How Do I Get My Cardio Done?

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If you’ve committed to increasing your fitness level, that means that you need to add cardio to your exercise mix. But joining a gym and attending classes isn’t always the answer. Cost, location, and class times may not work with your life. So how can you get your cardio done without a lot of expense and working with your own schedule? Here are a few suggestions, with possible pros and cons for each choice.

 

Check out your local community centres. They offer a variety of classes and times, for a set number of weeks. There are three or four  “seasons”, with breaks between seasons. The cost of these programs is moderate. Also look into public swims at city-run pools, adult court sports such as volleyball, basketball or soccer leagues.

Core Exercises- Which ones should I do?

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Bridging

Often overlooked as a "basic" exercise by experienced exercisers, the bridge in its various forms is a powerful tool. This fires up the deep abdominals, and strengthens the hamstrings. Perhaps its most valuable benefit is that it works the gluteus maximus (biggest of the glute muscles) at its end range, where it is usually weaker. A  classic bridge involves lying on your back on the floor, with bent knees, hip width apart. Keeping your body weight on your upper back and shoulders, tighten your glutes and push your hips into the air, tightening the core. Hold for a few seconds, and release. Repeat. Other options include feet on a stability ball, a med ball, or a stability cushion.

A one-legged bridge will have the added bonus of working the gluteus medius, a very busy muscle that sits behind your hipbone and is responsible for externally rotating your hip, and helping to abduct your leg out to the side.

Why You Need to Know About Progressive Overload

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Let's start by talking about the concept of overload. When we add work, or load, to muscles, we ask them to perform at a level above what they normally deal with. This is how we address our goals of a better-looking physique, better endurance, fat loss, better performance, or whatever the particular goals are.

So it's clear that in order to achieve our goals, we need to stress our bodies with resistance and cardiovascular work.  We need to meet this challenge in a way that gets results without injury. We've all encountered the folks who join the gym on January 2nd, and they're gone by the middle of February. Generally, they are driven by their goals, but without any knowledge on how to go about it safely and effectively. They usually throw themselves into the most challenging exercises and schedule they can do, and that's why they can't continue after a few weeks. And it's back to the sofa, with injuries, muscle pain, and the conviction that exercise should be avoided! 

So how do we go about this?