So you think you can slack off on your cardio exercises when you hit your 30s or even 60s?
Think about what you’ll miss if you opt to laze around rather than exercise to get your heart rate up and deliver oxygen to your muscles:
- improved circulation
- increased bone density (osteoporosis anyone?)
- improved sleep
- lesser anxiety, and
- higher energy levels as long as done in moderation.
Jennipher Walters, a certified personal trainer and fitness instructor, says that an activity can be considered a cardio exercise if it elevates your heart rate into an “aerobic zone”, which is 55 percent to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate. The activity should also last for at least 10 minutes per session.
You can then build up toward a longer time—say, an hour—to maximize the benefits.
The good thing here is that you don’t necessarily need to spend lots on fitness memberships, exercise gadgets and appliances to attain the needed results.
Here are some money-saving activities that work the heart:
- Using the stairs. According to a 2007 study published in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, it only takes 30 minutes of stair climbing per week to reap cardiovascular benefits. Even walking up the stairs for a half hour can already burn 286 calories.
- Jumping Jacks. You won’t look at jumping jacks as a kid’s workout again when you try 100 jumping jacks three times a day as recommended by fitness trainer and dietician Joy Baeur of TODAY. Such routine can burn off up to 60 calories.
If doing 100 jumping jacks is too daunting for you, you can opt for 30-60 seconds of classic jumping jacks at your own pace right at home or in your office during break time.
- Dancing. Do you know that by dancing for half an hour, you can burn away 125-250 calories? This is good news, of course, if you are also aiming to lose weight. This fun activity can help improve flexibility and bone strength.
- Doing house chores. Many forget that regularly doing house chores can also serve as a regular cardio workout. Go ahead and scrub the floors, clean the bathroom, wash windows, sweep and mop the floor, do your gardening and wash you car. Consider this a life hack: It not only leaves your place spick and span but keeps you healthy as well.