By Pallavi Sharma
After having worked out for three years now, I take pride in calling myself a decently fit person by average standards. But this smug and confidence of mine came crashing down on the studio floor when I attended a group fitness class called “The Mixx” at LifeTime, a popular health club in the area. It was a non-stop hour of cardiovascular workout! Everything from aerobics to kickboxing to plyometrics and what have you. I would like to describe the class as being totally, “kickass” (a popular term used these days for challenge and fun:) ). Eventhough it was insanely tiring, it was thoroughly exhilarating at the same time.
So why do cardiovascular exercises seem so important? Well from my first hand experience, I know that when I combined my yoga sculpt classes with running and swimming on the side, I saw myself losing inches around my waist n arm, and surprisingly at the same time lost pounds too, which was perfect! This happened simply because the aim of cardiovascular exercises is to raise your heart rate to 60 to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate (basically fastest it could possibly beat). Now the trick is it to get it high enough so that you can talk but not be able to make long conversations. This is the point where your body starts to burn the maximum amount of fat and you feel victorious to see your weight go down in numbers.
Cardio workouts help tremendously to strengthen the heart and increase bone mass. Now its especially important for women to focus on strong bones as we are quite prone to osteoporosis after menopause. It also has a major “feel good” factor about it due to increased creation of endorphins and similar hormones. So if you see yourself getting crazily hooked to it, dont be surprised! 🙂 Some real good examples of cardiovascular activities are: running, swimming, kickboxing, aerobics, step aerobics, jumping rope and so on and so forth.
So if you want to start seeing results, make it a point to have atleast 3 to 4 (5 or 6 being advance) sessions of cardio work every week for about 40 to 60 minutes each. If you seriously want those extra pounds of fat deposit to start vanishing, with persistence being key, keep your cardio exercises continued. As I am a strong supporter of eating healthy and eating right, starving or those fad crash diets will never help you get anywhere. You may lose a couple pounds here and there, but you will gain that back up in a jiffy as that’s not a lifestyle you can adapt for a long duration of time. So pick and choose what you like to eat, and keep things healthy.
Your body is your temple, your vehicle or to be specific, your car which you need to fuel and maintain. Take care of your body, it will take care of you!