When life gets overwhelming, it’s easy to make excuses for skipping out on the gym.
You don’t have time to work out, or you’re just too tired. However, most of us can afford to steal a half-hour away from Facebook or our favorite TV show to exercise. It’s a matter of prioritizing, and make no mistake, regular cardiovascular exercise should be on the front burner of your to-do-list.
Here are four great reminders of why you should always make time for cardio in your daily routine:
Instant Fat Burner – If weight-loss is your goal, don’t focus on strength training (not just yet, anyway). Cardio is any type of rhythmic, continuous movement that utilizes the longest limbs of the body. Running, jogging, cycling, swimming, elliptical training, rowing, and step aerobics are all good examples. Get the biggest bang for your calorie-burning buck by focusing on sustained aerobic activity. Best-selling writer Tosca Reno says, “When I first began working out, I focused mainly on cardiovascular exercise. This helped me shed the initial pounds, which gave me the confidence to move to other areas of the gym.” Once you start to shed the fat, incorporate strength and toning into your workout.
Detoxify – Whether it’s from pollution in the air, or the booze ingested by the weekend warrior, our bodies are constantly being subjected to toxins. Despite the so-called lack of scientific evidence, many experts believe that aerobic exercise is a quick and simple way to help your body rid itself of these aging agents. In an article featured on NBC news online, Jeffrey Rossman, Ph.D. recommends a consistent routine of cardiovascular exercise to detoxify the body. He cites integrative physician and detoxification expert Tereza Hubkova, MD, for her advice, “Engage in regular vigorous exercise. Increased respiration, circulation, and perspiration all support healthy detoxification.” Aside from what the scientists think, I know how much better I feel and look when I workout regularly. So don’t waste time, use common sense; Sweat it out!
Chill Out – Regular exercise has been linked to reduced anxiety and stress, and improved quality of life. In Fit and Fabulous After 40, Denise Austin cites a medical report which “confirms what dedicated exercisers like me have known for years: Working out can help reduce the physical effects of daily stress… it will release mood boosting hormones called endorphins that help chase away your worries.” Any kind of exercise is good exercise, but there’s no substitution for the awesome high you feel after annihilating a sweat-dripping, rhythmic cardio session.
Maintain Your Youth – Engaging in regular cardiovascular exercise will definitely improve your overall health, and slow down the aging process. Renowned fitness expert Kathy Smith says, “While heart conditioning is probably the most important benefit of aerobic exercise, the lungs, arteries, and veins also get stronger as oxygen is delivered in greater volume to every part of your body. And as they all get stronger, they, too, get more efficient, so that you continue to reap the benefits even when you’re not exercising.” According to Denise Austin, regular aerobic activity aids digestion, alleviates symptoms of menopause, and prevents loss of bone density (Fit and Fabulous After 40).
So, if you’re wondering what to do the next time you go to the gym, here’s my suggestion: CARDIO! Have fun, get it done, and reap the rewards on and off the treadmill.
Wishing you health and happiness,
Holly Lowe Jones is a media professional, fitness expert, and ISSA-certified personal trainer. A member of the National Association for Health and Fitness, Jones is also a seasoned triathlete who competes in her spare time.
For more information, please visit her website www.hollylowejones.com.
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