Getting plenty of cardio in your workouts is important to keeping your body healthy for both men and women. Men often spend most of their workout pumping weights building up the strength of their muscles. However, what about the most important muscle in the body – the heart muscle? Cardio helps keep our heart strong by pumping blood through our body more efficiently. This also helps us our bodies get more oxygen and nutrients that leads to better health. Cardio also helps us lose weight by burning additional calories and burning fat efficiently.
There are precise formulas to make sure that you are working out at your optimum level and you can get a heart monitor watch that will measure your heart rate and calories burned. You can also use a simpler method by measuring the Rate of Perceived Exhaustion. This is a scale from 1-10 that is based on your ability to speak while working out.
RPE 1-2: Very easy; you can converse with no effort.
RPE 3: Easy; you can converse with almost no effort.
RPE 4: Moderately easy; you can converse comfortably with little effort.
RPE 5: Moderate; conversation requires some effort.
RPE 6: Moderately hard; conversation requires quite a bit of effort.
RPE 7: Difficult; conversation requires a lot of effort.
RPE 8: Very difficult; conversation requires maximum effort.
RPE 9-10: Peak effort; no-talking zone.
Certain medications can also affect your heart rate. It is important that you discuss your exercise routines with your doctor.
Cardio is something a lot of us find difficult to do. Have you ever used one of those video workouts and decided that you had done enough after 10 minutes? When you have not worked out in a while or if you just have difficulty motivating yourself it is important that you find the right cardio workout for you. You will also find it much easier to get that complete workout if you do it with others. I know that a lot of people are embarrassed to workout with others because they are afraid they are too out of shape or are not coordinated. However, 80% of people at the gym have felt that exact same way. The only person judging you is yourself. For your health you need to put your judgments aside and just do it.
Group exercise is a great way to get your cardio workout. The time goes by quicker, you are able to push yourself beyond what you would do at home and you often meet people that later become your friends. Different types of group fitness activities that offer great cardio workouts. Some of these are: walking clubs, running clubs, spinning, aerial fitness, total body workout, zumba, kickboxing, trim and tone (TNT), , high energy athletic training (HEAT), silver sneakers, a variety of dance classes, step aerobics, martial arts and more.
Remember that you should always have balance in your workouts. Be sure to combine your cardio workouts with strength training. It is true that men often do not get enough cardio. However, women often do not get enough strength training. Balance is the key to a beautiful, healthy body. You should also begin any exercise with stretching. Stretching helps prevent injuries and decreases muscle soreness later. Prevent dehydration by drinking plenty of water before, during and after you workout.