Do you *really* need to do cardio?

We've all heard the benefits touted for cardiovascular training but is it really necessary to healthy living or just an outdated fitness myth? 

Alright, the stars have aligned and you’ve got 30 minutes all to yourself to finally fit in that workout your body has been craving. But what’s really the best use of your time?

You’ve got that HIIT workout you saved on Insta a few weeks ago?
Or maybe you should pick up your weights that have been collecting dust in the basement.
And you could always go looking for a yoga class on YouTube.

Okay, you’re starting to get overwhelmed.

How on earth are you supposed to make the most of those precious workout minutes? What does your body really need to keep you feeling strong and capable as a mama?

Let us start by saying that the fitness industry tends to assume that every woman’s goal is to lose weight. And that’s something we do not subscribe to here at Mama Reset.

When we’re looking at how best to use your precious workout minutes, we’re not focused on the pursuit of calorie burning!

So many of us grew up thinking that cardiovascular training was the biggest bang for your buck when it came to exercise. While we believe cardio training is not inherently bad or evil, it has become steeped in diet culture and in truth is, it’s not even scientifically linked to sustained weight loss. 

All that to say though, yes- cardio is an important part of your exercise routine, but not for the reasons we’ve been told all our lives.

Let’s take a look at some of the lesser known benefits of cardiovascular training in your life!

Cardiovascular Training Benefits….beside weight loss

❤️ Your heart pumps blood (and oxygen) through your body and your pelvic floor muscles work as a “sump pump” to return the blood back to your heart and other organs. Amazing!! Good blood flow and circulation has a major impact on your pelvic floor function!

❤️ Better heart function means your muscles and organs receive not only oxygen but also important nutrients that aid in healing and repair. This is so important when we’re recovering from an injury or starting back to exercise after a break and feeling sore.

❤️ Cardiovascular training helps with recovery between exercises and/or sets. When your heart has a difficult time recovering from intense effort, it can be a predictor of long term health issues like heart attack and stroke. Cardio trains your heart to get “used” to these efforts!

An Updated Approach to Cardiovascular Training

Let’s look at how we can reap all the benefits of cardiovascular training, without any of the guilt and body shame. Because a happy, healthy heart, pelvic floor and less chance of injury are definitely things we can behind.

Bigger muscle movements

One of the best ways to get your heart pumping is to use big muscles or groups of muscles. Plus you’re able to work on building your strength at the same time! WIN/WIN. We like to combine upper and lower body movements (complex movements) into one exercise so your whole body is challenged and your heart has to work big time. Try a lunge with a row or a squat with overhead press to get your sweat on!

Add resistance

This is a sure fire way to level up your cardio game. Adding in weights or resistance bands means more work for your body, meaning more work for your heart. We love getting our sweat on with some kicks and punches while holding soup cans or weights or using extra resistance during complex movements.

Pick up the pace

Here we go! Cut down on breaks between exercises or sets or move through each rep more quickly! Be sure to stay mindful of your breathing and alignment though. Try moving in and out of yoga poses like warrior II or III rather than staying in a static position for a few breaths.

Think about agility over calorie burning

Feeling light on your feet and quick to respond is a major benefit when you’re a mom! Being able to lunge quickly to stop your little one from tumbling off the play structure or dodging the lego mine-field will come in very handy! Try movements like speed-skaters or burpees to train that more explosive reaction.  

So, do you need to do cardiovascular training?

Yes.

Does it need to suck?

No. 🙌

When we talk about using your exercise time effectively and efficiently we’re all about the real life benefits that mamas need! Cardiovascular training is an important part of a well rounded exercise program and one that can actually support you through life when approached through a body positive, research based lens. Here at Mama Reset we infuse cardiovascular training into our core, mobility, barre workouts and even yoga, so you feel amazing from head to toe…to heart.

 

 

Try For Yourself

Choose your own adventure with this multi-level cardio + strength workout. This workout came straight from a Mama Reset Member workout, where we share side-by-side options for each move so you can choose what’s right for that exercise, that day, and your body.⁠

We're two mamas on a mission to help you ditch 'perfection' and just get started, with our down-to-earth, body-neutral approach and decades of coaching experience. LEARN MORE

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