Three Reasons to Do More Cardio (And How to Fit It Into Your Day)

Today, I tried SoulCycle for the very first time and loved it. I usually really don’t enjoy spin classes because I find them kinda boring TBH, but SoulCycle’s vibe is just so fun and upbeat, and the monotony is broken up by arm exercises, pulses and variations in speed/resistance.

The music was awesome, and the instructor, Ty, had such amazing energy. By the end, I felt ready to tackle anything and I was so motivated to be my ~best self~. My friend and I agreed that we loved Ty’s short motivational speech towards the end of the class because it made us feel so strong and empowered.

I’ve always loved cardio, despite the memes and infographs all over Instagram that tell us it should be a small percentage of our workout regime and weight training should be the bulk of it. I’m trying to get into weight training more to keep my bones healthy and tone up, but the truth is, I just don’t find it as enjoyable as a good cardio sesh or a Pilates class. I’m sure my thoughts on it will change, but for now, I’m a self-proclaimed treadmill bunny and proud of it!

There are so many mixed opinions out there on how much cardio we should really be doing, but I say, if it makes you feel healthy and happy, then go for it. If you’re looking for some motivation to hop on that elliptical machine, here are three reasons why cardio is great for you:

1. It releases endorphins and happy hormones like dopamine. If you’ve ever run fast and hard for any amount of time, you’ll know that it creates an awesome rush of hormones in your body, giving you that “runner’s high.” I’m definitely addicted to the feeling of getting high from a good run: it never fails to change my mindset and puts me in a good mood for the rest of the day. And remember, exercise gives you endorphins, endorphins make you happy, and happy people just don’t shoot their husbands!

2. It increases your metabolism. When you exercise, your metabolism gets a big boost as your body has to work harder to meet the demands of the physical exertion. A good HIIT (high intensity interval training) session can boost your metabolism for hours or even days afterwards so your body can burn more calories than you would normally.

3. It’s good for your overall health! Cardio can help to increase the capacity of your lungs and heart, and as a diabetic, it helps me keep my blood sugars in a normal range.

Not only is cardio super beneficial, but it’s also just a good way to blow off some steam and have fun. If you’re short on time, try incorporating more brisk walks into your day, or do a quick 15-minute HIIT workout like Insanity in the morning to set your day off on a high note. Another genius way to add more cardio to your routine is to keep a jump rope in your bag at all times for quick sessions on the go (I don’t personally do this, but if you’re super hard core like Kate Hudson then give it a go!).

What are your thoughts on cardio? How does it benefit your mind, body and spirit? Let me know in the comments below!