Ah, the age-old question: "Do I need cardio?" The answer is yes, yes you do.
Why? For so many reasons — and not just weight loss! Yes, we totally think women should be lifting weights and prioritizing strength training for a strong body, fast metabolism, and overall health, but we can't kick cardio to the curb.
- It burns fat. Cardio is one of the most effective ways to burn up fat. You'll definitely need a balanced routine of cardio and weights, but cardio is still an incredibly effective way to torch calories and burn through fat stores so you can reveal those muscles you've worked so hard to build.
- It boosts your energy. That endorphin rush? If cardio's good for anything, it's that. In addition, cardio helps create more mitochondria in your cells, leading to an increase in energy overall.
- It increases your endurance. Want to be able to work out harder, for longer? You need cardio. Cardio helps with your overall stamina both in and out of the gym.
- It's fun. Try dancing to The Fitness Marshall without laughing or smiling. We dare you (actually, don't do that — that defeats the purpose). Dance workouts are cardio workouts, you can do them with friends, and they're tons of fun. In fact, many workouts that are inherently credited as being fun are actually cardio.
- It's quick. You can squeeze in a 15-minute intense cardio session and be done for the day — this is an effective way to ensure you're getting in your exercise more consistently, thus maintaining a healthier body and brain.
- It improves your mental health. In addition to being a mood-booster, cardio (combined with meditation) has been proven as a treatment for clinical depression.
- It prevents disease. Stave off cancer, prevent diabetes, and manage your cholesterol — all by getting your heart rate up a little bit a few times a week.
- It increases your lifespan. You know what happens when you prevent diseases like cancer and diabetes, right? You live longer! You'll feel better, healthier, and more energized as you age gracefully.
- It helps you sleep better. As it turns out, a good cardio sesh can help you get some zzz's. Studies have shown improved sleeping patterns as a result of aerobic exercise.
- It can improve your skin. Did you know the increased blood flow from cardiovascular exercise can flush out toxins and improve your complexion? Time to book a Spin class.