Saturday, November 26, 2011

Importance of Cardio

So I've mention stubborn belly fat before and I'm sure this will not be the last time I talk about it.  It is an issue for me and I would love to blast it all right off.  I believe part of my problem is that I do not have enough cardio in my exercise plan.

You can do all the crunches and squats and planks you want, but when it comes to down to removing the fat, cardio is the way to go.  The exercises work towards muscle tone and strengthening.  Cardio on the other hand is a huge part of melting off that fat.  I think we all know that the recommended 30 minutes of cardio a day could go a long way.

*Don't forget, your heart and lungs will also gain healthy benefits from your cardio training.  Other benefits are better sleep, reduces stress, and a better mental state (all taken from a variety of internet sources, so correct me if I'm wrong!)

My past attempts at exercising I believe have been too cardio-focused, where I was all about staying on the elliptical for an hour, with no weight training/exercises.  I did discover a love for pilates, but because of scheduling issues it has been very hard to make it to the classes.  (My recent solution for this is to order a pilates video from netflix - let me know if you have any recommendations!)  I think this cardio-heavy past, and my desire for defined abs, led me to go a little heavy on the muscle training this time around.

I am now working on balancing my cardio and muscle training.  I am also trying to work on how I will be able to add more gym time every week.  Lastly, I am realizing that I have a lack of motivation to go to the gym on the nights I have free, which is also a part of the cause of my lack of cardio.  I will usually get home between 6 and 6:30, just as dinner is being put on the table, or just after it ends.  This means I'm eating as soon as I get home from work and then I put off going to the gym for a couple of hours.  What I need to do is go to the gym right after work, while I'm still motivated, and then eat afterwards.  With my new way of eating (5 small meals a day) this should actually fit in nicely, and I can also fiddle with the meal times to accommodate this new plan.

Inspiration photo(s):

woman running

Stay motivated and make a schedule that works for you!

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