How Much Cardio Do We Really Need?
The American Heart Association Recommends the following
For Overall Cardiovascular Health:
At least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity at least 5 days per week for a total of 150 minutes
At least 25 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity at least 3 days per week for a total of 75 minutes; or a combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity
Moderate- to high-intensity muscle-strengthening activity at least 2 days per week for additional health benefits.
For Lowering Blood Pressure and Cholesterol
An average 40 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity aerobic activity 3 or 4 times per week
Who Has Time for That??
But what if you really can’t find that solid 30 minutes a day? Or just don’t want to?
- According to the AHA, 10-15 minute increments are just as beneficial as 30 straight minutes.
- But don’t disregard activities that take less then 10 minutes. Something is better then nothing!
Why Should We??
In my last post, I touched on the release of the feel good chemicals during cardio, and it’s ability to decrease depressive symptoms. Below are a few more of the benefits we receive. Click here to see a full list of cardiovascular exercise health and wellness benefits from the American Heart Association.
- Increased Energy
- Sound Sleep
- Reduced Stress
- Curbed Appetite
- Better Self-Image
- Increased Physical Strength
- Creates Healthy Habits for Life
What To Do? 5 Ideas
Below is a list of activities that will get your heart pumping without taking time from your already busy schedule.
In my last post I gave you one idea: Park Far from the Entrance (safety permitting)!
Here are 5 more ideas:
1.Take the stairs – and use your legs.
- Make sure your whole foot is on the step and put your weight primarily on the heel.
- This gets your legs working most efficiently and is a great glute (booty) toner and strengthener.
2. Clean your own house – I work up a serious sweat when I vacuum, sweep and mop! And I am using my core muscles as I move.
3. Play with the kids – When I go to the park with my son, I bring a book with the intent of letting him play while I get some reading done. That never happens, at least not for long. He gets me up and moving,
- climbing, chasing, sliding; and the added benefit is the nurturing of our relationship.
At home we will
- get on the floor and wrestle (just as I am writing this, my son walks in and asks if I want to fight with him. Time for my afternoon session of cardio!)
Too hot for the park?
- The new indoor trampoline parks are super fun and a major workout!!
4. Take a Walk on your Lunch Break– If it’s too hot outside, like it is in Vegas right now,
- go to the nearest mall,
- or if your building is big enough, take a tour, and take the stairs!!
5. Have a Dance Party
- In your living room with or without kids, put on some music and dance, dance, dance! You will probably feel silly at first, but it may be so much fun you’ll wonder why you never danced in your living room before!
- At the office?? During your 10-15 minute breaks, turn up the music and get out of your chair! It is sure to put a positive spin to your day. (Ask the boss first.)
Tips When Cardioing (Not really a word, but thought it to be fitting)
- Keep proper form or posture – See my 5 Points to Posture Perfection
- Remember to breath!
- Move from your Core, keeping your abs engaged -See About Pilates & Core Strength
- Drink Water-stay hydrated!
- Stretch Afterward -In my next post I will talk about proper stretching and the benefits
Thank You again for taking the time to read this blog! I hope it is helpful! You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Alison B. Marsh
The American Heart Association www.heart.org