Thursday, March 31, 2011

No Plateau Cardio

Is your number one reason for hating winter because of your inability to get outside and stay outside? Let's face it, the biggest reason that we love summer is because we get to be outside. Whether it be going to the beach, eating on the back deck, taking a walk, going for a swim, inhaling the smell of freshly cut grass, hiking a scenic trail, or taking a long bike ride to the local ice cream stand, all of us love the time that we spend outside in the summer. Winter and early spring force us inside to the comforts of our couches, televisions, and fireplaces. 

Now there's nothing wrong with a little downtime with a good book while sitting by the wood stove, but who wants to do that year round? And what if we want to exercise? Ahhhh...enter the much-hated "dreadmill" (more commonly known as the treadmill, of course). The treadmill has to be one of the most boring pieces of exercise equipment that man has created, yet we tend to think that the one of the only ways to get our cardio work in during the winter is to climb aboard and thump away on it.     

Not anymore. Enter "No Plateau Cardio," a fitness class that I designed (and my lovely girlfriend so properly named) that turns makes indoor cardio actually somewhat fun. Gasp!  What?!  How can indoor cardio be fun?! It can be fun when your muscles, lungs, and brain are constantly adjusting to the variety of exercises that you are being exposed to.

For instance, there are typically five people in the Tuesday night class. Therefore, there is typically a total of 5 stations. Each station has 3 different exercises at it. Each exercise is 20 seconds long, totaling one minute spent at each station. The group will exercise at each station once before a water break, totaling 5 minutes of cardio exercise. So the class is doing a total of 15 exercises in 5 minutes. Oh the variety!

Cardio is obviously important. It's important not only for your body but for your brain as well. There are so many ways to get an effective cardio workout done (just get that heart rate up!) without using a treadmill or an elliptical that your head would spin if I listed them all here. Once spring and summer arrive we'll all be out walking and biking and swimming and running. But until then, try mixing up your cardio routine...your body and brain will love it!

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