When it comes to getting fit and staying fit, there are so many new ideas about what type of exercise works and doesn’t work. However, you can’t beat getting stuck into a good quality cardio workout and getting your heart pumping. In fact, high intensity interval training (HIIT) which takes aerobic training to the next level with intense bursts of cardio, is the very latest in training styles to really gain popularity. HIIT hit the number one spot in a recent ACSM survey on fitness trends in 2014.
You don’t need to be an exercise expert to know that being active is good for your health. However, still there are people who see working out as a chore and believe they are keeping fit with a gentle stretch rather than a faster training session. If your mind and body are a little slow to catch onto the benefits of aerobic power, then it is time to crank up the cardio and look at what its benefits are:
Makes you feel ‘alive’: There’s something about really kicking into cardio exercises that makes you feel like a real powerhouse of strength and endurance. As you start to perspire and your skin glistens, there’s a feeling of satisfaction in pushing your body and seeing what an amazing machine it is.
Gives you bags of energy: What do you notice about people who workout a lot? Do they have the air of the indolent and sleepy eyed? Hardly. Just as when you fill the tank, your car drives better, your body is given an injection of energy from a good exercise session. Oxygen and nutrients breathe life into your body, creating a more efficient cardiovascular system.
Leaner but not meaner: Cardio does what exercise does best and that’s burn up fat. As muscle mass is improved this accelerates the cardio burn as does the fact that high-energy activities such as HIIT are eating up all the calories too. With muscles feeling more toned your body will look leaner anyway, regardless of any weight loss. So when the excess baggage is no longer stowed away, your physique looks more defined.
Leaner you might be, but certainly not meaner. Have you ever seen anyone leave a workout looking totally down-in-the-mouth? Probably not. Cardio not only gets your circulation going and the oxygen flowing but stimulates the release of ‘happy hormones’. There’s nothing as mood-enhancing as a big boost of neurotransmitter endorphins to lift your spirits and brighten the day.
Speed up slows you down: If you don’t like the thought of putting in so much effort and energy then take a look at how many valuable resources you pour into anxious thought processes and your stress levels. You can feel drained from a busy day where you’ve done little more than sit in a chair in front of a screen. By upping the energy output with some engaging cardio your body ultimately relaxes and your stress levels simmer down. Not only does exercise often give you the head-space to let the stresses of the day disappear but concentrations of the chemical norepinephrine are increased which plays a part in the brain’s reaction to stress.
Activates your motivation mojo: A slow walk may be pleasant and perhaps even enlightening, but working a sweat up gives you a great sense of achievement and satisfaction. Cardio physically engages the body on every level and this can motivate you to carry on and strive further, not just when it comes to exercise and fitness but the rest of your life too.
Get in touch and crank up your cardio with us.