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Is Cardio Really That Important?

By Genevieve Cunningham

When it comes to working out, there are quite a few exercises to choose from. Weight lifting, high intensity interval training, yoga. The options are seemingly endless. But which is best? Should we stick to lifting heavy weights? Or should we go with a tried-and-true cardio option? It seems as though the fitness world is moving away from cardio and toward weights and circuits. But is this the best option? Before you put away your running shoes for good, take a look at these big benefits of keeping a little cardio in your routine.

The Benefits of Cardio

Cardio -- whether it's running, walking, aerobics, or something else -- can be beneficial for your overall well-being. It's a great way to build endurance, and the more endurance you have, the longer you can work out. It can also help to burn fat and sculpt the muscles for a more defined look. Cardio is also good for strengthening the lungs and promoting deep breathing. The benefits are many, and by keeping cardio in your life, you’re enhancing your health in multiple ways.

What Else Do You Need?

Even though cardio is good, it's not the only form of exercise you need. To keep your body balanced, you’ll also want to include weight lifting and stretching. Weights will help you burn more fat and gain strength, while stretching will help improve basic flexibility and reduce pain. If you add these three exercises together, you’ll have the most effective recipe for better health.

How to Find The Balance

So how much of each do you really need? This depends on your personal goals. Most people need some sort of stretching every day, as we lose flexibility quickly. Weight lifting might be done three or four times per week, while cardio might be done between three and six times per week. The key is to keep a schedule, but be flexible. Adjust your workout to meet your needs and current condition, and you’ll be ahead of the game.

Exercise is important. Weights are important. Cardio is important. Balance your workout schedule to include a little of all of them, and gain the best of every fitness routine for the best health of your life.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Minnetonka, Minn.

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