Cardiovascular exercise is great for everybody. It strengthens your heart, relieves stress, keeps lungs healthy, improves brain function, increases circulation to your skin which keeps it nourished, and it helps lose weight. I have been doing regular, hour-long (when possible) cardiovascular exercise for decades.
I have found an alternative that works great for similar results as above. Interval training – workouts in which I alternate periods of high-intensity exercise with low-intensity recovery periods—increases fitness and burns more calories over a short period of time than the long,steady-state cardio.
Less time, same or better, results. You can’t beat that. It has been an excellent addition to my workout routine.
I have been doing a workout on my climber machine during which I warm up with 4 minutes of low to moderate intensity, then do thirty seconds of all-out, high intensity, fast and furious, climbing. After the thirty second intense interval, I keep moving, but slow way down for ninety seconds, then repeat the thirty seconds of killer cardio, following with the ninety seconds again. I do 8 sets of the high intensity followed by ninety second recovery periods. It takes less than twenty minutes.
Sometimes I do the same intervals, but with sprinting, followed by fast walking.
I confess, I find the intense periods very challenging. But it has been a great addition to my routine, and I have seen and felt improvement. So, when I consider what cardio routine to do, I can choose the old way of plugging in the earbuds and going long and steady for an hour; or wind up my courage and feel some pain for less than twenty minutes.
The variation keeps things different every day and serves to keep your body confused for greater results. Plus, it keeps things exciting. Give it a try.