Cardio Made Simple

by Joe Lawrence | November 25th, 2013 | Cardio

karateWe all look to new ways to get in our cardio workouts. Really, it is the most important type of exercise for us to do. However, we do not always need to seek out some out of the box idea or new craze to get a quality cardio workout. Most of us can just look within our own hobbies or sport to find the answer staring right at us.

Cardio workouts are designed to get the blood pumping and improve our heart’s ability to distribute oxygen throughout the body. Nothing is in any ancient scripture requiring us to do this in any particular way. Running is the number one way people reach towards their cardio goals, but this can be tedious on our joints.

One alternative workout I like to do is to take a sport I like to play and exploit some portion of it. For example, I am a huge fan of martial arts and try to keep up with the things I have learned throughout the years. Doing basic movements and lengthy forms can become quite boring. To break this boredom, I like to take it up a notch. I will go through the motions of a form at a higher pace and keep moving. In fact, I like to warm up by doing the 20 plus forms I have learned at a cardio pace and by sacrificing technique to keep the blood pumping.

Or, I sometime will work on just hand and arm techniques by going through the motions at a pace that gets my heart beating. A good measure for a cardio pace is one that makes it hard for you to speak in sentences. Once you build up to this pace keep it going for 20 minutes or more.

Not all of us are martial artists, so look to whatever sport you prefer to find hidden workouts. For example, in basketball I like to shoot around and only allow the ball to bounce once after the shot and shooting as soon as I can set my feet for the shot. My accuracy goes way down as I rush the shot and this makes the ball go every which way and that creates one heck of a chase. I compete against myself with how many times I can rebound the ball before it bounces more than once.

Look at your favorite sport and think of something you can do to get the heart pumping. I have found that doing this in areas normally requiring great technique is the best. Whatever you do…keep the blood pumping!

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All health and fitness information is provided for educational purposes. Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise regimen.