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There are so many ways to get a good cardio workout in. If you don’t like one thing, try another! Finding something you enjoy doing will help you stay motivated and help you continue to improve on your goals. Each type of cardio has different benefits and works different muscles, so it’s a good idea to rotate through a few different ones on a regular basis.

For today’s post, I chose to focus on 5 different types of cardio, but there are many other things you can do to get your heart rate up!

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Running:
Some of the physical benefits for running includes: improved cardiovascular and respiratory health by increase lung function, lowering your risk of developing blood clots, strengthens bones, and helps improve your immune system. Running not only has physical benefits, but mental as well. Running can help control depression and anger, and also can help relieve stress.

Running works almost all the muscles in your legs including your quads, hamstrings, the muscles around your shins, your calves, and your butt. It also strengthens muscles in your shoulders, your abs, and through your hips.

Biking:
Biking is an extremely effective workout and is great because it doesn’t require a lot of skill to do, so it is easier to get started in than a lot of other types of cardio. Biking is great for your heart and burns a lot of calories. It also improves coordination of your whole body.

Biking works mostly your quads and hamstrings, but also works your calves and your upper body.

Swimming:
Swimming is great because it is low impact but still burns calories and tones muscles. Due to it’s low impact nature, it protects your joints from strain and is perfect for anyone with joint pain. Swimming improves endurance by strengthening your heart and your lungs.

The muscles that are worked during swimming depends on the stroke you are doing, but in general swimming works your shoulders, your back, and a little bit of legs come into play on some strokes.

Elliptical:
The elliptical machine provides less impact on your joints than running while still burning calories. It is good for your heart and lungs and also works your core due to the upright position you are in. When you pedal without your hands on the machine, the elliptical also helps improve balance and coordination.

Using the elliptical works your quad and hamstrings. Your quads really come into play when you pedal backwards! If you are on a machine that has arm motion, you are also working your shoulders, chest, triceps and biceps.

Yoga:
While yoga is not considered cardio, it is heart healthy. The main thing yoga focuses on is helping increase flexability, but there are so many more health benefits that it offers. Many studies have found that yoga can help improve sleep, ease migraines, can help decrease pain, relieve stress, and tone your entire body. Yoga also burns fat and helps build muscle.

The muscles worked during yoga depends on the pose, but for the most part, yoga is good for overall toning and strengthening. Yoga generally strentghens all your muscles at once instead of just focusing on one at a time, which is common during weight lifting.

I hope this helps you find a type of cardio workout that you will enjoy!

What is your favorite type of cardio workout?

-Jaeme
Photo by Xans Eye Photography

 

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