Fitness & Nutrition

What Cardio is Right for You?

October 17, 2022

Whether or not you have a workout routine heading into fall, getting a variety of movement weekly is a key to good health and wellness. Even if you enjoy weightlifting or Pilates, getting your heart rate up with cardio is a necessary activity to add into the mix. 

The best thing about cardio is the ability to make it your own. There are so many paths to take to exercise your heart and lungs, but all roads lead to better health, more energy, and better stamina. You will boost your immune system and decrease your chances of developing a whole host of chronic conditions as well.

What’s your favorite type of cardio?

Do you prefer to get your groove on in a dance class? What about hitting the pavement for a nice jog? Or maybe a swim is more your style? Regardless of which activity you choose, it’s important that you enjoy what you are doing so that you are more likely to stick to it. If you are someone who benefits from a strict routine, choosing one or two varieties of cardio is a great option. However, if you like to partake in a wide variety of exercise options, it may be more beneficial to you to just label certain days as “cardio” days or “strength training” days, and leave the rest up to how you feel at the moment.

Check out these different types of cardio to fall in love with fitness this fall!

HIIT – High intensity interval training (commonly known as HIIT) is strength training at its best. When you hear the term “strength training,” cardio may not immediately come to mind. However, the best part about this short but intense workout is that it combines muscle toning and building with a powerful dose of cardio exercise. You can customize HIIT workouts to include whatever movements you would like. If you need some inspiration, head to one of the HIIT classes at the Hancock Wellness Centers, where trained instructors can guide you in getting a full body workout using this effective method.

Running – This is an obvious one, right? Whether you run the occasional mile or are a trained marathoner, running can benefit your entire cardiovascular system. If you enjoy pounding the pavement to get your daily dose of cardio, though, make sure you are wearing proper shoes and breathable clothing to keep you comfortable and injury free.

Cycling – Jumping on your bicycle for a ride outdoors or hitting up one of the cycling classes at your local wellness center can increase your heart rate while keeping it easy on your joints. Not only that, but the whole family can come along for the ride!

Swimming – This is cardio mixed with strength training, thanks to the resistance of water. Swimming is a great option because it can be a lifelong exercise routine, especially since it is easy on the joints and a cinch to modify. If you don’t want to just swim laps, you can also attend a variety of aquatics classes such as yoga (yes we said yoga!), Tabata and more through the Hancock Wellness Centers. 

Walking – Like swimming, walking is safe for almost anyone of any age. It’s also the most accessible exercise on this list. All you need is a pair of shoes, and you’re good to go. If you enjoy brisk daily walks with a friend (furry or otherwise) then you;re getting your dose of cardio.

All these exercises are just a jumping-off point for the wide variety of cardio options available to you. Most physicians recommend getting about 30 minutes of moderate intensity cardio five times a week to reap maximum health benefits. Remember, as with everything, moderation is key. Thread in some rest, stretching, and even weightlifting or more strength training to round out your fall fitness routine.

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