Walk into the gym on any given day and you might see the same six or seven ladies over on the treadmills. Some are sweaty and exhausted, counting down the minutes until the torturous task before them is completed. These ladies are workhorses that crack the whip on themselves day in and day out, fearful that if they don’t work vigorously they will never reach their goals. Then there are the ones walking at a staggering 2.5 MPH whilst furiously typing on their phones, sporting perfect makeup with not a even a dribble of perspiration daring to emerge from their brow. They are content to go to the gym to say that they went to the gym.
Which one are you? The truth is we all fall somewhere along the wide spectrum of cardio doers (and don’t-ers). And, no, it’s not fair to group anyone into just one of two categories, if at all. Those above are just extreme examples of the Cardio Bunny. There are plenty of people for whom cardio is like medicine. Cardio can cause euphoria, help calm the nerves, and even help fight depression. Let’s face it, dopamine is one helluva drug. Obviously there are those that engage in cardio exercise for its countless health benefits–but I’m not talking about them.
Am I advocating no cardio? Of course not. What I am advocating is finding a better balance. Whether weight training, doing pilates, or even yoga, it is important to incorporate some sort of resistance training into your workouts. Just like cardio, there are many ways you can benefit from gaining lean muscle mass. Retention of bone mass, increased muscle strength, and increased calorie-burning potential are just a few examples. Add in the fact that resistance training while dieting can help you retain hard-earned muscle mass, and you’ve got yourself a keeper.
I’m, unfortunately, guilty of being on the “cardio don’t-ers” spectrum at the moment. I know, hypocrite much? But as one of my New Year’s resolutions, I am aiming to remedy that. I’m starting with 30 minutes of cardio two times a week and will up it to 4 times a week as I progress. I know it’s something I should do for general health, but it’s not something I enjoy. There’s no denying the pros of cardio, so while I encourage myself to drift over to the cardio section a bit more often, I hope that those in the cardio section will drift over to the weights section a little more often.
To those ladies cracking the proverbial whip, and to those hitting the gym to say they’ve done their good deed for the day, content to stay the same, that’s fine. But if you want to try something different, then kill the Cardio Bunny. (Or at the very least, let her out of her cage now and then.)