With the fast rising trend of weight lifting to get stronger and leaner, where do we stand when it comes to cardio? Our Instagram feeds are flooded with women under crushingly heavy barbells and ripped muscular bodies. The question is, do we need to do cardio? how much cardio should we be doing?
For starters, the heart is a muscle. We make sure to work out various muscles in our legs, arms abs and get that ‘pump on’ in the gym but the heart needs a good pumping too! High Intensity exercise, works your heart hard, therefore growing and strengthening the muscle. You could argue that its the most important muscle to work on.
In an era full of emphasis on aesthetics we must remember that exercising should be for health first and foremost. A healthy body is much more important than a perfectly carved one.
A FEW HEALTH BENEFITS:
Raising your heart rate a couple of times a week can significantly help your circulation, therefore helping all those lovely nutrients your putting into your body circulate more efficiently. A good circulation also means your skin cell turnover can be quicker, making you look glowing and younger.
As cardio increases your heart rate it increases other processes that are happening in your body. Such as metabolism, digestion etc.
BLOOD SUGAR –
Helps to balance your sugar levels by making your muscles utilise glucose.
HELPS REMOVE LACTIC ACID –
So your a bit sore from a heavy workout the day before. Getting your blood pumping around your system means you move that horrendous lactic acid thats stuck and making you stiff.
BUT WHAT IF I DON’T LIKE IT?
Okay so after all that good stuff which you’ve probably heard some before, there’s one problem. Most of us DESPISE cardio. The dripping with sweat state is something most of us would rather avoid. Also that burning sensation in your chest and lungs as your pushed to the absolute limit is not something most of us would voluntarily sign up for. I used to be one of these people before I figured out how to LOVE it. The answer is simple, find a form of cardio that suits YOU. This can range between speedy walking on a cliff top to a sweaty session on the running machine to a brutal boxing class. I personally cannot bear cardio when its monotonous and your doing the same thing for a long period of time, for example, a treadmill (erghhh). Go explore classes around you and find the one thing that gets you motivated, leaves you feeling on a high, and I guarantee you WILL find at least one thing.
I discovered boxing around half a year ago and have to say I’m totally addicted. Your workout is never the same and you leave feeling like an absolute badass. Kobox is a regular spot for me. Spinning is also an all time favourite. However, some spinning classes are completely s**t and some are bloody brilliant. I need the pumping music, the very energetic instructor and the dark and atmospheric room, trust me you will be riding fully in the zone. One 10 is a fantastic spinning class full of the most motivating instructors. Leaves me feeling on the best high and I walk out feeling like superwomen! I highly suggest you check them out.
To conclude, cardio is GREAT and you should add it into your fitness routine, even if its just a little bit. Try out new forms of cardio and find the one that leaves you feeling on a big high!
Love Georgie xxx