For most people cardiovascular workouts pose a love/hate relationship. Cardio is more than just the calorie burner; it is essential for heart health. Some people do it for vanity, but at the end of the day, cardio strengthens the heart “pump” and allows individuals to live longer because it increases the efficiency of the body. It also has many other bonus benefits that are DEFINITELY worth busting it on the running trails for.

Cardio…

  • Improves mood. Endorphins anyone?
  • Clears the mind. Just say ZEN.
  • Gives individuals self-esteem and a feeling of being productive
  • Strengthens a very important organ in the body… the HEART
  • Improves muscle tone
  • Increases cardiovascular endurance… Run faster, longer, WITHOUT getting tired
  • Increases energy levels
  • Decreases anxiety and stress (VERY important during the holidays)
  • Gives a sense of appreciation for the body and health ( BODY CONFIDENCE!)

Cardio does wonders for the mind and body. So remember to get the recommended amounts of cardio during the busy holiday season. This way you can feel better and more energized when enjoying time with friends and family. The American Heart Association and the American College of Sports Medicine recommendations for healthy adults under the age of 65:

  • Moderate cardio 30 min, 5 days a week
  • OR
  • Vigorous cardio 20 min, 3 days a week

If over 65 years of age or an adult with a chronic condition ages 50-64 the ACSM and AHA recommend the same plan for cardio. Just be careful and LISTEN to the body.

Pick one or the other and stick with it! Remember that running isn’t the only option! Cardio can be dancing around in the living room, taking a Zumba class, whatever gets the heart rate up!

*Moderate intensity = can still talk while performing the exercise

*Vigorous intensity = can’t carry on a conversation when holding this intensity during exercise

For more info on getting physically active go HERE (American College of Sports Medicine)

Get Fit. Get Life.

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