Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Working Up to Loving Cardio

If you hate cardio, you may not think it's possible to ever learn to enjoy it.  But it is.  You can work up to it (no fun to hear the word "work" in that sentence, huh?)

I've always loved stretching.  That's probably the easiest form of exercise I can think of.  Not true for everybody, I've learned.  My husband, who is MUCH less flexible than I am doesn't enjoy it at all. I imagine he could work up to it, too, if he'd just take it slowly.  Hopefully, he will because it feels wonderful and has so many health benefits as you get older.

I, on the other hand, have not enjoyed cardio for most of my life.  My best friend growing up was on the track team and loved running long distance and was super fast at sprints.  I got winded pretty easily and didn't enjoy it.  I'd try to like running, but never went very far without hating it and giving up.

Then one day in college while I was giving running another try (I needed to lose weight!), I got lost running and it was getting dark.  I kept running instead of stopping to walk, as usual, and ended up running 6 miles.  I was amazed that I could do it!  I continued on for a few years after that, always looking forward to my run right after classes were over.

Since then, I've found that I love cardio and look forward to the workouts IF I'm on top of doing at least three 40-60 minute cardio workouts a week.  If I fall under that (or especially if I stop doing my cardio all together), I end up back in drudge mode because I just don't have the stamina or strength for it.  

So don't give up if you think you're just not a runner or a cardio junkie.  You can be if you want to be AND if you work at it.  Start with 20-30 minutes without stopping and yes, work your way up to longer sessions.  The energy you'll get and the fat loss that will follow are well worth the effort!

(Photos courtesy of Lululemon  -- LOVE their fitness wear!)

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