Mindful Cardio

via Stac Miller – AVAC AbsoluteFIT

Mindful Cardio

Alright, it’s time to get into the nitty gritty, and by that I mean Cardio. We all seem to dread the word, and working out seems to be way easier when cardio isn’t involved. I have to tell you though, incorporating cardio into your training helps you get results, and that’s what we’re all about! So, let’s talk a little bit about what cardio is, and what it can do for you.

Exercising with moderate to high intensity will be the most beneficial cardiovascular workout. There are a lot of different types of cardio, but whichever type you choose to do, the American Heart Association provides two great ways to measure your exercise intensity:

  1. Identify resting heart rate – This is best done right after you wake up from a good night’s sleep and are still lying in bed. The average resting heart rate is 60-80 beats per minute. Those who are fit will have a lower resting heart rate.
  2. Calculate target heart rate – you can find the high and low numbers of your target range using the following calculations:
    • Low end = 220 – Age – resting heart rate X .50 + resting heart rate
    • High end = 220 – Age – resting heart rate X .85 + resting heart rate

Easy, right? If the scientific methods listed above are a bit too rigid for you, another option is to measure intensity by how you feel. “Studies show that perceived exertion correlates well with heart rate,” so if you’re at a moderate intensity you may be breathing quickly but not out of breath, lightly sweating, and able to talk but not belt out your favorite song. A high intensity work out would be deep, rapid breathing, sweating after only a few minutes of exertion, and having trouble talking without stopping to catch your breath. I like to judge this on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 being my everyday breathing and talking abilities, 5 being able to talk and breath pretty comfortably, 8 being a bit difficult to talk and breathing harder, and 10 being panting like a dog. If I tell myself to run at a pace of 8, I can usually spit out a few words about how much my legs burn.

Now, there’s no need to start out a cardio workout or exercise program at a 10. Actually, you probably shouldn’t. If you start at a more moderate intensity, like a 6 or 7, you can note your progress by trying to maintain a higher intensity throughout your workouts.

Don’t forget, cardio, and working out as a whole, is not a one and done deal. To have mindful cardio incorporated into your healthy lifestyle you probably want to get in at least 150 minutes per week. This could include “brisk walking, swimming or mowing the lawn,” according to the Mayo Clinic. The Mayo Clinic also states that you could exchange that 150 minutes of moderate activity for 75 minutes per week of vigorous activity, “such as running or aerobic dancing.” You could always do a combination of these activities, and spread the cardio love throughout your week.

To get results you want keep up with our healthy habits. And, remember to always practice mindful cardio!

Resources:
American Heart Association
Mayo Clinic

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