Friday, January 24, 2014

Cardio Wars: Intensity vs. Duration

Cardio, Cardio,'s something I love to hate...I'll admit, I love the results...hate getting on the treadmill...and feel ridiculous staying on a machine for distance I don't. While I greatly admire runners, (trust me, my hat's off to you!), it's not for me, for a variety of reasons.I usually do 5k's for charity, or if I have a buddy. Changing up your intensity is vital to gaining results, especially if you want to add lean muscle. This is why I love HIIT (high intensity interval training. Higher intensity can mean a variety of things, for example, running/climbing stairs instead of running on flat grounds, moving at a faster pace, tweaking an exercise if you're circuit training or adding weight to knee lifts, jumping jacks, etc. You get the idea. With that said, you may be wondering how you can gauge how hard you're working if you don't have a heart monitor or fancy techno device gadget. (If you're dr. says you need a hr monitor though, go buy one!) Most people can gauge RPE - rate of perceived exertion as a means of whether or not YOU personally are getting a sufficient cardio workout. (Contrary to popular belief, sweat is not always example of whether or not a particular activity is providing you with a great cardio workout. i.e. swimming.) My favorite type of cardio is taking moves like jumping jacks and hitch kicks and doing them at an RPE of 8 for about 30 seconds, then resting at an RPE of 4 for 15 seconds.
Here are my 5 favorite activities that count as "fun" cardio:
3. Ice skating
5. Soccer.

Oh and here's an RPE chart to help you challenge yourself!
Have a happy, healthy Friday!


  1. Running on a treadmill is definitely not my favorite either. I did it yesterday and didn't run nearly as far as I'd planned, because I was SO BORED. Fun cardio is definitely the way to go!

  2. I love basketball. I do it at least twice a week. Coming from Fitness Friday. Like our page

  3. I've been on the treadmill way too often this winter. Ice and neg temps I have to just say no to running outside.

    Have a great weekend!