This is a post by fashion and fitness blogger Jodi-Kay Edwards. Follow her on PumpUp @jodikayedwards and on her blog, lifestylefinesse.com.
Cardiovascular exercise is often overlooked when it comes to figuring out what is best for our exercise and fitness regime. Today I want to talk about a few beliefs related to aerobic fitness and take some time to give some thought as to why these may actually be myths.
Aerobic fitness is not important for everyone.
False: Aerobic fitness is not just about how fast and far you can run, or how easily you can make it through a kickboxing class without sucking out all of the air in the room. Everyone needs to have the ability to have an efficient oxygen intake so their lungs are accustomed to different levels of exercise. Blood also needs to flow to the working muscles so carbohydrates and fats can produce energy. Aerobic fitness actually plays a critical effect on the quality of your life.
Aerobic training only benefits the heart and lungs not muscles.
False: Your muscles are actually the primary target of aerobic training. As I mentioned above aerobic training increases the muscles ability to use fat as an energy source.
The best aerobic exercise is running.
False: The best exercise is always one that you enjoy. There are many alternatives when it comes to aerobic fitness. In fact running 1 mile and walking 1 mile burns about the same amount of calories, think about that the next time you get discouraged! Swimming, stair climbing, kickboxing and Zumba, wow there are many alternatives to running! One mans trash is another mans treasure, just because Betty Lou enjoys running 5 miles on the treadmill, doesn’t mean your 45 minutes of cardio kickboxing is doing nothing for your body and fitness goals.
I don’t own a treadmill so I can’t, I just can’t even.
It always amazes me how quickly we tend to forget that there is prime real estate surrounding us at all times. If you don’t like others to see you while you are working out, find a DVD for indoors or tune into one of the many free workout programs on YouTube. If your neighborhood isn’t exactly your favorite place to run around find a trail or drive to a different location.
I don’t have time.
What suits your busy lifestyle better? 20-30 minutes a day or being dead 24/7? Not saying that if you don’t do aerobic activity you will die, but making excuses is silly. There is always time to invest in your health. You invested time for an education, for that job search, for that perfect guy or girl, hey you made time to binge watch Netflix for a few hours (guilty) make some time to say hey body, you’re amazing, let me take you for a walk.
Aerobic fitness is achieved by raising your heart rate.
False: Aerobic fitness is achieved when your metabolic rate is elevated and the rate in which your muscles start to consume oxygen are sustained. A faster beating heart rate is only the external effect of oxygen consumption. Sustaining your metabolism is the actual fitness goal, the heart rate is only a byproduct of this process.
I’m too old, too fat, too lazy.
You are never too old, you are never too overweight, out of shape, and never too lazy to start. It all starts with a positive mindset and a can do attitude. While the too lazy part gets a lot of us to throw in the towel early, the benefits of aerobic fitness doesn’t discriminate no matter how sedentary of a lifestyle you lead. An 80 year old can see a 10% increase in their aerobic fitness level from just a few weeks of regular exercise. Slow and steady wins the race. It is better to start out slow than to burn yourself out too quickly.
Health and fitness work together as a package. Cardio, a little bit of weights and of course a proper diet is key when trying to reach those fitness goals! If you worked out this weekend I’m proud of you, pat yourself on the back and keep up the good work! It doesn’t matter if your fitness journey is about shedding a few extra pounds, training for a sport, trying to fit into your favorite jeans or just wanting a healthier lifestyle, take some time to reflect on how far you have come and even if it was just grabbing a pen and paper and writing down a few goals. Don’t give up on yourself! xx