CRUSHIN' Your Cardio!

By Katrina Scott on

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Karena and I love to switch up our cardio sessions each week, and we want you to do the same! This keeps your body guessing, and your fitness on point! Plus, when you add variety to your workouts, you're less likely to get tired of them. After all, variety is the spice of life! In our Weekly Workout Schedule (found under the Fitness Tab) we suggest "cardio" a few times a week. But what counts as cardio!?

Jogging, stair climbing, power walking, biking, swimming, dancing, any of your HIIT workouts, or any prolonged exercise that gets your heart rate up. Your Daily Moves don't count as your assigned cardio, but you can mix in cardio between them!

Cardio can essentially be anything that gets your heart rate up. It improves cardiovascular health, increases lung capacity and torches calories, making it a super important part of your weekly fitness routine!

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Guess what!? You don't need to do your assigned cardio all at once. You can squeeze it in throughout the day! Remember, 1 hour is only 4% of your day. Make every moment count!

Here are four ways to fit cardio into your day!

1. Head out for a 20 minute jog or HIIT workout first thing in the morning!

2. Take a 20 minute power walk with a co-worker at lunch. Or, have to listen in on that conference call? Hit the stairs while you're at it!

3. Add jumping jacks, jump roping, jogging or cardio between those daily moves.

4. Head out for an evening walk before or after dinner.

Get ready to get sweaty!! 💦

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No matter what activity you choose, you can always gauge if you're in the cardio zone by checking your heart rate! You can do this with a heart rate monitor or by finding your pulse and counting how many times it beats in 15 seconds, then multiplying that number by 4.

The ideal heart rate for cardio exercises is between 65-85% of your maximum heart rate. You can calculate your maximum heart rate by taking 220 and subtracting your age.

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For example, a 20 year old's max heart rate would be 200 beats per minute and her cardio heart rate range would be between 130 and 170 beats per minute.

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Lace up your tennies, clip on your cycling shoes, or slip on your swim cap... and get ready to CRUSH your cardio, babe!! ;)

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RUN/WALK

This is probably what you think of when you hear the word, "cardio." Running is always a great go-to. It requires essentially no equipment--just a pair of running shoes, and it's a full body workout with an emphasis on core and legs. What's more, studies have found that it can lift your mood!

We love incorporating a run into our schedule up to 5 times a week. If you choose to walk, just make sure you're walking at a fast enough pace to raise your heart rate to that sweet target zone (65-85% of your max heart rate).

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BIKE

Indoor or outdoor, we love hopping on a bike! During the summer, cycling outside with friends is more of a social outing than an actual workout... and yet you're still burning major calories and toning your gorgeous bod! Turn cardio into a friend date by picking a cute restaurant en route, then get cycling with your gal pals! When it's chilly out, stationary bikes are a great alternative! You can also try a cycling class at a studio!

To make cycling count as cardio, think in terms of minutes rather than miles. A 20-40 minute ride with your heart rate in the target zone is ideal.

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SWIM

If you have access to a pool, this is an AMAZING fitness resource! Swimming utilizes muscles in your arms, back, legs, core, AND booty... for some major toning during your cardio sesh! Win-win. Plus, you'll get all the benefits of cardio without the impact on your joints. If you don't have access to a gym with a pool, check your local high schools. Some open up to the public before school hours. Just make sure you wear a swim cap to protect your hair from chlorine... and to cut down on time getting ready post-workout!

Not sure what to do once you're in the pool? Make a SPALSH and try out our Swim Workout below!

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STAIRS

Getting your sweat sesh in by taking the stairs is another fun way to switch up that cardio game! Doing a stair workout raises your heart rate to the target zone quickly and tones your booty, hamstrings, calves, and quads at the same time! Feel the burn, girl! If your gym has a stairmill, go through our Love Your Body Stairmill Workout HERE! If you don't have a gym membership, take your workout to any building or park that has a set of stairs!

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TIU HIIT WORKOUT

HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) can occasionally be swapped for a cardio workout! Since this type of training is more intense, it's best to include it in your schedule 2-3 times a week. We love how quickly HIIT raises our heart rate while toning our body.

Try out our HIIT routines from Beach Babe 4! They're amazing!!!

You'll also love our 40 Minute HIIT from Beach Babe 2 and The Ultimate Bootycall from Beach Babe 3!

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What's your favorite form of cardio!? Let us know in the comments below!

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