Sticking to the new year motivation, I thought I would write about the importance, effectiveness, and available workouts associated with cardiovascular exercise. Cardio has been a top health regime for those looking to loose weight, improve tone, boost stamina, and increase their overall metabolism allowing them to burn fat faster and easier. If you are like me, when I think of cardio, I think of those awkward stair steppers placed in front of a TV where you can’t decide if you are running up a hill, or trying to keep from falling down a set of stairs. With that being said, we are going to cover the benefits of a healthy cardio workout, alternative ways to get your cardio on, and some basic do’s and don’ts to keep in mind when working out.

So why should I worry about my cardio? First you should know that your cardiovascular system is designed to pump oxygen throughout your body. Without an ample supply of oxygen, your muscles would lack the energy and power to function, causing you to be more tired, fatigued and unable to perform day to day activities. By strengthening your cardiovascular network, you are not only making sure that you muscles are getting the oxygen they need, but you are also allowing your body to process and eliminate waste products such as carbon dioxide and water. Combined with more energy, this gives your body the tools it needs to help you burn more calories for a longer period of time, while effectively managing your waste products.

Okay, now I can see why I need to do cardio, but what if I don’t want to awkwardly step my way to heaven on a stair master? There are so many alternatives to cardio workouts that don’t include gym equipment and extreme eye hand coordination. One of the oldest forms of cardio activity is swimming. Swimming gives your body a natural buoyancy that minimizes the stress of working out, while giving your cardio system a strong and effective routine. Another great workout for beginners is taking a stroll. That’s right, you can build up an adequate cardiovascular workout by simply enjoying the company of another and taking a walk. If you are looking for a more robust workout and need a little more excitement in your activity, then why not try mountain biking? With the beautiful backdrop of your favorite trail, you can burn calories, get your heart pumping, and enjoy your day with excitement and entertainment.

Now that you are out on your bike or in the pool, what are some things you need to know about the do’s and don’ts of carido workouts? Well, the first thing to know is that everyone will at some point hit a “plateau”. What most people fail to understand is what to do when they hit that wall. Some experts suggest the best way to shake your routine and get your body back into a responsive state is not to up your current activity, but instead to change up your routine all together. For example, if you started off swimming, and after several months you notice diminished returns on your workout, don’t increase your pool time, instead, change it up and go for a walk, ride a bike, or take a quick jog. By changing up your bodies routine, you can quickly begin seeing positive changes again.

Working out is often times a goal that most of us set, but few of us actually stick to. That is why this article is geared towards giving you a little helpful information on the importance of cardiovascular workouts, while offering a couple ideas of alternative ways to enjoy your time, while still getting a proper workout. This is by no means the end of the list, and there are countless creative ways for you to get out in the world and be more active while enjoying yourself. Take a little time and find the right exercise routine for your personal lifestyle, and see what a difference it can make.