Fitness Specter 19 – Cardio Talk

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I’ve talked about cardio before, several times actually, and I think it’s time to delve a little bit more into the idea of what cardio is and what you can be doing to do “cardio” all the time. Cardio is more important than actually lifting the weights, you know.

Cardio, in its simplest form, is simply getting the blood pumping at a higher than normal rate. You can do something as leisurely as walking or something as intense as hundreds of burpees. If you sweat during your cardio, then bravo. You don’t NEED to sweat, though. Cardio is just getting your heart rate up a little. The more cardio you do the more fat you’ll burn (as long as you aren’t eating bad calories to make up the difference). Cardio has more to do with weight loss, in the end, than bodybuilding, but bodybuilding needs cardio in order to be effective.

When some people talk about doing cardio, they really mean they’re going for a run. Whether that is for a mile, ten miles, or just a jog around the park, they’re talking about putting on some comfortable clothes and running somewhere. Cardio, though, is more than just running. In fact, if you are only running, then your body will get used to that and stop burning as much fat as you’d like, meaning you should be doing more than just running. There isn’t anything wrong with running, mind you, but at least you’re doing something that is cardio. Just don’t RELY on running as your sole source of cardio.

Running helps build endurance. If you are running more than three miles a day, then you’ve got some serious endurance going on and you’re not burning as much fat. Try throwing some burpees in there instead of going for a run. Don’t know what those are? I had to look this up the first time I heard the term, too, don’t feel bad. THIS is a burpee -> Click Me. Do 20 of those and do you think you’ll not be breaking a sweat? What are you, Superman?

What about biking? Yes, biking gets the blood flowing, too, and my wife prefers we do this for cardio. I, unfortunately, don’t get as much out of biking as I’d like, but I’m willing to bike with her wherever and call it good. I hope to sweat when I bike and she’s not going to go off-roading with me on her bike, so I’m stuck there.

Aerobics? Yoga? Jumping jacks? Yep, all cardio. Have I widened your idea of what you need to be doing to get your blood pumping? When you think cardio, think moving your entire body in some sort of physical activity that isn’t necessarily lifting weights. But there is some lifting that can be done with cardio, too.

There’s a joke: what do you do for exercise? Lift weights. What do you do for cardio? Lift weights faster.

You CAN lift weights faster and get some cardio out of that, but don’t think that you can use that as your only cardio. I’ve done that and you don’t get as much out of the experience. You really do need some actual cardio.

Lift.