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Hey, my name is Erin and I’m a former US Junior Olympic certified swim coach and personal trainer, and fitness is my passion so I cannot wait to share it with you guys.
All right, so I sometimes get asked, “Erin, what’s the best aerobic exercise? What can I do for cardio? What’s the best thing to do for cardio?” Well, I’m sorry, folks, but the answer is that there is no one best aerobic exercise. It’s really all relative. It depends on what your goals are, what your abilities are, and what you like to do. It’s a combination of those things. So you know, someone who’s training for a marathon, obviously, is going to do different types of aerobic exercise than someone who is not. Someone who’s training for a marathon is looking at building up their endurance. Someone who’s looking to achieve fat loss and break through a plateau might be doing high intensity interval training.
Well, with cardio exercise variety is really key. You want to keep your body constantly guessing. So you know, don’t do anything that you’re completely uncomfortable with, but it’s good to change it up. If you have access to water, a pool, a lake, the ocean, even if you’re a good swimmer, swimming is an amazing form of cardio that a lot of people overlook. If you don’t know how to swim, go find a swim instructor, you know? I’m sure there are videos on that, too. It’s absolutely no impact on your joints so it’s great for people of all ages. Even if you’re rehabbing from an injury and you want to get that heart rate up, get in the pool.
There’s more unusual forms of cardio exercise that people tend not to use or overlook in the gym. For instance, like the rowing machine. Most people never sit down on a rowing machine. A rowing machine’s actually really hard, especially if you’re not used to it. Get on that thing for five to ten minutes and you’re tired. Changing the type of exercise you’re doing, regardless of if it’s cardio or strength training, is great for the body. You always want to challenge the body in new ways. So try not to stick to just one type of aerobic exercise. You can even do a circuit, an aerobic circuit, right? If you’re at the gym, let’s say, you have access to a number of different machines.
So a helpful tool if you’re not wearing a heart rate monitor is the RPE. That’s rate of perceived exertion. Now the inherent problem is that people’s perception vary. So you’re perception of what’s hard might not be what my perception of what’s hard is. But the point is is that it’s all relative and you need to listen to your own body. So with cardio exercise, as with any exercise, listen to your body. Know your limits. If you’re not feeling great one day or your body parts are tired, don’t push yourself to the point where you think you’re going to compromise your form or you might get hurt. Those are always important facts to keep in mind. And you know, have fun with it. Do stuff that you enjoy and, you know, getting fit will be fun. It’s pretty simple.