Pretty much any activity that gets your blood pumping is cardiovascular. When your heart rate rises, muscle cells break down sugar and fat for fuel, burning calories. Clearly there are a ton of ways to do this, but exercise physiologists lump cardio into three buckets -- long, slow distance (LSD), medium hard (tempo) and high-intensity interval training (HIIT).
Many people do not belong to a fitness club or attend regular workout classes. They opt for the simplicity of working out at home. This can save time traveling to and from the gym as well as money on fuel costs.
Of course, the real conundrum in making this decision -- and it's a tricky one! -- is that everyone is inherently biased. No one gets certified by more than one of these organizations, so it's virtually impossible to compare each experience.
I'm kinda over the same point-A-to-point-B road races. And plain pavement running in this weather? Please. So, I took a look around, and, shockingly, there are almost more unique, kooky, wait-I-have-to-sign-up-for-that fitness races in the winter than the tolerable-season months!
Being in shape is not just about looking good at the beach or being able to lift the heaviest weights, but having a baseline of strength, muscular endurance, cardiovascular capacity and flexibility so you can lead a fuller, healthier life.
It's one thing to find a great love and mouth off about it. It's another entirely to be trained to do so. So I'm embarking on the "Let's make it official!" leg of this passion: I'm becoming a certified personal trainer. Which means in a few months, I'll be mouthing off more than ever.
To stay strong for all the show-stopping flips and balancing acts she does on ice, Gracie Gold focuses on her core in the gym. Her favorite do-anywhere move? Core rotations with a resistance band, which target her obliques.
One staple of Clark's workout routine is Hamstring Swissball Curls, which build glutes, quad and core stability while boosting balance. Working these body parts helps her keep control of the board and manage those icy bumps.
As top notch athletes give it their all and compete for the chance of a lifetime, it's practically impossible not to be motivated as we cheer them on. So channel that feeling and go for the gold with these Olympian-inspired workout moves that will sculpt your legs, abs, arms and shoulders.
One of the most amazing transformations for me has been the change in my courage. I am not afraid of people looking at my body, nor of what the scale says, nor -- most importantly -- of trying new things. For the first time in my life I feel like I'll try anything at least once.
Everyone must stretch throughout the day, every day, and not simply rely on the twice a week yoga class or 10-minute post exercise stretch to do the job. Those will not help you at all.
While losing body fat and reshaping your body is challenging, feeding your mind positive thoughts can make the challenge much more manageable.
Find a coach and learn to deadlift. You may have no interest in pulling 1,000 pounds, but smart people know that stronger is better, and the deadlift is very good at making you stronger the right way.
Nothing's a time kill like holiday shopping. But that's no reason why you can't fit in exercise. If you don't have time for a run or spin class, lace up your running shoes anyway, and park far from a store entrance. Add a half hour to your shopping excursion and get your walk on.
During this seven-year period of time I've become quite familiar with the system and the people who developed it, I've watched it change significantly over these years, and I've come to hold several opinions regarding CrossFit. Some of them I will share with you here.
But by the end of the class, I was amazed at what my heart rate monitor was telling me -- especially since I felt I had spent a lot of time just listening to the rules of the next challenge or cheering my teammates on.
During an hour-long practice, I see a room full of people drop their outer facades and fall into the present moment. I see faces soften. I see shoulders relax. I see defenses fall away. It is hard to accurately describe what that looks like, but it is one of the most beautiful things in the world.
Doing the Dream Body series made me realize that I rely on my workouts as a much-needed break from my life, and doing jumping jacks a few feet away from my dirty kitchen was ultimately too stressful, not a stress-reliever.
It's tempting to settle into living room DVD hibernation mode, no matter how much I remind myself about the benefits of exercising outside.
Certain positions and rolls were incredibly uncomfortable in the best way: Sinking my weight into the pressure of a small black ball firmly placed beneath my quad muscles ignited the kind of release I'd expect from a deep-tissue massage.