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Cardiovascular Workouts: Finding Joy in Heart Health and American Heart Month

Welcome to American Heart Month! As we celebrate the health of our hearts this February, let's dive into the world of cardiovascular workouts. Many people wonder about the best exercises for various body parts and cardiovascular health. But here's the secret: the best cardio exercise is the one you enjoy the most.


Picture this: Matt loves running because it clears his headspace. But for some, like me, running induces anger and frustration. The key to establishing a truly healthy lifestyle for heart health lies in doing what brings you joy. Why? Because humans stick to activities that make them happy. This principle applies to cardiovascular workouts too.


Think about it. People engage in activities like tennis, racquetball, or basketball leagues not solely for heart health benefits but because they enjoy them. The heart doesn't differentiate between running, cycling, swimming, or playing sports; it pumps blood to the needed muscles regardless.


So, what's the trick to maximizing your cardiovascular training? Enter interval training, exemplified by methods like Tabata. The idea is simple: short bursts of intense movement followed by rest or slower activity. According to the CDC's Physical Activity Guidelines Report, even five-minute bouts of moderate-to-intense exercise offer significant heart and brain benefits.


Here are some key benefits of interval training:


- It can be done in shorter amounts of time thansteady-state cardio.

- Any exercise modality works (walking, running, swimming,weight training, etc.).

- No extra equipment is necessary.

- It mimics the demands of various sports involvingcardiovascular components.


Now, let's talk about the FITTE method. Frequency, Intensity, Type, Time, and Enjoyment are the key variables. Frequency refers to how often you work out, intensity relates to your heart rate percentage, time indicates the duration of your workout, and type refers to the chosen activity. And then there's enjoyment—the crucial factor that keeps you coming back for more.


Here's a practical example of FITTE in action:


- Example A: Twice per week, spend 20 minutes on the assault bike, alternating between one minute of all-out effort and two minutes of slower-paced cycling.

- Example B: Three times per week, engage in a 30-minutesession combining cardio and weight circuits, with four six-minute circuits and a minute of rest between each.


Your heart doesn't discern between these examples; it appreciates the effort regardless. The key is to find what brings you joy and adjust the variables accordingly. Forget the treadmill if it feels like a hamster wheel—find what lights you up and stick with it.


For further assistance, reach out to me Explore my coaching programs on my website,and connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.


Remember, your heart thrives on happiness—so let's makeheart health a joyful journey!

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