Does Cardio have to be Hardio?!

What does cardio mean to you? Sweating away on a treadmill? Slogging it out on a stationary bike? 101 burpees till you want to throw up? Maybe it’s none of these, maybe you swim, chase the children in a game of tag or run after that 10-second-too-early bus every morning. Maybe you love getting your heart pumping and feeling that amazing rush of blood to your muscles and your lungs being pushed to improve their job. Whatever your view of it is, there is no denying that getting your heart rate up (as long as there is no medical reason for you not too) is hugely beneficial to your body and over time, your quality of life.

Setting aside any appearance benefits for the moment, getting a bit breathless increases blood flow to your muscles, strengthens the heart and lungs, and teaches the heart to work more efficiently. It can also reduce stress, alleviate a temporary low mood and anxiety, reduce the risk of heart disease and actually give you more energy for the rest of your day. In fact, simply going outside for 5 minutes first thing in the morning and getting yourself moving, will kick start your natural circadian rhythms, helping you sleep better at the end of the day – win win!

Not sure what to do for 5 minutes? Try these for 1 minute each – heel flicks (jogging on the spot, heels kicking your bottom), mountain climbers (stationary sprinting in a push up position), star jumps, high knees (bringing your knees up to your chest while jogging on the spot) and jump squats (squatting down and jumping up). There we go, job done, now all you have to do is enjoy those benefits!