Fitness & Health

Dear Cardio

July 26, 2017

You seem to be getting a lot of negative press at the moment. All I have to do is scroll through Instagram to realise you are not the it girl anymore. The Fitness industry seems to hate you in fact. We supposedly all should be cutting down on you and turning to weights, heavy weights. The heavier and harder to lift, the better. It doesn’t appear to matter on the individual, we all need to turn to weights if we want to see any progression.

Well, I disagree.

As much as I love and regularly do weight training (and will continue to do so) the energy cardio gives me can’t be equalled. Thank you endorphins! I need you to help energise and set me up for the day. Exercise, for me, is purely mental. When I’m active, I know I’m going to have a good day. My mood and mindset is hugely determined on this, something I am working on changing.

I was so unmotivated after returning home from Uni. Yes, I needed to take a break and recharge. This is so important and I’m glad I listened to my body. To get the best out of it, we need to rest it and not overtrain. Balance is always a top priority. But I was struggling to even get of of bed somedays. I decided to completely start afresh with a new, more cardio based, flexible workout routine. I can not begin to say how much this has helped. I’ve fallen in love with exercise again. Who knew how much I liked swimming?

This idea that we must conform to the latest fitness hype, powered by social media, is completely unsustainable. We are all different and our bodies crave different things. I personally need cardio to keep motivated. The gym can become a stagnant place: keep mixing up what you do. Don’t fall out of love with working out. We don’t need to tear our bodies to pieces every time we set foot in the gym to see result. I can not deny that consistency and repetition is key, to some level. But overtraining or constant repetition can lead to getting stuck in a rut and doing more ‘harm’ than good. I have to keep trying new things in and outside of the gym, experimenting with new sports and types of exercise. Spinning is my latest venture, and I love it. Stitch, sweat and all. I can’t get enough.

Health and fitness is not purely our physical power or ability, but also our mental and emotional progression. This is the most important thing I have learnt. Move, exercise, workout because of how is makes you feel.  Sometimes we need to forget about numbers: the number of reps, distance covered, calories burnt, latest kg or time PB. But simply listen to your body and do something because you want to. I won’t stop doing cardio (running, yoga, spinning, circuits…), the things I love and make me feel great because that is the whole point of working out!

Where our mind goes, our body will follow. Although fitness focused on our physical achievements is constantly changing, the mental, more crucial aspect is a constant. Do what works for you. Don’t be scared to go against the latest craze. As cliched as it is, only you know YOU. It may take time to really discover what makes you tick and get out of bed each morning, actually excited to workout, but once you find it, hold onto it regardless of what society thinks.

Yes, cardio you still have at least one fan.

 

Running arm band for iphone 6 curtesy of tosave.com – just what I needed to help get me motivated! A great fit and perfect protection from the British weather. Thank you.

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