If you’re looking for a form of exercise that benefits body, mind and mood, then cardio training is the answer. And it isn’t hard to do.
Benefits of cardio exercise
Cardio can lead to a decrease in blood pressure and strengthens your heart, which means less risk of heart disease, but it doesn’t just stop there. This type of exercise helps your body use fat for energy and reduces your appetite, which can lead to steady, and healthy, weight-loss. As if that weren’t enough, cardio exercise also reduces tension, improves your concentration, and releases those feel-good hormones – endorphins – that improve your mood!
Best of all, you don’t have to go out of your way to get 30-60 minutes of cardio exercise every day – you can put on a pair of running shoes, pick up a skipping rope, do a few lengths in a pool or run up a few flights of stairs.
Easy ways to make your heart beat faster
- Walking – this is a good place to start, but we don’t mean a stroll down to the mail-box – this is at least 30 minutes of brisk walking to get you started. The goal is to start running.
- Running – on a treadmill, around the block (non-stop) quite a few times, trail-running or a marathon, any of these are going to get your heart beating faster.
- Cycling – on your machine, around town, across country, or up and down a mountain-trail – cycling is going to make your heart beat faster.
- Swimming – again, not a slow breast-stroke to the side to sip your martini! At least 5 lengths without stopping will speed up your heart-rate.
- Active games like tennis, soccer or basketball – do it with the kids, with work-mates or join a local club! 60 to 90 minutes of running around having fun is a great way to get your heart racing!
If you’re just getting started, make a point of doing your chosen cardio exercise at least 3 times per week, beginning with some stretches and doing it for at least 30 minutes, but aim to increase your time as you become more comfortable. Next thing you know, you’ll be looking forward to getting your heart racing.