Cardio is essential to any workout. Some of the benefits include:
- Weight loss
- 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 confidence about how you feel and how you look
- Better sleep
Now cardio consists of running, jogging, swimming or even walking. The location in which you do these types of activities can vary between a gym, park, etc. Two ways that I complete any cardio workout are either on the track or on the treadmill. As a former collegiate runner I’m quite familiar with running sprints, but when it comes to long distance I do not enjoy that… at all. Running for a long period of time non-stop is hard for me when I’m going around a circle more than once. I can handle a 400M, but anything beyond that on the track is too much for me. On the flip-slide I could run on the treadmill for 5 minutes straight without any issues. I really have no explanation for why this is, but it just is.
If you’re wanting to tone your body then the track is the best place to go. Sprinting is excellent cardiovascular exercise, it increases your anaerobic threshold and it burns a great deal of calories in a short time. Your butt will also thank you because sprinting helps shape your glutes, too.
The treadmill offers assistant to those who cannot push themselves on the track. For example, while running you’re more likely to keep going when you have a belt under you whereas on the track it’s just YOU! It ultimately comes down to your preference and where your body is at fitness wise.
Now, when you’re doing cardio your length of exercise should be between 30-45 minutes. Research shows that 5 days of cardiovascular exercise for at least 30 minutes is a good start to losing weight, but it is not the only component of a weight-loss plan. In addition to adding cardio to your “weight-loss plan” you have to be willing to change your diet. I know first-hand that working out without eating cleaner is a recipe for disaster. You won’t see any types of changes in your body if you don’t have an intense workout regime accompanied by a change in the foods you eat.