Love, Hearts, and Cardio Workouts
It's Valentine's Day – the day of love and hearts – and what better way to show your heart how much you love it than by doing a cardio workout! When you do a cardio workout, your muscles need an increased amount of oxygen to keep up with the increased movement. This means your heart has to pump blood at a faster rate to transport more oxygen from your lungs to your muscles. When this happens, your heart is gaining similar benefits to the muscles you are working out: getting stronger and better at its everyday job of keeping your blood flowing.
Show your heart you care about it by trying one of the following cardio workouts:
Quick At-Home Cardio Workouts
You want to show your heart some love, but don't know when you will have time to fit in a cardio workout – it's a common problem. The good news is that you don't have to devote 30-60 minutes straight to get in a cardio workout. You can use quick workouts like the ones below to get your cardio workouts in when you can throughout the day. These workouts add up to a lot of love for your heart:
Six-Minute Full Body HIIT Workout
This Six-Minute Full Body HIIT Workout is all about getting your heart rate up fast and keeping it going while mixing in some muscle strengthening moves as well. Pop squats will work your legs, push-ups will engage your upper body, double crunches will target your abs, and the burpees will get just about everything!
Four-Minute Cardio Workout for your Heart
Four minutes of cardio may not seem like much, but it's better than no cardio at all. This super quick cardio workout is great to get you going, get your blood flowing and start you down a path of cardio workout awesomeness! This is also a great workout to pair with the Six-Minute Full Body HIIT Workout if you have a full ten minutes to devote to your workout time. Do them back-to-back and keep your heart pumping and your blood flowing.
The Best Cardio Workouts
If you really want to maximize the benefits your heart will gain from your cardio workouts, and keep showing your heart some love for years to come, investing in a cardio machine is the way to go. The BowFlex Max Trainer and BowFlex TreadClimber are two amazing pieces of cardio equipment specifically designed to help you reach your fitness goals in a time-efficient manner and keep your heart going strong. Here are two workouts you can do, one on each machine, that are both 15 minutes or less:
14-Minute BowFlex Max Workout
The BowFlex Max Trainer uses interval training to give you an incredible workout in just 14 minutes. The motion is similar to a cross between an elliptical and a stair stepper (some have described it like standing while riding a bike). Additionally, the upper handles engage your upper body in a way that other cardio machines don't, giving you more of a full body workout. While the Max Trainer is designed to give you a HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workout, you can also use it to do LISS (Low Intensity Steady State) workouts as well.
15-Minute TreadClimber Interval Workout
The BowFlex TreadClimber was designed to get the most calorie burn out of something most of us do every day – walking. If you are less into workouts that get your heart rate skyrocketing fast and more into a workout that will steadily increase your heart rate while burning a huge amount of calories over a 30-minute period, than this machine is a great fit for you. That's not to say you can't get an interval workout in on a BowFlex TreadClimber, as shown in the video above, but where the BowFlex Max Trainer shines with a killer 14-minute interval workout, the BowFlex TreadClimber shines with a big calorie burn over a 30-minute workout while allowing you to catch up on your favorite TV shows.
Before and After Your Cardio Workouts
Whether you choose shorter or longer cardio workouts to show your heart that it's your one and only, it's always a good idea to do a quick warm up to get your blood flowing and your muscles warm before you begin your cardio workout. It is also advisable to do a quick stretch after you complete your workout to reduce the tightening in your muscles and give your heart rate time to gradually return to a normal pace. Here is a quick warm up and a quick stretching routine to pair with your choice of cardio workout:
Two-Minute Cardio Warm Up
Warming up before your cardio workout can decrease the likelihood of injuring the muscles you use during your workout. When you warm up, you're starting off slow and preparing your muscles for the workout to come by increasing the blood flow to them and increasing your core body temperature.
Three-Minute Stretch Routine for After Your Cardio Workout
After your cardio workout, your muscles will be nice and warm. This is the perfect time to give them a stretch to help increase your flexibility. This will also help keep your muscles from tightening after your workout as they begin to recover from the work you just put them through.