It’s easy to gain weight and lose sight of being healthy during winter. The holidays and the cold weather make you want to stay in one place where it’s warm and cozy. Fortunately, there’s a way to maintain your health even this season.
To be healthy, you should do at least 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise three times a week. Cardio exercises increase your heart rate and quicken your breathing, keeping your heart and lungs working to their fullest.
The Benefits of Cardiovascular Exercises
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), aside from improving and maintaining heart health, cardio exercises offer many benefits to the body. It lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease. If you’re pregnant, cardio workouts can also lessen your chance of getting complications.
Cardio exercises improve sleep and memory and help solve cognition problems. If you’re a senior, cardio exercises can make your bones healthy, so you’ll have better balance, which lowers your risk of injury from falls.
The AHA also highlighted the benefits of cardio exercises to your overall health. Cardio exercises can lessen your risk of chronic health conditions and obesity. At the same time, they can help manage anxiety and depression.
Because of all the benefits that cardio exercises provide, they can give you a better sense of overall well-being and quality of life.
However, many people think that cardio exercises are limited to going on a marathon or hopping on an elliptical trainer at the gym. There are other ways to get your heart rate up, such as doing your daily activities. Find out what everyday activities can count as cardio exercises below.
Completing chores in succession for 30 minutes, non-stop, can help you burn calories. Scrubbing floors, wiping down the counters, pushing the vacuum around, and climbing the stairs, can boost your cardio endurance. Moving a heavy mop while lifting furniture can build your strength. You can even develop and improve your flexibility when you’re stretching and bending over to reach dusty corners.
Walking Your Dog
A simple stroll with your pup is one of the best daily activities that can benefit both your mental and physical health. Walking around a block can increase your heart rate if you keep up with at least 100 to 130 steps per minute.
Walking your dog in the morning, on the other hand, can give your mood a boost as you take in the sunshine and fresh air.
In general, though, walking is a good cardio workout. Going on a hike or playing golf are some leisure activities that include a lot of walking. Walking up hills when you’re hiking can work out muscles in your glutes and legs.
Meanwhile, golf can increase heart rate when you’re walking, swinging your club, and carrying your bag. This improves blood flow to your heart, resulting in improved brain stimulation and core balance. If you want to improve your game, but the unpredictable weather gets in the way, an indoor golf simulator will be your best bet. When you’re good at golf, it can encourage you to play more, thus giving you more chances to do cardio.
Going to the grocery for your weekly essentials is a great way to do cardio exercises. Walking from one aisle to another, carrying grocery bags, pushing the shopping cart, and lifting your groceries onto your car’s trunk can make your heart rate go up. These activities can also build your strength.
Gardening and Yard Work
Having a green thumb can benefit your heart, too. Squatting to lift planters and pull weeds, moving dirt, and of course, planting can help you build muscle strength. Mowing the lawn, raking leaves, and shoveling snow can increase your heart rate, too.
Do you remember how physically active you were as a kid? It turns out that those activities you did, while considered child’s play, have benefits for your health. According to Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, bicycling, recreational badminton, tennis doubles, basketball, and soccer can help you burn calories and prevent obesity. The more intense your play is, the more benefit it provides.
The Best Cardio Workout
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to cardio training. Experts agree that activities that keep the heart pumping faster provide the same benefits as gym workouts and playing sports. You simply have to do them regularly.
However, the most crucial factor in sticking with a routine is to find activities that you enjoy. If cleaning is the only daily activity in your life that gets you moving, consider the other ones mentioned above. You can also try different things out, such as dancing, jumping on a trampoline, or playing the hula hoop. Figure out what makes your heart race and what makes you break into a sweat more effectively.