to improve your overall wellness.
Many people focus on burning calories during a cardio workout. While it’s true that you will, in fact, produce energy during an aerobic style workout, conditioning your heart may be the real winner in this fitness routine.
Since 1964, the month of February has been set aside to show a little love to our heart health. Often known as the “silent killer,” heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. Studies show that physical activity is a big part of a heart-healthy lifestyle.
What happens during a cardio workout: When you do exercises that put your body in a faster state of motion than being stationary, you begin to work your cardiovascular system. Your heart rate accelerates, and you begin to breathe harder.
Why we need it: Over time, working the cardiovascular system by raising your exertion levels leads to improved health of heart, lungs, and circulatory systems. It can help pump blood more efficiently, strengthen the heart muscle, and lower your resting heart rate. A strong cardiovascular system is linked to better cholesterol numbers and lowered risk for many types of diseases, including cancer, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.
How often do we need it: The frequency of moderate exercise suggested is at least 30 minutes, five days a week, or more vigorous workouts lasting at least 20 minutes three times a week.
Exercises such as running, biking, swimming, dancing, and HIIT classes are all activities that work your cardiovascular system. Because cardio exercises often involve moving the body through several planes of motion, you can also improve other areas of important fitness such as agility & coordination.
Try this: Cardio Blast Tabata with a SMART Medicine Ball
20 SECONDS EACH EXERCISE.
10 SECOND REST IN BETWEEN.
1. Squat Jumps with SMART Medicine Ball
Start with feet just outside of hips holding the medicine ball at your chest. Squat down, touching the medicine ball to the floor, and then jump while simultaneously raising the medicine ball overhead. Repeat.
2. Figure 8 with SMART Medicine Ball
Hop from foot to foot sideways, while making a figure 8 with the medicine ball at your chest level.
3. Floor Sprints on SMART Medicine Ball
Hold your body in a high plank position while both hands are on the medicine ball. Find balance, and then alternate your feet, leaving the ground while your knee raises toward your chest. Find a stride that works for your balance level.
4. High Knee with SMART Medicine Ball
In a standing position, hold the medicine ball above your head, biceps by your ears, while you alternate lifting one foot off the ground, knee going above your belly button. Increase the speed as you improve coordination.
REPEAT 10 times for a 20 minute HIIT workout! Add more exercises to this format for more variety.