|Playing Your Cardio Right
BodybuildingPro.com Training Database Cardio Articles Playing Your Cardio Right
Tips To Maintaining A Sound Cardiovascular
To many, that half-hour a day
is the most enjoyable, most therapeutic part of your agenda. To
others, it’s as dreadful as taking out the trash and doing
the dishes. Yet, like your household chores, you know it’s
something you simply must do.
Cardiovascular activity, referred to simply as
“cardio,” should be as much a part of your
body-sculpting endeavors as pulling and pushing those metal plates.
As often as you’re pumping the iron, you should also be
pumping your heart.
Unfortunately, Americans today are more glued to the screen,
whether it be the television, Nintendo, or yes, even the Internet.
It has been concluded that the majority of Americans have
insufficient cardiovascular activity in their daily schedules, thus
leading to a cartload of various health problems.
The 30 minutes per day that you should reserve for cardio work
should always entail exercises that are enjoyable, manageable, and
of course, safe.
So if you’re ready to get sweaty, here are a few wise
RUNNING (Outdoors): Believe it or not, this exercise reminds me a
lot of Howard Stern. Like the infamous DJ, you either love it or
hate it. Beyond question, however, is the simple fact that running
is a fantastic way to whip you into shape and provide full
cardiovascular fitness. Running is a full-body exercise in which
only you channel the motion, resistance, and weight distribution.
There are no wheels or cycles doing any of the work for you.
Sometimes, running can actually be too rigorous an exercise and for
bodybuilders it’s been known to foil some of that hard-earned
muscle mass. Also, running can take a considerable toll on your
joints, particularly your knees and ankles as well as your abused
TREADMILL: This may seem like the equivalent to a run through the
park or the neighborhood, and in a lot of ways, it is. Running is
the same vigorous exercise whether done outdoors or in. Yet, the
treadmill, because of its smooth rubbery conveyor belt is a lot
more merciful on your joints. It doesn’t wear and tear your
body the way running on the tarred street will. There is no
However, the treadmill does not offer the natural variations such
as hills and curves which provides for a more rigorous workout on
the streets. Also, the fresh air that can fill and expand your
lungs is not a benefit from an indoor facility.
STAIRMASTER & STEPPERS: Some people refer to these devices
simply as “sweat machines.” close by. Stairmasters,
whether they’re the rotating kind or the step versions, are
both excellent methods of losing weight and shedding body fat.
Yet, many fitness experts have concluded that stairs work may be
insufficient in your quest to get in shape. For one, the exercise
relies solely on lower body movement and tends to abandon the upper
torso. Too often, people rest their arms on the bars at their
sides, taking some of the resistance (your body weight) out of your
STATIONARY BIKES: When you ride the stationary bike, it feels like
you aren’t going anywhere. That’s because you’re
not. But whether or not you’re making strides with your
cardiovascular health is another matter. While these bikes are
beneficial in raising the heart level, they also provide far less
strain on the knees and back than other methods of cardio and are
excellent for toning up the quadriceps.
The workout you’ll get from a stationary bike, however, is of
the low-impact variety and like the scenery in front of you, it may
feel like you’re not going anywhere, especially if
you’ve set high fitness goals for yourself.
SWIMMING: Go on and make a splash. This is an excellent
cardiovascular activity in that it is a total body exercise and
hits the various muscles in the body. The water provides an
excellent form of resistance that will get your heart pumping in no
time. The benefits for the heart and lungs are endless.
As for the down side? There’s only one.
Not every fitness club has a swimming pool.
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