I hate running. Always have- truly I think I always will! But I know that cardio is very important for a healthy lifestyle. Although cardio can be great for weight loss it also gives you stronger heart and lungs, increased bone density, reduced stress, reduced risk of heart disease and some types of cancer, temporary relief from depression and anxiety, more confident in your looks, better sleep, more energy, and you also set a good example. Whew! That’s a lot! Thank goodness cardio isn’t just about running! There are many things that we can do that gets our heart rate going and that is what cardio is all about.
One of the best options for cardio is rowing. The motion of rowing engages your lats, biceps, forearms, deltoids, lower back, glutes, thighs, hamstrings, and calves. Rowing at a medium intensity for one hour can burn between 400-800 calories too! Strength training can also be used as cardio. When doing things like squat jumps, burpees, mountain climbers, or knee jumps you will get your heart rate going and give you more than just muscle! Cycling is another switch from just running and you can actually burn a lot of calories without realizing just how much work you’re doing! My favorite cardio work out is swimming. This truly gives you a full body workout and since you are forced to concentrate on your breathing it is a great workout for your heart and lungs. Swimming laps at a slow pace can burn between 400-650 calories an hour, but the best part is that it’s easy on your joints and it’s a low impact cardio that almost anyone can do!