I’m sure you see them all the time when you go to the gym. In fact, you may even be one of them. I’m talking about the weightlifters that go to the gym, walk right past the treadmill, stationary bicycles and cardio room and go straight to bench press and start lifting. That’s right: the never cardio people.
Perhaps, you’re someone who doesn’t even go to the gym at all, and you use the fact that you don’t as an excuse to not do cardio - as if you can’t have one without the other. The fact of the matter is whether you lift weights or don’t lift weights is irrelevant; you should do cardio.
I believe, even if it’s undervalued, everyone can see the blatant and obvious benefits that comes with adding a cardio exercise to your workout regimen or lifestyle. So why do so many people neglect to do cardio? For one, it’s simply a matter of neglect and not understanding the importance of it.
The second reason, and perhaps the more dominant one, is it’s tough. Weightlifting is tough, but in a different way. I’m not denying that getting the sixth rep up on an 85% of your max bench press takes a lot of will, but running an extra half mile after your second wind has come and gone can leave you feeling weak and exhausted for a while after the exercise is over.
It is my goal, however, to help you understand and perhaps motivate you to add a cardio exercise - whatever it may be - into your everyday routine because the benefits that I lay out in this article are tremendous.
Get Tone and Manage Your WeightEveryone dreams of having the perfectly ripped, tone body with six pack abs and a low body fat composition. Even if that isn’t your goal, controlling and maintaining your weight has probably been an issue at some point in your life. Both of these are much more achievable if you practice a good, consistent cardio workout.
There is a term that I’m sure you have probably heard of called “Runner’s Abs.” This is because a constant running routine will significantly help you achieve that dream six pack you have probably always wanted. It even extends farther then running, riding a bike, jumping rope and climbing stairs all require you to heavily utilize your core. Think about this, when was the last time you’ve seen a marathon runner without a solid set up abs; It’s probably never happened. So if you want abs, you have to do cardio.
If having abs doesn’t interest you, I’m sure just having a lower body fat composition probably does. When you go to the gym and only lift weights, sure you are burning a lot of muscle, but you are also leaving a lot of fat. The question you have to ask yourself is: do you want a strong, tone and fit body or do you want a bulky, big for no reason body?
The more intense you’re workouts are, the more cardio you include in your workouts, the more you are going to burn calories. The more you burn calories, the more control you have over maintaining your weight. For obvious reasons, this applies directly for those that are trying to lose weight or prevent gaining weight in the future. But it actually goes both ways. When you are concerned that you are too skinny, you may neglect cardio due to the fear of losing even more weight. Quite simply, you do want to gain weight if you are underweight, but you want to gain good weight - not fat. Cardio helps you to have a more tone body as you gain weight, rather than simply putting on unhealthy pounds.
Improve Your Overall HealthLet’s move on passed the obvious benefits for your outward appearance and let’s look inward. When you do an activity, whether it be running, biking, etc. constantly, your overall health greatly improves.
So how exactly does your overall health greatly improve by adding a consistent mix of cardio into your lifestyle? Well, the one you will notice immediately upon starting a cardio routine is your energy level in other activities will greatly improve, especially when you run in the morning.
When you run in the morning, the first thing you are doing is getting your blood flowing, causing you to feel awake, alive and ready to tackle the day ahead of you. Along with that, you’re getting a high level of oxygen to your brain, which leads to you being mentally sharper throughout the day and less vulnerable to hitting a brick wall around 5:00.
Aside from the direct ways that you will see your health start to improve, you will also be more encouraged eat healthier throughout the day, again, especially if you get up early and exercise in the morning. After you finish your cardio workout, you won’t want to ruin by eating a half dozen donuts for breakfast. Instead, you’d be more willing, not to mention have the energy, to make yourself eggs and toast for breakfast. What we consume, meaning what we eat and drink, is crucial to the health of our bodies, and I guarantee when you start to do cardio, you will naturally begin to make healthier decisions.
If you add it all up, the additional cardio, the healthier decisions when it comes to food, it equal a better way to manage your weight. Being able to manage your weight will leave you feeling confident and in control throughout the entire day.
You Just Feel BetterThe next reason I want to give you on why you should practice cardio on a regular basis is because you’ll just feel better about yourself. Unlike the other reasons, which are pretty undeniable for any sane person, this reason is one you’ll just have to experience to understand exactly what I mean.
When you do cardio, and complete a successful cardio routine, you start to feel accomplished. Sure, you feel accomplished when you complete a weightlifting session, but you’ll feel even more accomplished when you add cardio into the mix. Cardio is hard. Running is hard. Biking is hard, especially when you are fatigued. But it is extremely rewarding. If you don’t believe me, just try it for one day. Go out today, tonight or tomorrow morning and run just one mile. I guarantee you that you’ll feel better. If you own a bike, try biking ten minutes down the road and ten minutes back. I guarantee you that you’ll feel better. The hardest part about cardio is starting. So make decision now and don’t look back.
So how exactly do you feel accomplished? I can sum it up in one word: confidence. When you complete a cardio session, you are more confident in all aspects of life. You feel as if you can accomplish anything because you accomplished your morning cardio workout. It’s one hell of a way to start the day. After you run, shower and eat, you will feel alive and ready to go. Not to mention, you will look confident. You’ll be at your dream weight, have a better core and la much lower body fat composition, and you’ll just simply look again. Again, this is something you’ll have to experience for you to truly understand.
Cardio Exercise You Can DoThe beauty of cardio exercise is that most of them are completely free. If they do have a cost associated with them, it is usually pretty inexpensive. The most obvious way to add cardio is to run. If you have a gym membership that you consistently use, then you can run on the treadmill at the gym. If you don’t, then you can run on the sidewalk next to your house.
If you don’t want to run, then there are other ways to achieve the same thing. Another way to achieve a good cardio workout is to jump rope. Jumping rope can be an excellent cardio activity and can also improve your agility and overall balance.
Biking is another cardio workout option. Of course, if you don’t own a decant bike then you would obviously have to invest in one. But if you are serious about getting into better overall shape, then it is sure to be a solid investment.
Whatever cardio method you choose is not what is important. What is important is that you stay consistent and stay committed to your cardio routine.