Cardio is for everyone, not just athletes

By Julia Sparco

Elm Staff Writer

Cardio is one of the most popular and beneficial forms of exercise. It can be achieved in various ways, giving the opportunity of staying in shape to everyone. 

According to an article from Healthline, cardio can help lower blood pressure, regulate blood sugar, strengthen immune systems, and improves overall mood. It is also the most effective way to regulate weight and improve sleeping patterns.

With most gyms being closed due to the pandemic and the danger of going to gyms that are open, people have been taking up cardio more than ever in forms of running, jogging, or walking.

It is advised by Runner’s World, an online news community of runners, that beginners should focus on distance as their goal and not time. Taking walking breaks to catch your breath while on a run or jog can actually help build endurance according to them.

The importance of good running shoes is also emphasized by Runner’s World. According to them, a good pair of sneakers can prevent injury and chronic pain while or after running especially in ankles.

But cardio can be more than just running.

At-home cardio exercises can include jumping rope, biking, calisthenics, or high-intensity interval training (HIIT). Cardio exercises that require gym equipment include the stair machines, row machines, and ellipticals. Even swimming is a cardio exercise. 

“While gyms have been closed, I’ve definitely been doing an unusual amount of cardio. Without access to weights or machines in a normal gym COVID has made me turn more to running and bodyweight exercises,” senior captain of the Washington College volleyball team, Isabella Sansanelli said.

There are also a wide-variety of apps that can be downloaded on smartphones that direct users on daily cardio activities or have workout videos that users can follow along to.

To achieve the full effects of cardio, people should aim for 30-60 minutes of cardio at least five days a week according to Healthline. They also recommend starting slow and building up endurance as your workouts continue.

According to both Runner’s World and Healthline, it is especially important to take rest days, which means that a person does not perform any type of workout on that day to allow their bodies to recover.

“Running is one of my favorite forms of exercising, it keeps me in shape for my sport and is a stress-reliever for me,” junior WC women’s basketball player, Madeline Williams said.

But fellow teammate, junior Jess Giblin said “Running and cardio in general isn’t my favorite way to work out, but it is extremely helpful in staying in shape.”

Besides running or activities related to calisthenics, cardio can be achieved through tasks at home or in the office. For example, choosing to take the stairs instead of the elevator and walking around the house to dust, sweep, or mop can help achieve personal cardio goals.

With the ongoing pandemic, there is no better time to add cardio to your own life. As stated, it has many health benefits and is proven to be an activity anyone can do while still following nation-wide social distancing rules.

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