Alright so no matter who you talk to I'd be just about everyone has  done some form of cardiovascular conditioning of some sort from group fitness classes, home work outs, the treadmills, ellipticals, etc. And no matter where you go you can almost always see these people either really going for it or leisurely working on their fitness. The thing is so many people quit before they get started, quit because they don't know what to do, or the results just stop coming. And honestly, that sucks! The question then becomes why?

 Cardio training is essential for any fitness regimen and it doesn't have to be the traditional kinds mentioned above either, but we need something that will help us better train our heart, lungs, and blood vessels as well as efficiently burn fat and calories. So again if this is necessary why do the results not always happen?

A few reasons come off the top of my head (these will vary from person to person as far as what your fitness level and how/if/when this happens):
~over training (this is super common in group exercise classes)- the process of pushing your body past the breaking point so to speak and your body cannot recover quickly enough and you end up never shedding any poundage.

~under training- this is categorized by people not pushing hard enough and generally this is categorized by people pushing themselves but not hard enough.

~plateaus- categorized by people who do not make changes in their routines, people who have been doing the same thing for more then 6 weeks and have stopped seeing results. 

How can you avoid this and ensure your work out is effective?

~knowing your heart rate training zones
~using a heart rate monitor to determine where you are in the work out in regards to what zone you need to be in to burn fat. (for MOST people this is zones 1-3 past that often times you get into your anaerobic threshold and stop burning fat and start burning sugars).
~mix up your work outs! 

New ways to add in cardio:
~interval training
~micro bursts of cardio between strength sets
~muscle multi-tasking (using multi-joint exercises)
~try a new machine you haven't used before

Questions for you?
Do you wear a heart rate monitor during your work outs?
How often do you switch up your fitness routines? 

 So here is a confession…I LOVE cardio! The feeling oh “AH” afterwards with all the sweat…amazing! I love that feeling, but of course not everyone feels that way. Obviously the calorie burning and heart health are super important but so is actually enjoying it.

I think for some the monotony of treadmills, elliptical, stationary/spin bikes get boring quickly (I fit in this category). So here are some solutions for you:

~Take a class

~Do it with a friend…even just a couple of days a week some cardio can really improve your cardiovascular system

~Get outside and connect with nature! I don’t know about you guys but for me this is when I get in the zone!

~Find some great tunes! Another thing to get you pumped, distracted, and in no time burning a ton of calories!

For the person trying to build muscle:

~Try adding some circuit training into the mix to elevate your heart rate while still avoiding the “traditional”

To mix it up:

~Try HIIT training ( )

~Try an at home workout like Insanity, TurboFire, or Combat

Cardio is a good option to do 1-5 days a week…even if you do it in a non-traditional way the key is to focus on those heart benefits and get it in!!