Why Cardio Training Matters
Updated: Dec 1, 2022
You’ve heard, I’ve heard, everyone’s heard it. Cardio training is one of the pillars of physical wellbeing. If you see cardio exercises as the embodiment of your nemesis, join the club! This is how I handle it.
Of all our training branches, this is the one I struggle with the most. Running fast makes my chest burn, gives me a stitch and leaves me feeling like a crumpled ball that had all its air sucked out. I would never survive a zombie apocalypse if I had to run for my life.
Having said that, I think one of the main reasons why I experienced mild altitude sickness while climbing Izta in our mountaineering course was my lack of cardiovascular fitness. Plus, all medical information out there talks about its importance, so, yes, we have to suck on it and at least try to do something to improve it.
How I Started Doing Cardio Training
My biggest problem with cardio is that I rarely enjoy doing it. It feels like exercising for the sake of exercising and I hate that. I need purpose, a reason to put my body through the discomfort, the sweat and the armpit stench.
My reasons now range from being able to suffer less while climbing (a mountain or a climbing wall), to being able to do longer hiking trips, to being able to swim or kayak faster. In a nutshell, this type of workouts allow me to do the activities that I now love with a lot less excruciating pain.
If you’re just starting out...
Walking and steadily increasing your pace plus low-impact cardio videos. If you have access to a gym, try a stationary bike or a few laps around the pool. Nobody will pay attention to your swimsuit body! Own it.
If you’re getting the hang of it...
Trying to run faster and rope jumping. I once read that Bruce Lee said that 10 mins of jumping a rope worked better than 1 hour of running, or something like that. Using any cardio machine that allows you to gradually increase the resistance is good to measure your progress.
If you’re ready for the next level...
Burpees. Enough said!